15 Cover Songs So Famous People Don’t Realize They Are Covers

Several incredible songs have topped the charts that the original artists didn’t sing. Do you know of any? Someone recently asked, “What song cover is so famous most people don’t know it’s a cover?” Here are the top fifteen responses.

1. It’s My Life by No Doubt

No Doubt
Photo Credit: Everett Collection / Shutterstock.

It’s My Life – No Doubt It’s an excellent cover, but the original is by a band called Talk Talk. They were a British synth-pop band from the 80s who went into all sorts of ambient music in their later records. One of my favorite bands ever, and I have Gwen Stefani and co. to thank for sending me down that rabbit hole,” one shared. 

2. Hurt Sung by Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash star
Photo Credit: Atomazul / Shutterstock.

Hurt by Johnny Cash,” one stated, “Blows my mind people don’t know this is a Nine Inch Nails song.” Another added, “It was a massive hit for Nine Inch Nails before it was a hit for Johnny Cash.”

3. Proud Mary Sung by Tina Turner

Tina Turner
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“Tina Turner covered Proud Mary. It was written and first recorded by Credence Clearwater Revival,” one admitted. Another confessed, “Wow, no kidding, I had a best of CCR CD as a kid and loved them, and I always assumed they were covering the Tina Turner song.”

4. 1985 Sung by Bowling for Soup

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“The Bowling for Soup song 1985 is the version most folks know about, but it was written by SR-71,” someone shared. “Listening to them one after the other, it feels like the BFS version is cleaner and better produced, and like, it just IS better, but they’re like the same song. It feels less like a cover and more like a “here’s what it should have been.” They sound so similar. It’s wild.”

5. I Swear, Sung by All 4 One

All 4 One
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I Swear, performed by All-4-One,” one replied. “John Michael Montgomery recorded the song a year prior. Both versions ended up top ten, so that’s pretty neat.” Another user said, “They tried the next year again with I Can Love You Like That also by JMM and did not have the same success.”

6. Hard To Handle, Sung by The Black Crowes

The Black Crowes
Photo Credit: Ben Houdijk / Shutterstock.

Hard to Handle, from The Black Crowes,” someone said. “It’s Otis Redding’s song.” Another argued, “The way the Black Crowes play it, though, it sounds more like they’re covering the Grateful Dead version than the Otis Redding original.”

7. Blinded by The Light Sung by Manfred Mann

Manfred Mann album cover
Photo Credit: Ralf Liebhold / Shutterstock.

Blinded By the Light sung by Manfred Mann. It’s also the only U.S. Billboard #1 song written by Bruce Springsteen. The highest-charting song performed by Bruce Springsteen is Dancing in the Dark, which peaked at number two,” shared one. 

8. Black Magic Woman, Sung by Santana

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Someone replied, “Black Magic Woman by Santana. It’s a Peter Green song, originally performed by Fleetwood Mac.” Another added, “You can also hear a sort of proto-Black Magic Woman in The Super-Natural on the John Mayall A Hard Road album and the earlier Fleetwood Mac song I Loved Another Woman.”

9. Mad World Sung by Gary Jules

Gary Jules
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Someone confessed, “Mad World. When it came out from Gary Jules, it overshadowed the original by Tears for Fears. I liked them both, but I grew up on Tears for Fears.” 

10. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Sung by Cyndi Lauper

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“The song, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” one shared. “For those who don’t know, the song was originally performed by Robert Hazard. However, the song takes on a much different tone when a man sings it.”

11. All Along The Watchtower, Sung By Jimi Hendrix

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Bob Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower as performed by Jimi Hendrix,” one stated. A second said, “Hey Joe is also a cover by Hendrix. Dylan is the only artist I can think of where the covers of his songs are better than his version 100% of the time.”

12. Respect Sung by Aretha Franklin

Aretha Fanklin
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“Otis Redding wrote Respect, but Aretha Franklin made it her own,” shared one. Another suggested, “Otis heard her sing and allegedly said, in awe, “That girl stole my song!”

13. Hound Dog Sung by Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley
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“Big Mama Thornton originally recorded Hound Dog by Elvis Presley,” one volunteered. “Same with That’s Alright, initially done by Arthur Big Boy Crudup.” Another added, “Also, Blue Suede Shoes was written and recorded by Carl Perkins before Elvis recorded the song.”

14. Tainted Love Sung by Soft Cell

Soft Cell
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One said, “The one that comes to mind is Tainted Love. I thought the Soft Cell version from 1982 was the original, but it was initially recorded by Motown artist Gloria Jones seventeen years before.” Another added, “Picture 17-year-old me, acting all smug because, actually, it’s not a Marilyn Manson original. Soft Cell did it in the 80s.”

15. I Will Always Love You Sung by Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston
Photo Credit: Stefano Chiacchiarini ’74 / Shutterstock.

One user said, “I Will Always Love You, which Dolly Parton wrote on the same day she wrote, Jolene.” After someone questioned how Dolly felt hearing Whitney sing it, someone shared, “I have seen an interview with Dolly where they ask her exactly that question!”

“Dolly, in all her beautiful class, proceeds to gush over the amazing job that Whitney Houston did performing this song. She said it didn’t feel like the same song because Whitney added so much emotion in different verses. Dolly just decided, “That’s it. That is HER song now.”

Source: Reddit.

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