Earlier this week Lana Del Rey released a hauntingly beautiful cover of Andrew Webber’s “You Must Love Me,” made popular by Madonna in the 1996 musical Evita.
The Oscar-winning track is wistfully mournful under Del Rey’s reign, turning it into the sounds of a dark, soulful daydream—much to that of Del Rey’s reoccurring music aesthetic.
Del Rey covered the song for an upcoming Andrew Lloyd Webber compilation, which will also include covers from Beyoncé and Barbara Streisand, among others. Even still, the song choice is fitting for Del Rey as the singer is currently writing a Broadway musical of her own and is no stranger to covering popular old-Hollywood songs.
From Nina Simone to Tony Bennett, when Lana Del Rey decides to cover a song by another artist, she nails it. With her sultry vibe and dream pop sound, the 32-year-old gives new life to classic tracks. Here are some of the best covers from Lana Del Rey.
Del Rey was chosen by Angelina Jolie to sing this Disney classic for the 2014 live action “Sleeping Beauty” remake Maleficent — and we get why. Del Rey turns the sweet “Once Upon A Dream” into a spooky rendition that’s chilling yet alluring, making it the perfect theme song for this fairy tale adaptation.
It’s not an easy task covering blues, jazz singer Nina Simone but Del Rey makes it sound easy. This cover of Simone’s “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” was the last track on Del Rey’s 2015 album Honeymoon. The song is a soulful mash-up of romantic strings and woozy guitar strums, giving Del Rey’s sultry drawl an elegant edge.
It’s a bold move to cover legend Nina Simone, let alone two songs of hers. But Del Rey not only succeeds at it, she also makes the tracks her own. Del Rey’s melancholy harmony suits the trilling lyrics of Simone’s “The Other Woman” as her voice drips with the envy of unrequited love. The result is a roller-coaster of emotions to close out Del Rey’s third studio album Ultraviolence.
Tony Bennett’s 1951 “Blue Velvet” has been sung by many famous crooners — most notably Bobby Vinton — but Del Rey’s languorous version is matched only by the original. Her cover is the kind of song that’s super sexy but will simultaneously make your heart ache. The track was first recorded as part of the promotion for H&M’s L.A. Noir collection, but it was too good to just be used for advertising and in-turn appeared on her second record Paradise.
Straying away from the old-school, Hollywood classics, Del Rey’s cover of Nirvana’s “Heart Shaped Box” was met with mixed reviews. Giving her wistful aesthetic a rest and stripping the track of its original grit, Del Rey sings “Heart Shaped Box” with a delicate melody much different from that of her other covers.
In this collaboration with her then fiancé Barrie-James O’Neill, Del Rey sings Nancy Sinatra’s “Summer Wine” with breathy precision over swelling strings and hollow piano keys. This cover was never officially released but it still received nearly 20 million views on YouTube thanks to the homemade music video the pair produced and shared for the track.
The late Leonard Cohen wrote “Chelsea Hotel No. 2” about a short, romantic fling between himself and Janis Joplin. It’s a beautifully sad song about the comings and goings of love — a seemingly perfect fit for Del Rey’s melancholy drawl and repertoire of doleful songs. Although her cover is softer and more melodic than Cohen’s original, you can still hear Del Rey’s own sadness linger in its lyrics.