Maxwell – The Lady in My Life (cover)

If you’re a singer, doing a cover of a popular song can be a tricky thing for 2 main reasons: 1) people are often so used to the original version, that trying to put your own spin on it won’t go over well, and 2) oftentimes the artist doing the cover will stay so true to the original that it will sound like karaoke at best and a bad American Idol audition at worst. Taking this into consideration, doing a cover of a Michael Jackson song can be disastrous because one of the most celebrated figures in the history of music did that song before you. The video above, which shows Maxwell covering MJ’s The Lady in My Life at a Grammy nomination special earlier this year, is an example of a cover done right. He stays relatively true to the original, but still puts his “brand” on it, even down to him stating he wants to “give you a back rub” and “paint your toenails” – no comment. I still wish Maxwell would release a studio version of this, but I’m not gonna hold my breath.

If you’ve been living under a rock since 1982 and never heard Michael Jackson’s original, cop it below and compare the two. And while you’re at it, check out the LiML-sampling Hey Lover from LL Cool J, who introduced Maxwell in the above video.