The past twelve months has been a bumper year for brilliant pop music. Some years creep by without any real floor-filling tunes or catchy songs you just can’t stop singing. But 2015? It was seemingly jammed packed with awesome music. So good were lots of them, in fact, that pop stars just couldn’t stop covering each other’s songs! You know your music’s good when the biggest pop stars in the world stop performing their own music for a while to start playing yours… So let’s get into it – here are fifteen artists who covered other people’s music this year. Enjoy!
Nick Jonas/Sam Smith – The Jonas boy’s treading on careful ground tackling a hit from one of the pop business’ most unique vocal artists. Bond theme singer Sam Smith has a near-perfect voice, so Nick was brave. But his courage in recording his version of Lay Me Down really paid off. It’s a lovely little ballad and he really brings a fresh new take on it. How he makes this emotional song even more emotional is anyone’s guess!
Tori Kelly & Miranda Sings/Taylor Swift – The excellent vocals from Tori Kelly and the sheer forcefulness of Miranda’s crazy personality really make their cover of Bad Blood by Taylor Swift one to listen out for. We absolutely ADORE this track anyway, so it’s easy to like it. And when it’s as cool and current as Tori and Miranda’s version, we could spin it all day. Track down the video on YouTube if you’ve not yet seen it – you won’t regret it!
Shawn Mendes/One Direction – It’s hardly new ground to break for Shawn Mendes, covering tunes. That’s his stick-in-trade, after all. The boy got famous by tackling other people’s tracks. But that doesn’t stop his imagining of One Direction’s Drag Me Down from standing out amongst a year’s full of sweet cover versions. The Stitches singer practically ditched the beat and took this usually upbeat ditty into ballad territory with his go. And it’s no bad thing.
Kelly Clarkson/Selena Gomez – Fresh from her killer Piece by Piece tour, Kelly Clarkson wasted no time getting back into the studio this year. But not to record another ace album. This time out she was paying homage to Selena Gomez with an awesome rendition of her hit song. The Heart Wants What It Wants. Why? Well, Kelly says that the song is one of her ‘all time favorites’… And that’s quite the compliment, huh?!
FKA Twigs/Sia – Sia’s Elastic Heart. It’s such a huge tune. But just as you thought that it couldn’t get any bigger or better, the unmistakable voice of FKA Twigs steps in and decides to bring us a whole new sound to leave us wondering which one we like more – hers or the original. It’s a tight call, we’ve gotta say. Go have a listen to both of them now and see which you’d prefer to go for. We’re plumping for FKA’s. Just.
Ryan Adams/Taylor Swift – Tori Kelly and Miranda Sings weren’t the only people to cover Taylor Swift this year, you know. Everyone was at it. Including Americana indie rock type Ryan Adams. He’s always been a fan of covering over people’s work, famously doing a version of Oasis’ Wonderwall. This time he covered an entire album! Brave stuff for someone of his standing, but it really works. Weirdly enough. We don’t know how – it just does!
5 Seconds of Summer/Bring Me The Horizon – The hottest new boy band in the world are, undoubtedly, 5 Seconds of Summer. The Australian pop band from Sydney decided to take on Bring Me The Horizon’s Drown, but jazzed it up with a little orchestra work which, weirdly, totally worked! We’re sure that even the Horizon boys would have approved of the orchestral thunder from Down Under.
One Direction/Natalie Imbruglia – It might seem weird to think of the lads from One Direction deciding to cover a song like Natalie Imbruglia’s Torn. But it makes sense. As we all know, the boys got big after (being formed on) and appearing on the UK version of The X Factor. And their first song as a group? You got it – Torn by Aussie singer and actress Natalie Imbruglia. See? It all makes sense now, doesn’t it…?
Demi Lovato/Adele – The biggest song in the world right now is – without a shadow of a doubt – Hello by Adele (no, not the Lionel Ritchie Hello). It’s a huge song in every sense of the word. It’s no mean feat to try to warble, only people with top voices can give the tune any justice. But it’s not just the Brit singer who’s capable. Demi Lovato, formerly of The X Factor’s judging line-up, gave a mighty performance that some people even prefer to the original.
Alessia Cara/Justin Bieber – You might just know Alessia Cara here from her song Here, but she was originally was known for her YouTube covers, like so many organic pop stars. And she actually still posts them online from time to time. Just a couple of weeks ago she gave us her cover of The Bieb’s Love Yourself, and even though she claims to have learned it “three seconds ago,” it was pretty much pitch perfect. Good work, Alessia!
