Of all the people who cover Rammstein’s “Du Hast”, not many would have guessed Lizzo. And yet, at her recent arena show in Berlin, Lizzo busted a full rendition of the song, finding true happiness in an unlikely match. For most of the new generation of stars, hard rock songs like “Du Hast” have been there since their childhood – which is probably the reason. Post Malone Livestreamed a pandemic set consisting of Nirvana’s entire repertoire in 2020.
But Lizzo’s recent rendition of “Du Hast” got us thinking: Why don’t pop stars cover heavy songs more often? And who will be the next pop star to channel their heavy metal alter ego? It’s a common move for many hard rock and heavy bands covering pop songs — post-hardcore outfit Our Last Night has been dedicated to covering many Top 40 hits for a decade now — but why is it so rare? happen otherwise?
Perhaps our current “undifferentiated” music scene will allow for more cross-pollination of styles, as seen in hybrid acts like Poppy, Meet Me @ the Altar, and 100 gecs . Maybe one day, Post Malone will fulfill his life long dream essentially fronting a post-hardcore bandand we will all praise him for the pivot.
But for now, let’s take a look at 13 times pop stars wore a little more black than usual and covered punk, hard rock, or heavy metal tracks.
Lizzo — “Naa Ka” (Rammstein Cover)
After the debut of a capella take at the end of February, Lizzo opens March 2023 with a full band experience. It’s a shame he just danced to the synth solo instead of busting out the flute, but the result still got the thumbs up from Rammstein’s Instagram page. How do you say “Twerk” in German? As the video shows, Lizzo is still working on mastering Deutschland’s mother tongue, but the ass-wagging is universal. — Wren Graves
Post Malone — “Heart Shaped Box” (Nirvana Cover)
Love or hate the auto-crooner, Post Malone makes a convincing Kurt Cobain. And while there are plenty of Posty-Nirvana crossovers to choose from — the man did a full 15-song cover set — it’s hard to beat his rendition of “Heart Shaped Box.” He puts enough grit into his vocal performance to pay respect to the original while throwing in his trademark vibrato to give it a tinge of originality. All the while, he nailed the guitar riff in front of Travis Barker, playing Dave Grohl to his Cobain. It’s as polite as it is fun, and it’s really fun to listen to. — Jonah Krueger
Miley Cyrus – “Head Like a Hole” (Nine Inch Nails Cover)
Don’t be fooled by her pop star past or her country roots — Miley Cyrus knows how to sing rock and roll. It’s even better if he leans into something heavier, like his incredible cover of Nine Inch Nails’ 1989 classic “Head Like a Hole.” Cyrus often pulls out covers of rock songs in her sets, but this was a bit of an exception; it was recorded for Cyrus Dark Glass episode “Jack, Rachel and Ashley Too,” a story of a pop star who aspires to play rock songs and suffers from a lack of control over her career. “Head Like a Hole,” then, was her chance — Miley’s and her character’s, Ashley O’s — to show everyone what she could really do. — PR