The 10 Best Covers of Michael Jackson’s Songs – Rolling Stone
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The 10 Best Covers of Michael Jackson’s Songs

Hail to the King: hear the greatest versions of MJ’s tracks by the artists he inspired

michael jackson covers

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Michael Jackson's classic songs have inspired cover versions in every genere — from R&B to rock to reggae to jazz. Here are 10 of the very best. By Keith Harris

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Miles Davis, “Human Nature”

Jazz musicians are big fans of this lovely Thriller ballad – from smooth saxman George Howard to experimental pianist Vijay Iyer. Davis' straightforward rendition tops them all, keeping Jackson's breathy intimacy intact.

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Sugar Minott, “We’ve Got a Good Thing”

"We've Got a Good Thing Going" is a slight B side that eventually found its way onto Jackson's second solo album in 1972. Minott, a reggae-crooner-turned-dancehall-pioneer, gives it a whole new rough edge.

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Chaka Khan, “Got To Be There”

Jackson's first solo single was a harpsichord-swathed statement of sweet devotion. Khan turns up the volume with a jazzy, husky rendition, leading to a set of climactic high notes that are a lot more suggestive than the original.

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Alien Ant Farm, “Smooth Criminal”

A nu-metal version of Bad's most menacing track, translating Eighties synths into Aughts guitar bombast. These California bros nailed every "Annie, are you OK" and landed their only hit. MJ's genius lifted all boats. 

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