A Definitive Kelly Clarkson Cover Ranking, From Least Favorite To Standing Ovation-Worthy — VIDEOS
Obviously, the life of an internationally-renowned singer like Kelly Clarkson is an insanely busy one, but in between shows, appearances, recording her own music, and being a mother and wife, the 33-year-old spends a ton of time listening to other artists. Otherwise, there'd be no other explanation for the seemingly endless list of amazing Kelly Clarkson covers that continue to blow everyone away. Well, the whirlwind continues because on Tuesday, Clarkson covered 'N Sync's "Bye Bye Bye" during her Piece By Piece Tour. Like any other song she puts her spin on, it was basically perfection (even without the famous "Bye Bye Bye" arm choreography).
While it's downright impressive that Clarkson can maintain her own successful career and still have time to basically inhale every song ever known to mankind, she's known to play shy about her cover skills. After perusing every single one of her covers, I noticed she tends to preface each one with a warning that she might screw up or disappoint the original artist. But here's a quick word for Clarkson — jig's up, because everyone knows you know you're amazing at this since you have yet to come remotely close to mangling a single cover.
On that note, allow me to introduce some proof in the form of this definitive ranking of all the songs Clarkson has covered, from least favorite to "standing ovation, I need you to record your own version." And, while every single performance didn't steal my breath away, none of them were screw-ups (so seriously, Clarkson, stop saying that).
Here's the countdown:
59. "The Only Exception" — Paramore
Love ya, Kelly but I gotta keep it real on this ranking.
58. "Stay" — Rihanna
Something in the way Clarkson delivers a note, takes me all the way. But Rih's subtle delivery works better for this song.
57. "Cry Me a River" — Justin Timberlake
This cover wasn't bad (duh, none of Clarkson's covers are), but it wasn't my favorite.
56. "No Scrubs" — TLC
This isn't the best song to cover, so I won't judge Clarkson's version too harshly.
I'm not a huge fan of the original, but Clarkson's version does manage to improve it a little more.
54. "Bang Bang" – Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj
Extra props to Clarkson's background singer, who killed Nicki Minaj's verse.
53. "Stay With Me" — Sam Smith
Clarkson's spin featured an electric guitar and she sang a couple keys higher, but I have to admit it's not my favorite cover from her.
52. "Halo"— Beyoncé
Partial credit for a partial cover, but still gorgeous nonetheless.
51. "Always Be My Baby" — Mariah Carey
Not sure if this meets Mimi's approval, but it's a pretty solid cover.
50. "Call Me Maybe" — Carly Rae Jepsen
Cute cover, but not one of Clarkson's most memorable.
49. "I Hope You Dance" — Leanne Womack
Pretty, but it's definitely one of Clarkson's least standout covers.
48. "I'll Stand By You" — The Pretenders
Even though, I totally stand by this Clarkson cover, she's done others that are way more moving.
47. "Wonderwall" — Oasis
Amazing as usual, but far from Clarkson's best.
46. "The Writer" — Ellie Goulding
A little sleepy, yet beautifully executed.
45. "'Til the World Ends" — Britney Spears
It's Kelly Clarkson, b**ch.
44. "It Will Rain" — Bruno Mars
43. "White Christmas" — Bing Crosby
A magical and soothing spin on a timeless song.
42. "Crazy For You" — Madonna
Covering a Madonna song sounds crazy — but of course, Clarkson pulls it off.
41. "Fix You" — Coldplay
No fixing needed.
40. "I Will Wait" — Mumford & Sons
Seriously, I will wait on a better cover of this song.
39. "You're Still the One" — Shania Twain
C'mon Clarkson, bless us with a country album, already.
38. "Shake It Out" — Florence + Machine
If I didn't know any better, I'd think this was Clarkson's original song.
37. "Princess Of China" — Coldplay Feat. Rihanna
SIGH. So good.
36. "Give Me One Reason" — Tracy Chapman
Perfect way to spice up a classic.
