The actual, official one — by Miley Cyrus — is above. There are about 10 million covers of this thing (Ryan Seacrest runs down about 32 of ’em here, with videos) and despite the fact that the original song came out last fall, you still hear versions of this on the radio every day. Yesterday in two 10-minute drives, I heard this song three times — by three different people. It felt like it was time to evaluate some of the covers. Here we go. Actually, no, before we get going, we need to show this one — it’s not a cover; it’s simply the song over footage of a fight from the Alabama-Oklahoma bowl game. It’s pretty awesome, though.
Alright. Covers time.
This is the Gregory Brothers version, which gives it a country twang and is pretty infectious (feels like you’re on your grandfather’s porch, if your grandfather lives in Kentucky):
This is Rumer Willis. I have a lot of respect for anything she does in her life, because (a) The House Bunny is a fantastically-underrated movie and (b) for a period of time, Ashton Kutcher was her stepfather.
This one is Masha. Many people on the Internet believe this version is actually better than the original. They’re not necessarily wrong.
This is Dixie Chicks. It’s kind of magical that they would even touch this:
This one is Haim. For my money, this might be the best one out there. It’s got a “pep” to it that some of the others seem to lack. (That said, I’m ostensibly tone-deaf.)
This James Arthur version has north of 10 million hits on YouTube, and you can see why: it’s f’n soulful.
This Boyce Avenue one has about 4 million+ views. It’s a little bit more laconic but it has a je-ne-sais-quoi spirit about it, for sure.
This Bri Heart one has gotten some attention as well:
As has the Eli Lieb one, which has a slow strum and instruments too:
This Jasmine Thompson one has about 5 million views on YouTube as well, and begins with her saying “Let’s do this thing.” She has kind of a British Jennifer Tilly voice, which is interesting.
This Chasing Daises one is kind of adorable:
The P.S. 22 cover is also fairly adorable:
I’m sure I missed a ton — although that Seacrest link at the top does have a good deal — but just for some additional context, the song was written by five people (including Dr. Luke). Stephan Moccio was another of the five writers; you may know him as the writer of Celine Dion’s “A New Day Has Come,” which was atop Billboard for about 21 weeks. Much of the same team with “Wrecking Ball” is also associated with “Roar” (Katy Perry), which ties back to the Dr. Luke connection. If you have no idea who Dr. Luke is, start here.
If you think there are better covers out there or ones that were missed here, definitely leave ’em in the comments.