You Really Tried It, Huh? 10 Artists Who Tried To Cover Michael Jackson (Some Killed It, Some, Not So Much…)

April 29, 2013 ‐ By Clarke Gail Baines


Just last week we showed you a few of the singers who thought they had what it took to try and cover Prince. This week, we’ve got a few big names who thought they could take on the King of Pop. While not every rendition/cover of his classics from throughout his career were well-done, they were all a lot different than the original songs, which is step one to trying to produce a worthy cover: Do your own thing, but have respect for the originator. Check out covers by everyone from Chaka Khan to Celine Dion, Al B Sure! and even Miles Davis, and let us know which ones you think were good, and not so good after all.

And of course, the links to the actual MJ songs are included in each description!

MadameNoire Video

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  • L&L

    “R. Kelly definitely sounds good, even during his attempts to hit the same notes as MJ”

    Really! Lmao
    1st of all R kelly voice and vocal ability can not be match by any male singer out there. Real talk!

    I love me some MJ but lets be real he aint exactly no power house singer, him and his sister Janet sounds like they are whispering half the time. R kelly don’t whisper on is songs, he hits those notes. He ain’t ATTEMPTING TO HIT SH!T, HE IS HITTING IT

    • Stel

      Untrue. R. Kelly doesn’t touch MJ’s voice. Michael Jackson has a nearly 4 octave vocal range- an extreme rarity for male singers. He easily has one of the finest quality voices and most iconic vocal style in popular music. Michael had a voice so powerful that you didn’t even need to hear the enunciation of the words to feel exactly what he was conveying. Don’t compare his voice to Janet’s who, despite her sweet tone, is no vocalist. Billie Jean, Bad, This is It, Childhood and Butterflies are a few of his best performances among the many. Hell, is performance of ‘Who’s Loving You’ at age 11 kills anything Kells has done.

      • You better say it

  • ebkay82

    You forgot The Weeknd’s cover of “Dirty Diana”. He killed it!! 😉

  • Vandellish

    How in the name of Rod Temperton did y’all miss Esperanza Spalding’s ‘I Can’t Help It’.
    Sorry but that remake kicks all of the rest of these dead in the azz!!!! Do yourselves a favor and check it out…controversial video and all.

  • Janee

    Amber Riley (Mercedes from Glee) killed the Human Nature cover with that one guy. It was an acoustic cover, but absolutely beautiful! That girl has a gorgeous voice!!

  • Now What Now??

    Chaka Khan laid it out on, “Got To be There”. I love the way that she did that. It sounds a little like the original, yet at the same time, she put her own spin on it. This is probably one of my favorite Michael Jackson remakes out of all of them.

  • Trini Girl

    I thought Ne-Yo’s version of “Lady In My Life” would be up there.

  • Hey

    I actually like Alien Ant Farm’s version of Smooth Criminal better than the original. Now be nice!

    • Epic video that came with that version, right? lol

    • Kenedy

      That used to be my jam! Plus the video, I thought I was the only weirdo that liked that version, lol

  • *Despises Haters*

    I sort of like The Weeknd’s version of Dirty Diana, he sounded a lot like Mike, but he was almost too nasally for me

  • Love MJ, but Ive always loved Floetry’s version of Butterflies better..

    • hiswomanandlovingit

      because they wrote it. although he did a good job with the song they knew how they wanted it to sound. but you can’t exactly refuse the king of pop when he wants to use of of your songs.

      • Oh i know they wrote it. I think they bring a different tonal quality that changes the feeling of the song. Not bad, just different. And I totally agree, if MJ asks, you certainly answer!

    • Miri

      Sorry – there’s this quality MJ has – when I first heard Butterflies I had it on repeat, repeat, repeat…then repeat some more…for weeks, doors shut. It’s one of those songs you just have to listen by yourself. He takes you away with him. Other artists your still here – butwith MJ you actually SEE AND FEEL those butterflies fluttering. You know he means every single word he is singing. I believe him and baby “I will love him love him til the tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime!”

  • msloveontop215

    As the truest MJ lover and stan I am giving a NO on most of these for the simple fact that their voices are not Michael’s voice. The strongest ones minus Chaka Khan sing songs from his childhood and still don’t compare. Al B Sure voice sounds so rough compared to Mike’s, I could only take 2 seconds of it. Sorry just do us all a favor and don’t attempt it.

  • Yasmin

    The kiss of death, really. Michael’s songs are becoming American Idol, America’s Got Talent, and X-Factor staples though lol.

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  • Chevonne22

    The title says 9 artists, but I counted 10 (11 if you count Grover Washington). Elementary math anyone?

  • Chevonne22

    I had never heard SWV’s version of “I Wanna Be Where You Are” and I’m glad I hadn’t…and I could have passed on not hearing it.

  • Shay n Scrappy 4 ever! Lmao

    b4 i go through the list I KNOW Celine Dion is on 4 her tragic performance of ‘Bad’… it was so bad that i was in tears.

    • Shay n Scrappy 4 ever! Lmao

      welp. i guess not…. oh well

    • Dani

      She says he’s the reason she learned English as a teen in Quebec. She stans hard lol