Was That Supposed To Make Them Proud? 15 Musical Tributes That Fell Flat In More Ways Than One

16 comments
January 15, 2013 ‐ By M A
FayesVision/WENN.com

FayesVision/WENN.com

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but unfortunately some truly talented individuals fell victim to some really subpar musical tributes to their favorite artists. Whether it was age, nerves or just a mismatch between honorers and honorees, these performances fell pretty short in their aim to salute the works of music’s greatest talents. Though many of the musicians being saluted took their lackluster tributes in stride, we can definitely say one woman who may just happen to be the Queen of Soul certainly didn’t look amused. So without further adieu we bring you 15 of the worst musical tributes to ever hit the stage. OK, that was dramatic.

Nikki Nelson / WENN.com

Nikki Nelson / WENN.com

Trey Songz Takes On Prince

In theory this could have been a great match. Here you have incredible hot, wonderfully talented Trey Songz tapped to salute the one and only Prince at the 2010 BET Awards. Though a cliché choice, you can’t go wrong with “Purple Rain.” Well, that was until Trey Trey got a hold of it. Doing this weird fusion of “Yo Side of the Bed” and “Purple Rain” – not to mention the atrocious American Idol-esque, amateur oversinging — not only made Prince give the stank eye, but everyone watching had an undeniable look of the WTF variety. Come on, man. You don’t mess with a classic and you certainly don’t mess with Prince.

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  • shay lanay

    I thought neyo and keri did a pretty good job but sorry, idc what anybody says, Chris Brown always does a fantastic job with the MJ tributes

  • http://twitter.com/MzChittick Racquel Chittick

    I didnt thought Joss Stone did that bad and Nelly was awesome!

  • LilScrappy_w/his_irrelevant_az

    Nelly was pure entertainment! Alicia did really good IMO, considering the circumstances. And Joss Stone? Really? Homegirl shouldn’t have even been on this list because she KILLED it! Her voice gives me goosebumps every single time

  • LilScrappy_w/his_irrelevant_az

    Nelly was pure entertainment! Alicia did really good IMO, considering the circumstances. And Joss Stone? Really? Homegirl shouldn’t have even been on this list because she KILLED it! Her voice gives me goosebumps every single time

  • LilScrappy_w/his_irrelevant_az

    Nelly was pure entertainment! Alicia did really good IMO, considering the circumstances. And Joss Stone? Really? Homegirl shouldn’t have even been on this list because she KILLED it! Her voice gives me goosebumps every single time

  • LilScrappy_w/his_irrelevant_az

    Nelly was pure entertainment! Alicia did really good IMO, considering the circumstances. And Joss Stone? Really? Homegirl shouldn’t have even been on this list because she KILLED it! Her voice gives me goosebumps every single time

  • Giovonni

    I’m sorry Trey, you my boy, but that Purple Rain tribute (which BTW only included about 30% of the actual song) was horrendous! You don’t mess with a classic like that, mixing it up with some other crap, especially when you’re performing it as a tribute to the artist that made it the hit that it is. Jeez, Trey, I’m disappointed.

  • Elijah Wade

    Ashanti was much better than I EXPECTED but, yeah….*shudders*

  • http://www.facebook.com/ZRoJoTheLezBeyond ZroJo Thelezbeyondonedeep Cast

    Selena (God rest her soul) did a WAY better tribute to Donna Summer when she last performed at the Houston Rodeo in 94.

  • laila

    Trey hurt my hurt

  • NONEYA

    Why is Christina on this list?? Her performance at Etta James funeral was flawless, her singing never disappoints!!

  • http://twitter.com/candeegurl Ms. Fox

    You forgot about Trey’s tribute to Bob Marley singing “Turn your Lights Down Low”

  • Youngin

    Trey Songz isn’t a great singer. He’s good, maybe even alright, but not great so I don’t know why they got him to do the Prince tribute. Him and Neyo couldn’t even pull off Freekin You by Jodeci so that really means he isn’t qualified to do tributes/cover songs by artists who can actually sing. Smh how do they find these “artists” these days.

  • mdeborah827

    Need a dedication to the art form of singing and musicianship once again. Too much non singing singers trying to shine like a diamond when back in the day we had singing groups, a blend of voices with real musicians playing alongside them and whose voices were strong enough to hear OVER THE REAL LIVE MUSIC.

    Also, a diva was a true artist that sounded like no one else. Put side by side Dinah Washington (my girl!!!), Nina Simone (hands OFF Zoe!) , Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Billy Holiday (Lady Day), Sarah Vaughan (Sassy) and you hear an entirely different sound and some real vocal chops.

    This is difficult to do which is why Florence Ballard who could SING was put in the background and blander voice Diana Ross was put up in front. The voice is easier to imitate and more people can sing along. With the other ladies, you are forced to LISTEN and if you can’t sing it’s INTIMIDATING. That’s because a DIVA is UNIQUE and SPECIAL.

    So, in closing, Zoe you should know better and yeeessss, I will beat it like a dead horse but you just know better but you still gonna do wrong, and Bey and Riri would be in the back of the choir and THEY KNOW THIS.

    Time to search for real singers with something worth singing about with real musicians doing their thing alongside. Keep in mind, Ella and Nina had a lot of trouble because business people didn’t think they looked good enough but their TALENT won out and we are the better for it.

  • AJ389

    I thought Nelly killed it (and y’all know he did too) when he did the tribute to LL. He does not deserve to be on this list. Anyone w/ good sense knows these are tributes to the artists in a show of appreciation by honoring the best. Its dumb to think they would sound EXACTLY like the artist. If they are going to sound identical to the artist, then what’s the use of a tribute?

    • Giovonni

      So true…. Nelly’s tribute was great! Not sure what more M A wants. Nelly sounds more believable as a rapper doing L.L.’s material than his own.

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