Sam Smith and Disclosure/Drake – Drake’s pretty out-there tune Hotline Bling went viral recently. But less for the quality of the song and more to do with the Canadian rapper’s weird dancing in the video. Did you see it? It really was bizarre… Still, it’s a good tune. And it was made – arguably – all the better by Sam Smith and Disclosure with their cover. It almost sounds Caribbean their version. It’s a kind of tropical beat that elevates and make the song so much, well, weirder! What’s even weirder is hearing Sam Smith making a booty call. We just can’t imagine it happening in real life.
Hailee Steinfeld/James Bay – Ender’s Game and True Grit star Hailee Steinfield has carved a bit of a niche for herself recently with her pop career. She’s a truly talented actress (just ask the Academy Awards people), but she’s just as good a singer. This was noticeable this year as she took on James Bay’s hit Let It Go (no, not the Disney Frozen version) and totally smashed it out the park. We still might just favor the original, but we’re sure there are plenty of people out there who might opt for sticking Hailee’s version on the MP3 player instead… And we wouldn’t blame them!
The Vamps/Justin Bieber – It’s been an enormous year for the formerly-fringed bad boy of pop, Justin Bieber. He’s had wild success, bagging global number ones every week almost. His career’s blowing up and his fans – young teenage girls – are loving it. That demographic also love The Vamps and so it’s no surprise that the group might look to JB for a little inspiration. And they did this year when they covered The Bieberman’s hit song Sorry. With a little added guitar and some female bacing vocals, you could argue that it’s a better version.
Halsey/Notorious B.I.G – In her previous song New Americana, singer Halsey name dropped her musical hero, East cost rapper, the late Notorious B.I.G. So it’s clear that she has a lot of love for the big man. And this year she went one better and recorded her version of Biggy’s classic track, Juicy. It’s her her own little spin on it, of course. But it’s a vivid re-imagining and we’re big fans of it. We’re sure even Biggy would have approved.
Selena Gomez/MAGIC – Seemed like you couldn’t move at one point this year for hearing MAGIC!’s omnipresent hit single Rude. It was like it was everywhere. On every music channel. On every radio station. And no wonder – it’s a total tune. But when former Justin Bieber beau and sometime actress Selena Gomez decided to cover it, she thought she lay down a more emotional and seductive version of it. And boy did she! What a cover version.
14 Photos of Taylor Swift Before She Was Famous
While Taylor Swift has now reached mega-star status along the same level as Madonna or Britney Spears, she still came from a regular background and home life before she became famous. How do we know? Her early family photos before Taylor Swift became famous pretty much prove the case. She had the same fun dreams, awkward challenges and fun moments as any girl growing up. The only difference was that her path was going to reach adulthood a lot faster in only a few short years. However, all that fame wasn’t even imagined in those early days when her family photos were taken. Here’s 14 photos of America’s darling pop singer before she became a breakthrough country star and then a knockout pop singles star on the air waves and digital soundtracks:
14. Just Another Toddler?
Who would have guessed that knit purple hat toddler at the playground was going to be a top 40 hit song leader years later?
15 Foreign-Born Celebrities You Thought Were American
Learning about foreigners can be so fun. Taylor Swift is still dating Calvin Harris who is a DJ from Scotland. Wait, what? Calvin Harris is from Scotland? He’s not from Los Angeles or some other place that produces a lot of DJs. Come to think of it, he’s not the only foreigner Swift has dated. There was Harry Styles from One Direction who was born in Redditch, Worcestershire. That sounds like a delicious place to live. It must be where they came up with that condiment called Worcestershire sauce that is made of barley malt vinegar and tamarind extract. These celebs are also foreign-born.
There is sex and the city. Then there is Kim Cattrall and a British city. The Guardian reported that Cattrall moved back to Liverpool when she was 11 years old and she fell in love with acting through a relative who worked for the BBC. “I didn’t want to get married and I didn’t want kids. I knew I wanted to act,” said Cattrall. She maintained close ties to Liverpool and her family there. She currently lives in New York.
15 Celebs With Secret Side Jobs… Who Knew?
A job is a job. The economy still isn’t that great. People have to take what they can get! The awards and Twitter followers are not enough for these celebs. They need more money, more clothes, and more professional validation. If you were a celebrity, wouldn’t you want to use your fame in order to get as many money-making opportunities as you could? You don’t even have to answer that. Next time you use an app to catch a ride or go to the checkout line, don’t be surprised to see your favorite celeb in a place you didn’t expect. Here are the celebs who have been hiding their secret side jobs from you and you never even knew it.
How many celebrities are neuroscientists with a doctorate from UCLA? The number is probably very small. There is at least one celeb who is such a thing and that is Mayim Bialik, according to Kentucky.com. Last year, Bialik even came to Morehead State University to speak about her life and passions. Before she went on to star in “The Big Bang Theory,” Bialik had taught neuroscience for five years! This is a job for science.