The '80s are back. Need proof? Jem and the Holograms, the feature film adaptation of the beloved cartoon series named Jem that ran from 1985-1988, is gearing up for its Oct. 23 release.The new movie transports the story of Jem, a pop star who lives a double life, into modern times, and makes some big changes; in the series, Jem used magical earrings to project her hologram pop star self while in real life, she was Jerrica Benton, the head of a foster home for girls, and in the film, Jem is a teenage girl who lives with her three adopted sisters and is propelled into worldwide fame after a video of her singing goes viral. There's no doubt that the original premise of Jem is an eighties-tastic fantasy, but with a plot like that, many might be wondering if Jem from Holograms is based on a real singer.
Though it would be nice to think that the character of Jem was inspired by a real musician who kept her identity a secret from her adoring public, the truth is much more... corporate. Jem creator Christy Marx wrote and created the series after Hasbro approached her to make a series to coincide with the launch of a new doll. Inspired by the success of G.I. Joe — the doll and animated series — Hasbro collaborated with Marx to launch a doll line marketed for girls and a show based on those dolls simultaneously. That said, Hasbro simply provided an outline for Marx. "I came up with the Starlight Girls, Starlight Foundation, Starlight Music, Eric Raymond, all the other secondary characters, the Jerrica/Rio/Jem love triangle and so on," Marx told The Mary Sue.
Jem and the Holograms may not have been inspired by real musicians, but they certainly inspired some themselves. Jem featured a lot of original songs, including lasting hits "Glitter & Gold" and "Truly Outrageous" — many of which were re-recorded and released in a Jem tribute album released in August. Now, with the release of Jem and the Holograms right around the corner, filmmakers have called on fans to cover the new Jem original song, "Youngblood." Here are the top five covers of Jem and the Holograms' "Youngblood" — so far.
Valentina Kusanovic transforms Jem and the Holograms' pop anthem into a haunting, yet inspirational ballad. Plus, her style is on point, and her smile is adorable. I want to be her best friend. A-plus work!
Young singer Alice Lee teamed up with guitarist Dan Kalisher to cover "Youngblood." Lee's rasp adds a bit more of a folksy-rock feel to the track, which is both fun to listen to and super catchy.
Rusty Clanton And Tessa Violet
With their cover, Rusty Clanton and Tessa Violet transformed "Youngblood" into a cute, indie romance. Their harmonies are sweet, and they've got the fun dance moves to match.
This guy uploaded his cover of "Youngblood" through the StarMaker app, which is hosting a contest for Jem and the Holograms fans, so his identity is only known as 'gp25.' I just had to include him in this list — he may not have the most original cover, but his energetic performance is infections, and I couldn't resist.
Jessie Chen toned down "Youngblood" with a piano accompaniment that transforms the pop song into a power ballad. Chen's impressive vocals do most of the work on this one, making it one of the best "Youngblood" covers around.
Expect a lot more "Youngblood" covers after Jem and the Holograms hits theaters.
Images: Universal Pictures