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10 Best Adele Covers by Country Artists

From Little Big Town’s harmony-rich “Rolling in the Deep” to Sugarland and Adele’s epic “Chasing Pavements”

Adele Jennifer Nettles

Adele performed with Sugarland at the Grammy Awards in 2009.

Kevin Mazur/WireImage

With Adele's 25 officially the biggest album of 2015 — and the first album ever to sell more than three million copies in one week — it's worth pointing out that country artists have been hip to the soulful star for years now and finding ways to pay tribute. More often than not, that means interpreting the U.K. chanteuse's songs live onstage. Or in the case of Little Big Town and David Nail, in special videos or even in the studio.

The majority of country stars gravitate toward "Rolling in the Deep" and "Someone Like You," two of the key tracks on Adele's wildly popular 21 album, while others choose "Set Fire to the Rain" or new single "Hello." Here are 10 of our favorite country versions of Adele songs, from the grace and poise of Danielle Bradbery's "Set Fire to the Rain" to the loose goofiness of Luke Bryan's crowd-assisted "Someone Like You." 

Little Big Town

Little Big Town, “Rolling in the Deep”

With their "Scattered, Smothered and Covered" YouTube series, Little Big Town prove to be skillful interpreters of pop songs like the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" and more. But on their street busker version of Adele's 21 juggernaut "Rolling in the Deep" they throw a curveball: instead of smoldering alto Karen Fairchild, it's sandpaper-voiced Jimi Westbrook who handles the lead parts. Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman and Phillip Sweet answer Westbrook in perfect three-part harmony while Sweet needs only a garbage bucket to make the case that groove is in the heart and hands.

Cam

Cam, “Hello”

From the very first word of this stripped-down take on Adele's comeback single, Cam walks a fine line between the humorous and the heartfelt, changing the song's kickoff lyric from "hello" to "yellow" and, later, subbing in greetings like "Hey boo!" and "Wassup?" for the titular word. It's all very informal — she's reading the lyrics off an iPhone, after all — but that doesn't sap the power from the yellow-obsessed Cam's voice, which fills the studio of The Bobby Bones Show with melodies that swoop and swoon.

Dierks Bentley

Dierks Bentley, “Set Fire to the Rain”

When CMT kicked off their Unplugged series in May 2012, they did so with an acoustic show by Dierks Bentley, who tossed this down-home take on "Set Fire to the Rain" into the setlist. "This is [us] taking the bluegrass instrument and taking a really current pop hit and seeing what happens when they come together," Bentley tells the audience by way of introduction, before launching into a performance that roughs up Adele's hit into something earthy and rugged.

David Nail

David Nail, “Someone Like You”

David Nail was still riding high on the success of his first Number One hit, "Let It Rain," when he recorded his own version of Adele's biggest power ballad in 2012. Uploaded to YouTube that May (and appearing on his 1979 EP), the song takes nearly all of its cues from the original, from the solo piano accompaniment to the downcast, dramatic chorus. Nail flips the tune's gender perspective, though, proving there's just as much heartbreak and unhappiness to be found in the boys' camp.

Pistol Annies

Pistol Annies, “Rolling in the Deep”

Performed during the 2011 installment of Miranda Lambert's annual Cause for the Paws fundraiser, this one-off version of "Rolling in the Deep" finds Lambert teaming up with Pistol Annies partners Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley, both of whom serve as backup singers. The result is a full-throttle, if woozy performance, with Lambert casting a few uncertain looks at the ground, before throwing caution to the wind and letting 'er rip.

Luke Bryan

Luke Bryan, “Someone Like You”

"It's pretty funny that in the home of the world's greatest musicians, I would play piano, because I suck at the piano." So goes the introduction to Luke Bryan's abbreviated, half-serious version of "Someone Like You," performed in Nashville during Jason Aldean's My Kinda Party Tour. With Bryan banging out the chords on piano and a sold-out audience helping him with the high notes, the 2012 performance also marks one of the final times that Bryan — who'd released the triple-platinum "Drunk on You" less than two weeks prior — opened a show for someone else.

Adele Sugarland

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 08: Adele and Sugarland performs at the 51st Annual GRAMMY Awards at the Staples Center on February 8, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Sugarland with Adele, “Chasing Pavements”

At the 2009 Grammy Awards, height-of-their-powers Sugarland shared the stage with a young Adele when her debut album 19 was a promising sign of things to come. Sugarland lead the tandem performance with "Stay," followed by Adele singing 19's "Chasing Pavements." Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush return for the last minute of the song and Nettles does her Georgia-born best to match Adele's tasteful runs. In the moment, it seems to dawn on Sugarland's members that it won't be long before everyone on the planet knows Adele's name.

Danielle Bradbery

Danielle Bradbery, “Set Fire to the Rain”

There's a reason Danielle Bradbery won The Voice as a teenager: lady can flat-out sing. Her YouTube account is full of stark covers of pop songs as requested by fans, including the 21 single "Set Fire to the Rain." While her version — assisted by electric guitar and organ — lacks some of Adele's typical emotional wallop, Bradbery is still a marvelous singer and adds a few of her own nimble vocal riffs for emphasis. Give her a single like this for country radio and see what happens.

Reba McEntire

Reba McEntire and Friends, “Rolling in the Deep”

For her 2011 All the Women I Am Tour, Reba McEntire assembled a supporting cast of vocal duos and groups including the Band Perry, Edens Edge and Steel Magnolia (with James Otto filling in for Joshua Scott Jones opposite Meghan Linsey). Ever the savvy performer, McEntire brings the entire lot out to sing "Rolling in the Deep" and plays bandleader while Kimberly Perry and Linsey take turns on those embittered lines. The guys onstage are relegated to backing vocals, but when they all come together on that massive chorus they come close to capturing the hurricane strength of Adele's original.

Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Clarkson, “Someone Like You”

Kelly Clarkson prefaces this 2012 Brisbane, Australia, performance of Adele’s cathartic, ugly-cry-triggering "Someone Like You" with a long speech about how she's been intentionally avoiding fan requests to cover the song. Of course, she needn't be worried: Clarkson's as technically gifted as Adele and wisely takes some stylistic liberties to prevent her rendition from being simply karaoke. Now, about that country album she's been teasing forever…