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A woman laying on a couch with headphones on, listening to music.



Whether it’s in the shower, at a karaoke bar, or on a stage, singing a well-known song is like spending time with an old friend. Some musicians love a song so much they decide to record a cover. Most covers are simply respectful homages to the original artist. However, a select few elevate a song to new heights. With that in mind, here are three of the best song covers of all time.


Original Artist: Nine Inch Nails

Cover Artist: Johnny Cash

In the twilight of his career, Johnny Cash, aka The Man in Black, decided to cover several popular songs for his 2002 studio album American IV: The Man Comes Around. Nine Inch Nails' hit song, Hurt, was among them. Written by the band's frontman, Trent Reznor, Hurt tells the story of a man full of self-destruction crying out in pain – unable to escape his demons. Johnny Cash's version strips away the harsh guitar and hard-thumping downbeat. Instead, opting for a simple acoustic guitar and previously present piano. The result is a similar story but told from the perspective of a man with the kind of wisdom that comes only with age.

All Along The Watchtower

Original Artist: Bob Dylan

Cover Artist: Jimi Hendrix

Sometimes a song cover becomes so famous people forget that it's not the original version. Jimi Hendrix's cover of All Along The Watchtower is one such song. While Bob Dylan's version has plenty of heart, Jimi's version just hits different. So much so that when you hear it, you make the stink face. What's the stink face? You know when a song is so good, you bob your head and squinch your face up like you just smelled something bad? Yeah. That one.

Nothing Compare 2 U

Original Artist: Sinéad O'Connor (Written by Prince)

Cover Artist: Chris Cornell

Sinéad O'Connor's '80s classic has been covered a bunch of times, but nothing compares to the late, great Chris Cornell (pun intended). Cornell's version of Nothing Compares 2 U is primal, intense, and transforms the song from a story about pining for a lost love to a heartbreaking tale of a person whose world has been shattered.

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