The Most Popular Cover Song, Ranked

Choose the cover song you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Jun 11, 2024 06:47
Cover songs often breathe new life into original tracks, allowing them to reach different audiences and generations. When artists reinterpret another's work, they can highlight different aspects of the song or bring an entirely new flavor to it. However, with so many versions out there, it can be challenging to gauge which ones resonate the most with the public. This site enables fans and music enthusiasts alike to cast their votes for their preferred cover songs, helping to determine which versions truly stand out in the crowd. By participating, users contribute to a dynamic ranking that reflects the collective opinion and tastes of a broad community. Encouraging participation ensures the list remains current and representative of popular opinion.

What Is the Most Popular Cover Song?

  1. 1

    Tainted Love

    Originally by Gloria Jones, famously covered by Soft Cell.
    • Original Artist: Gloria Jones
    • Famous Cover Artist: Soft Cell
  2. 2


    Originally by Otis Redding, famously covered by Aretha Franklin.
    • Original Artist: Otis Redding
    • Famous Cover Artist: Aretha Franklin
  3. 3


    Originally by Leonard Cohen, with numerous covers, notably by Jeff Buckley.
    • Original Artist: Leonard Cohen
    • Notable Cover Artist: Jeff Buckley
  4. 4

    The Man Who Sold the World

    Originally by David Bowie, famously covered by Nirvana.
    • Original Artist: David Bowie
    • Famous Cover Artist: Nirvana
  5. 5


    Originally by The Zutons, famously covered by Mark Ronson featuring Amy Winehouse.
    • Original Artist: The Zutons
    • Famous Cover Artist: Mark Ronson featuring Amy Winehouse
  6. 6

    Nothing Compares 2 U

    Originally by Prince, famously covered by Sinéad O'Connor.
    • Original Artist: Prince
    • Famous Cover Artist: Sinéad O'Connor
  7. 8


    Originally by Nine Inch Nails, famously covered by Johnny Cash.
    • Original Artist: Nine Inch Nails
    • Famous Cover Artist: Johnny Cash
  8. 9

    Twist and Shout

    Originally by the Top Notes, famously covered by The Beatles.
    • Original Artist: The Top Notes
    • Famous Cover Artist: The Beatles
  9. 10

    All Along the Watchtower

    Originally by Bob Dylan, famously covered by Jimi Hendrix.
    • Original Artist: Bob Dylan
    • Famous Cover Artist: Jimi Hendrix

Missing your favorite cover song?

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular cover song. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or cover is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 1 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each cover once every 24 hours. The rank of each cover is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

Additional Information

More about the Most Popular Cover Song

Tainted Love
Rank #1 for the most popular cover song: Tainted Love (Source)
Cover songs have a rich history in the music world. Artists often reinterpret songs by others, adding their own style. This practice dates back to the early days of recorded music. Musicians covered songs to pay tribute, reach new audiences, or simply because they loved the original tune.

In the 1950s and 1960s, cover songs gained popularity. Record labels encouraged artists to cover hits. This helped songs reach wider audiences. Many artists got their start by covering well-known tracks. Some covers even surpassed the originals in fame.

The process of creating a cover song involves more than just singing someone else's lyrics. Artists often change the arrangement, tempo, or genre. This can breathe new life into a song. A rock song might become a ballad, or a pop hit might turn into a jazz standard. These changes showcase the artist's creativity and can offer a fresh take on familiar material.

Cover songs also play a key role in live performances. Musicians often include covers in their sets to engage the audience. Fans love hearing familiar songs, especially when performed in a new way. Cover songs can bridge the gap between different musical eras and styles.

The rise of digital platforms has made cover songs even more popular. Artists can easily share their versions online, reaching global audiences. Social media and streaming services have given cover songs new life. Fans can discover covers they might never have heard otherwise.

Cover songs can also serve as a gateway to the original artist's work. Listeners might hear a cover and then seek out the original version. This can introduce them to new genres and artists they might not have explored.

Some cover songs have become iconic in their own right. They stand alongside the originals as classics. These covers often bring a new perspective to the song, making it relevant to a new generation. They show how music can evolve while still honoring its roots.

In some cases, cover songs spark debate among fans. Some prefer the original, while others favor the cover. This discussion highlights the subjective nature of music. It shows how different interpretations can resonate with different people.

The legal side of cover songs is also important. Artists need permission to cover a song. This usually involves securing rights and paying royalties. This ensures that the original creators are compensated for their work.

Cover songs are a testament to the enduring power of music. They show how a single song can inspire countless interpretations. They connect artists and audiences across time and space. Whether in a small club or on a global stage, cover songs continue to captivate listeners.

In conclusion, cover songs are a vital part of the music landscape. They honor the past while looking to the future. They allow artists to express themselves and connect with audiences. As long as there is music, there will be cover songs, each adding a new chapter to the story.

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