20 Acts Whose Biggest Hit Was a Cover Song
Whether they turned a good song into a great song or just reinvigorated an old classic, these 20 acts secured the biggest hit of their career (so far) with a cover song.
Elvis Presley's most successful song was a cover of Big Mama Thornton. The crown jewel of Elvis’ untouchable body of work, “Hound Dog,” sold over 10 million copies globally and topped the U.S. pop chart for 11 weeks, cementing a record that stood for a staggering 36 years.
Fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Joan Jett created one of music’s most illustrious solo careers after leaving the Runaways. However, her only No. 1 hit is “I Love Rock ’n’ Roll,” a cover of an Arrows song from the ‘70s. Most people don’t even know Jett’s mega-hit is a cover, proving how synonymous the song is with rock’s leather-clad queen.
Tesla’s "Signs” is instantly recognizable, but it was the second time the song was a huge hit. Five Man Electrical Band popularized the cut in 1971, selling half a million copies of the single. When Tesla made their version of “Signs,” it peaked all the way at No. 8, besting the original, which only hit No. 24. Thanks to “Signs,” Tesla sold a million copies of their 1990 album, Five Man Acoustical Jam.
Check out the 20 Acts Whose Biggest Hit Was a Cover Song in the gallery below.