At last weekend’s Rock in Rio festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil R&B sensation Janelle Monáe and her band launched through the Jackson 5 classic “I Want You Back,” honoring the late Michael Jackson. While Monae usually sticks to her funky, sci-fi influenced prog-pop style, she also unarguably possesses one of the most impressive voices in pop today, giving her the freedom to cover some of the most challenging and beloved songs in the rock songbook.
As seen in this video from her recent Rock in Rio performance, Monáe and her backing musicians stick closely to the song’s iconic original recording, which is no small accomplishment. She changes her vocal tone to match little Michael’s adolescent squeal, hitting all of his notes without any trouble, and the guitars, bass and keyboard mesh perfectly to recreate the song’s famous riff. Watch the video below.
Janelle Monáe – I Want You Back (Jackson 5 cover)
Check out more from Janelle Monáe on her website.