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Chris Cornell: 8 Great Acoustic Covers

Hear late Soundgarden singer try his hand at favorites by the Beatles, Metallica, Michael Jackson and more

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Hear great covers by late Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell, including versions of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" and Led Zeppelin's "Thank You."

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Chris Cornell always had a mellow side, but in his later years, the Soundgarden singer developed into a bona fide wandering rock troubadour, often embarking on solo acoustic tours. His “Nothing Compares 2 U” cover went viral last year, but that was just the tip of the iceberg: Throughout his career, Cornell used the setting as a chance to show off his extremely broad range of influences, reconfiguring songs by everyone from Metallica to Bob Marley in smart and surprising ways. Here are some of our favorite examples.

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Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean”

Cornell brought out the mournful overtones of the Thriller smash, turning it into a downbeat folk ballad, on this 2013 live version.

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Elvis Costello, “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding”

At a 2003 Lollapalooza stop in Seattle, Cornell reunited with Tool frontman and fellow Lolla alum Maynard James Keenan for an impassioned version of the wry Nick Lowe–penned classic.

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Bob Marley, “Redemption Song”

Seemingly every acoustic-guitar-wielding singer-songwriter eventually takes on Bob Marley’s timeless anthem of hope, and Cornell was no exception. In 2015, he performed the song in New York with help from his daughter Toni.

Watch Chris Cornell’s most memorable songs.

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