While I was surfing the Internet and listening/watching several Michael Jackson tributes online, I stumbled across the Daily Swarm's article Five Atrocious Michael Jackson Covers, which lists five of the worst MJ covers songs performed by music artists. Fall Out Boy's punk-rock "Beat It," Chris Cornell's acoustic take of "Billie Jean" and Alien Ant Farm's guitar-charged "Smooth Criminal," among others featured on the list.
But then it hit me that '90s R&B crooner Al B. Sure! recently sung a cover of Michael Jackson's touching ballad, "Lady In My Life,"on his just-released new album, Honey, I'm Home. "Lady In My Life," which was penned by songwriter Rod Temperton (of Heatwave fame), appears on Mike's best-selling-album-ever 1982's Thriller. Al B. Sure!'s remake is elegant as the original version and his falsetto gives the song a nice tender touch.
Inspired by the Daily Swarm's piece, I put together a list of the Five Thrilling Michael Jackson Covers:
Al B. Sure -- "Lady In My Life"
As I explained above, Al B. Sure did a great job reworking Michael's classic ballad from Thriller. Al B. Sure was probably shook when he heard the news that MJ had died especially since it happened just two days after he released his new album. What a sad twist of fate.
**ADDED BONUS: Check out Ne-Yo's version of "Lady In My Life" at the BET Awards this past Sunday, right HERE.
KT Tunstall - "I Want You Back" (Jackson 5 cover)
I watched KT Tunstall performed on PBS' SoundStage and she was phenomenal. I was surfing on YouTube for some old KT clips and found this gem -- her acoustic flip of Jackson 5's "I Want You Back." She added a little country twang to the Jacksons' Motown classic.
Tarrus Riley -- "Human Nature" (MJ Cover)Tarrus Riley is a wonderful roots-reggae crooner that is mostly known for his reworking of John Legend's ballad "Stay With You." His take on Michael Jackson's "Human Nature" originally appeared on a reggae charity album, and it will also be featured on his upcoming disc, Contagious (due Aug. 4).
Maysa Leak -- "I Can't Help It" (MJ Cover)
Maysa Leak is a soulful vocalist from the jazz troupe Incognito. This MJ cover is from Maysa's 2007 covers album Feel the Fire. The collection boasts Maysa's reinterpretation of such classic gems as Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" and Chaka Khan's "Feel the Fire," among others. Maysa even offers a nice smooth jazz reworking of Michael's "I Can't Help It."
Marsha Ambrosius -- "Butterflies"
Floetry originally penned this song in 1997 and held on to it. Fours years later, they gave it to Michael Jackson and he recorded it for his final album, Invincible (2001). Then, in 2003, the duo flipped the song for their live album Floacism. I actually prefer Floetry's original version better because Marsha's feathery falsetto is so beautiful.
R.I.P. Michael Joseph Jackson. We Love You!