The First Lady of Rock N Roll has already signed, stamped, and sealed her uniquely uninhibited, raw, and gutsy singing style into an iconic vocal prowess. No other artist can quite compare to Janis Joplin. While it seems such an intimidating feat to sing any of Joplin’s iconic tracks, there are some artists, and not particularly rock singers, who have already covered her hits. See for yourself if these ladies did Janis any justice.
Here are 5 female pop singers who covered Janis Joplin.
1) P!nk – Me and Bobby McGee
Janis Joplin popularized this hit song written by country singer Kris Kristofferson. And if any pop singer can take a Janis song to another level and make it her own, it’s gotta be P!nk. Both female rockers bring an edgy, powerful take to any song they sing. Like Joplin, P!nk’s songs speak about their real and honest troubled experiences such drugs, depression, and heartbreak – and both singers are really open about not caring what other people think.
Even in with just an acoustic guitar to accompany her, P!nk brings all the blues-rock snarl to this Joplin classic and surprises us with her fearless display of vocal acrobatics.
We think Janis would approve! Listen to the video below
2) Kelly Clarkson – Piece of My Heart
There are many similarities between American Idol alum superstar Kelly Clarkson and rock goddess Janis Joplin. They both hail from good ol’ Texas. They were both first signed by music mogul Clive Davis for their debut albums. And both are big-voiced powerhouses who can really take it all the way home in their performances.In this video clip, Clarkson sings a snippet of the Joplin iconic hit “Piece of my Heart” as part of a medley of her musical influences. Of course, nothing beats Joplin’s original, but Clarkson seems to enjoy herself in the song and does it justice. She does have the raspiness to her voice which was a signature style to any Janis Joplin song. Clarkson even nails those high notes. Think she did good job on her attempt on channeling her inner Joplin?
Watch and see for yourself:
3) Faith Hill – Piece of My Heart
Now, it might not be your typical cover of an iconic blues rock anthem, but here is one of the most successful country artists, multi-award winning singer Faith Hill country-fying Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart”. Interestingly, this cover of hers was released as one of her earlier singles which actually landed as a number one hit on the charts in 1994. Four years after, Hill then went on to re-record the country version of the song in 1998 as a soundtrack to the TV series “King of the Hill”. Hill sure adds a sugary-sweet take on the originally rough and edgy rock song.
What do you think of Hill’s cover? Check it out below
4) Jewel – Me and Bobby McGee
Pop country singer Jewel sang a duet with America’s Got Talent contestant and eventual winner Michael Grimm on the show’s 5th season. Jewel came as the celebrity guest artist surprising Grimm who is a fan of hers. They belted out the Kris Kristofferson-written Janis Joplin classic “Me and Bobby McGee”. Grimm played the guitar and started out the song solo. Jewel came out to the stage to join him after the first chorus. She sang the second verse and they proceeded with nailing a harmonizing duet for the rest of the song. Jewel of course brings her unique delicate yet soulful style to the song, complimented by Grimm’s smooth and passionate take, it makes for a different yet refreshing version of this Joplin hit.
5) Joss Stone – Janis Joplin Medley with Melissa Etheridge
British soul princess Joss Stone teams up with rock veteran Melissa Etheridge on a duet to Janis Joplin’s “Cry Baby” and “Piece of My Heart”. Stone admits her style is heavily influenced by Joplin saying,
“When I was a kid, I used to listen to Janis Joplin because I was so in awe of her accent. I would kind of put on the voice really strong and, without knowing it, I was kind of teaching myself how to sing in this soulful manner.”
And that really strong voice is brought out in her take of Joplin’s “Cry Baby” as she opens the set of her and Etheridge’s Grammy performance.