Ralph Stanley: His 10 Greatest Performances

From his signature "O Death" to a surprise Velvet Underground cover

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"O Death"

This stark ballad may have been around since time immemorial, but the traditional folk song about bargaining with death received new life when Ralph Stanley recorded it in 2000 for the O Brother, Where Art Thou soundtrack. To call Stanley's version of "O Death" "haunting" is an understatement. Sung a cappella, it is the essence of ominous, delivered with a mix of gravitas and despair, which he summoned each and every time he performed it onstage, especially during O Brother's corresponding Down From the Mountain Tour in 2002. Listen, with chills.