Sometimes the best way to breathe new life into an oft-covered song is to simplify it. Jay Brannan’s version of Adele’s “Someone Like You,” for example, is delightfully refreshing following a slew of covers and a few months off from the track (it seems the world has moved on to admiring the talented songstress’ latest single, “Set Fire To The Rain“).
Since Adele’s 21 came out in America six months ago today, it has enjoyed the level of chart longevity few thought possible in this day and age. The year’s bestseller by a mile, 21 currently ranks at #4 on the Billboard 200, 26 weeks after it first entered the charts. As albums by Lady Gaga and Beyoncé make big first impressions then quickly sink, Adele’s little-album-that-could remains floating above it all.
In honor of what looks to be 2011’s defining album, today we honor its six months of dominance with a special tribute. 21 has inspired countless amateur singers to cover its instantly-related songs on YouTube and below we pull together covers of each. A few faces are familiar to these pages (The Shures, Karmin), but most are little-known fans showing serious potential. We don’t claim these are the absolute best covers of each song on YouTube – if you want to wade through 12,000+ “Rolling in the Deep” covers, be our guest – but they’re ten performances we enjoy. We hope you do too.