California folk pop singer-songwriter Madison Cunningham enjoys her covers, having released an EP full back in 2020. Her latest is a solo acoustic cover of Tina Turner‘s most covered song: “What’s Love Got to Do with It.”
Performed live for the Howard Stern Show, Cunningham’s version begins with her finger-picked guitar and nothing else. Though the tempo is nearly the same at first – a little slower in the verse – the vibe is entirely different. She slows down in the pre-chorus and the chorus, reinforcing how distinct it feels.
Cunningham’s vocal sounds almost rueful. There’s a feeling of liberation in Turner’s performance at times; sure, she’s not entirely happy about coming to this realization, but she knows she won’t get fooled again. Whereas Cunningham’s performance sounds like she’s come to this unhappy realization now it’s pure lament. That attitude fits the rest of the performance, as Cunningham performs it as a traditional folk song, there’s nothing peppy in in it.