35. "Stand By Your Man" — Tammy Wynette
I literally held my breath in anticipation of the chorus. It was so perfect I almost forgot to start breathing again. (This is otherwise known as the Kelly Clarkson cover effect.)
34. "Wide Open Spaces" — Dixie Chicks
It takes a musical genius to cover a trio and hit every single note.
33. "Somebody That I Used To Know" — Gotye
I used to know someone who wasn't a fan of Kelly Clarkson, which is why we're no longer friends.
32. "You And I" — Lady Gaga
There's somethin' about this Gaga/Clarkson mashup that I am totally digging.
31. "Creep" — Radiohead
30. "When It Don't Come Easy" — Patty Griffin
Simple yet gorgeous.
29. "Girl Crush"— Little Big Town
Is it possible to have a crush on someone's voice?
28. "Nobody Love" — Tori Kelly
I didn't think it was possible to love this song anymore, but Clarkson's soulful ad-libs and harmonies with her background singers made Kelly's hit even better.
27. "Nothing Compares 2 U" Sinéad O' Connor
This cover's officially on repeat.
26. "Oh! Darling" — The Beatles
SLAY, Clarkson. Not everyone can cover The Beatles, but Clarkson is clearly special.
25. "Sweet Child O' Mine" — Guns 'N Roses
Even through muffled sound, Clarkson's raspy version of a rock n' roll classic sounds ah-mazing.
24. "Total Eclipse of the Heart" — Bonnie Tyler
Just like Clarkson to absolutely kill a power ballad.
23. "We Are Young" — fun.
This cover practically set the crowd on fire.
22. "Shake It Off" — Taylor Swift
Clarkson is clearly a Swiftie, but I love how she totally made this song her own.
21. "Jealous" — Nick Jonas
This was effortlessly amazing. Can I give her extra points because she performed this barefoot?
20. "B**ch Better Have My Money" — Rihanna
Extra points for turning this edgy pop song into a tamed-down jazzy version. Still waiting on that Kelly/Rih collaboration.
19. "Perfect" — Pink
Seriously, the only thing that could've made this performance better was if Clarkson incorporated some of Pink's stage acrobatics.
18. "Skyscraper" — Demi Lovato
17. "Stay" – Lisa Loeb
If I only hear what I want to, let that be Clarkson's voice, mkay?
16. "Beautiful" — Christina Aguilera
YAS, Clarkson. A girl after Xtina's own heart.
15. "We Found Love" — Rihanna
This Clarkson cover is just what a girl needs to come alive.
14. "Breathe Me" — Sia
Covering Sia takes some huge guts, and clearly Clarkson was up for the challenge.
13. "2AM" — Anna Nalick
Love the original, but Clarkson's emotional rendition was perfection.
12. "What About Love" — Heart
She nailed it! Who else thinks Clarkson was born in the wrong decade?
11. "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" — Pat Benatar
I can't even handle the sheer awesomeness of this '80s throwback.
10. "Cold Desert" — Kings of Leon
Her delivery is absolutely divine.
9. "Wide Awake" — Katy Perry
I dare you to fall asleep during Clarkson's soulful spin on Perry's pop hit.
8. "Don't Speak" — No Doubt
*Holds a lighter in the air and sways from side to side*
7. "Go Rest High on That Mountain" — Vince Gill
6. "Someone Like You" — Adele
Sheesh, girl. Can you not slay me every single time?
5. "All I Ask of You" Feat. Josh Groban — The Phantom of the Opera
4. "Lose Yourself" — Eminem
Who knew Clarkson had bars? This gave me chills.
3. "Can't Let Go" — Mariah Carey
Um, is there a Grammys category for cover songs? I'm just sayin'...
2. "Ain't No Way"— Aretha Franklin
BRB, retrieving my entire face from the floor.
1. "I Know You Won't" — Carrie Underwood
Bow down to the cover queen, y'all.
So, can someone suggest to Clarkson that she release an album of cover songs, now? She certainly has enough material for one — and it would undoubtedly be the best thing ever. Just sayin'.