10 Best Covers of Percy Sledge's 'When a Man Loves a Woman'

Hear Bette Midler, Frank Ocean and a pre-teen Ryan Gosling rework the Southern soul classic

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Esther Phillips, "When a Woman Loves a Man" (1966)

As "Little Esther," she'd scored three Number One hits at the age of 14 – but that had been back in 1950, and the 30-year-old Esther Phillips had gone through a decade of drug addiction and commercial failure before she'd re-emerged with 1962's "Release Me." Boosted by an endorsement from the Beatles, she scored another hit in 1965 by covering their "And I Love Her" as "And I Love Him"; she applied the same gender-flipping trick to her world-weary version of Percy Sledge's song, which entered the R&B chart just six weeks after "When a Man Loves a Woman."