They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s special day with other people singing his or her songs. Let others do the work for a while. Happy birthday!
What a year for Rihanna! In 2010 she scored four number one singles, a number one album, a successful tour and numerous collaborations. The girl knows how to keep herself busy. And today, she turns 23 years old. That’s right, 23, with five albums and countless chart-toppers and awards under her belt. Feel inferior yet?
To celebrate, we’ve assembled five genre-crossing covers of her tunes for your enjoyment. It seems everybody has taken a crack at covering Rihanna – even the Chipmunks have had a go – but we’ve sorted the wheat from the chaff for you. Check them out below.
• Vanilla Sky gives “Umbrella” a pop-punk makeover, with big guitars and tight harmonies. The low budget video for this tune became a surprise YouTube hit in 2007.
MP3: Vanilla Sky – Umbrella (Rihanna cover)
• Aston consists of six students of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music who perform classical-style arrangements of popular songs. Here, they take on Rihanna’s hit “Rude Boy” off of Rated R with a surprisingly dramatic result.
MP3: Aston – Rude Boy (Rihanna cover)
• UK ingenue Ellie Goulding follows with her version of “Only Girl (In the World),” taped late last year for the Radio 1 Live Lounge. Accompanied by just a guitar, piano and string quartet, Goulding reveals the song hidden underneath the disco production.
MP3: Ellie Goulding – Only Girl (In the World) (Rihanna cover)
• Joined by Megan Nicole and rapper Eppic, Tyler Ward presents his version of the Eminem and Rihanna collaboration “Love the Way You Lie.” Another simple, stripped down arrangement that allows the song to shine through.
MP3: Tyler Ward – Love the Way You Lie (Eminem ft. Rihanna cover)
• Finally Hobbie Stuart reinterprets Rihanna and Drake‘s collaboration “What’s My Name?” Jeff Buckley-style: slowed down with just an electric guitar accompaniment. His take is subtle, and he even strips out the familiar chorus, but somehow he makes it all work.
MP3: Hobbie Stuart – What’s My Name? (Rihanna ft. Drake cover)
Do we really need to tell you where to check out more Rihanna?