Good music knows no genre! These pop stars took inspiration from some of metal’s greatest songs and delivered covers that likely turned some of their fans into metalheads.
From epic collaborations which brought together generational stars from multiple generations, to one cover that could even be considered superior to the original, these are 10 times pop stars covered metal classics.
Metallica‘s Blacklist compilation gave longtime fans a whole new way to appreciate metal’s biggest band. In total, 53 artists lent their talents to some of Metallica‘s most classic songs, but no cover made quite a splash as Miley Cyrus‘ version of “Nothing Else Matters” featuring an all-star backing band of Elton John, Yo-Yo Ma, Andrew Watt, Metallica‘s Robert Trujillo and RHCP‘s Chad Smith. You’ve just gotta listen.
When pop star Lizzo took her tour to Berlin, she saluted Germany’s greatest metal band by performing Rammstein‘s “Du Hast.” It’s sort of hard to tell if the crowd was digging it as much as Lizzo was, but the consummate entertainer still created an epic moment at her show. A flute rendition of the main riff would’ve been a nice touch.
This is truly one of the most heart-wrenching covers ever. Black Sabbath‘s iconic ballad “Changes” was given new life by the “Screaming Eagle of Soul” Charles Bradley just a couple of years before the singer’s death. Potentially better than the original, Bradley put his entire being into this cut. Just try and watch this music video without shedding a tear.
You’ve gotta respect how bizarre this choice was. In 2001, Tori Amos took Slayer‘s furious thrash masterpiece “Raining Blood” and essentially turned it into a pop-doom cover. Amos‘ rendition of “Raining Blood” is so ploddingly slow and haunting… like a precursor to Chelsea Wolfe or Lingua Ignota. Maybe it was too artsy for its time, but this cover has aged strikingly well.
Lady Gaga‘s infamous Grammys performance with Metallica would’ve been incredible if the live sound hadn’t been botched. The proof is in the dress rehearsal footage, which Lady Gaga posted to her YouTube channel shortly after the 59th Grammy Awards. It shows what “Moth Into Flame” could’ve been if the starts had properly aligned — a game-changing pop-meets-metal collab.
Mariah Carey didn’t just cover Def Leppard‘s “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak,” she made it into a single and music video. Dave Navarro lent his guitar playing to the R&B cover, which goes beautifully with Carey‘s otherworldly pipes. However unlikely, this cover delivered when it came to execution.
Speaking of unlikely, who ever expected The Cardigans to cover Black Sabbath? The group seemingly committed a cardinal sin by stripping back one of Tony Iommi‘s greatest riffs for this cover, but the decision turned out to be a smart one. Instead of copying perfection, The Cardigans made the Sabbath cut their own and received a good deal of love from metalheads in return.
This isn’t the best Metallica cover you’ll ever hear, but Avril Lavigne and her band did their best with the small amount of time they likely had. According to Lavigne, Metallica asked her to cover “Fuel” for MTV’s 2003 Icon special, which absolutely shocked the teenaged pop star. Lavigne would teach herself to sing in a gruff voice while her band practiced the Metallica cut during their sound checks, and this was the result.
This entry from 2023 brought emerging country-pop star Teddy Swims onstage with one of the most divisive metal bands in recent history. Swims joined Attila onstage in London to sing the band’s 2023 single “Bite Your Tongue,” bring two opposite worlds together for this moment in the Underground.
Pop stars really know how to sing Ozzy Osbourne‘s parts. Putting her country twang on Ozzy‘s most famous ballad, Carrie Underwood crushed this version of “Mama, I’m Coming Home” on The Howard Stern Show. The whole band here was fantastic, and Stern himself was blown away by how good this was. Watch them hit a home run here.
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