Britney Spears established herself as a superstar in the late 1990's with some of pop's biggest hits. Over the ensuing decades, not only has she continued to wow audiences, but she's also influenced other singers who have covered some of her most notable songs. There are even some covers that you wouldn't expect! Discover the 7 best Britney Spears covers by clicking the links below, and get tickets to see Britney Spears live here at AXS.
Music fans would likely not put Britney Spears and All Time Low in the same sentence. They're a rock band, not a pop group. But when they appeared on 4Music, they came out with their version of "Hold It Against Me" that was much better than expected. Firstly, props have to be given for the fact that the cover only includes two members of the band; only lead singer Alex Gaskarth and guitarist Zack Merrick appear in the video. It's hard enough for a band to play anything with only part of its roster, but then to cover music that's not even your own is an accomplishment on a whole other level. The duo throws themselves into the song, with Gaskarth giving it the same energy he'd infuse into any of his own tracks, and the end result is a cover that's addictive even if it doesn't have all its parts.
Whenever Weezer stops recording their own music, they should take up being a cover band. Not only did they deliver a killer version of the 80's cult hit "Africa" but they also did an acoustic version of "Hit Me One More Time" that was pretty cool, too. They did the exact opposite of what the song was, transforming it from a pop hit by a solo artist to a rock song covered by an entire band. Essentially, they turned the entire thing upside down. But that's what Weezer does; all of their music has a certain tongue in cheek quality to it (like "Africa"). It's not as impressive as the other covers of the same song on this list, but it's a heck of a lot of fun.
Kelly Clarkson took a page out of Spears' book when she covered "Everytime." It was a refreshing choice because it brought back memories of when Clarkson was herself a young pop singer and the first winner of "American Idol." Her sound has since shifted to include more country and other elements, so to hear her perform a purely pop song showed that she still has that side in her. She also has an exceptionally clear voice, so her version of "Everytime" sounded great. She even added on some huge notes near the end that put her own spin on it.
Like Britney Spears, Lily Allen can be sassy and sultry. So when she recorded her own version of Spears' song "Womanizer" it was an easy fit. The song wound up on her 2009 album It's Not Me, It's You and it's not hard to see why. Allen knows what to do with the track's vocal highs and lows. It's not a song with complicated lyrics; the hooks come from what the singer can do with its short phrases and vocalizations. Allen was able to deliver everything the cover needed to have, with her own extra attitude as the icing on the cake.
Ed Sheeran can sing just about anything and make it sound good, but covering Britney Spears would seem like a reach for him. After all, his music is normally a lot more mellow than her loud pop hits. But Sheeran pulled it off simply by scaling the song back. His version of "Hit Me One More Time" was performed live on tour back in 2013, and it was centered on just him and his guitar. That did away with all of the track's trademark attitude, but it worked for Sheeran because he replaced it with his own charm. Focusing his cover on what he did best made it an easy favorite because it allowed Sheeran to shine instead of just following in Spears' footsteps.
Miguel covered "Hold It Against Me" for Billboard, which you can watch by playing the video above. Since he was recording it professionally and not live or on YouTube, the production values of the cover video are excellent, and Miguel is clearly reveling in both that and the song. He and his band perform the track with some excellent sound and lighting that makes it look great, while Miguel himself takes the song from pop to funk. He slows it down, lingering on a handful of important notes, letting the audience take in the entire song. It's a cover that doesn't feel at all like a cover.
Tony Lucca made headlines when he covered Britney Spears' biggest hit during season two of "The Voice." It became his defining performance on the NBC singing show because it was completely different from anything he'd ever performed before. It's also completely different from the original version, turning it from a fun pop song into a serious rock hit. Plus, there was the added backstory: Lucca knew Spears when both were members of the Mickey Mouse Club. Between that story and the way the cover blew the original away, Tony Lucca's song is tops on this list.
For more on Britney Spears, including tickets to her upcoming concerts, visit her artist page at AXS.