Besides all of the hits that she has sung over the years, Kelly Clarkson has another dimension to her oeuvre with her collection of cover songs. At this point, she could probably release a cover album, and no one would be mad about it because whatever song she covers, she usually kills it. She transformed Rihanna’s “BBHMM” earlier this year and last month she injected some soul into Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space.”
Her newest cover came last night as Clarkson performed at St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center. For each stop on her current tour, Clarkson is taking requests from fans for songs to cover. Seeing as the show was in Minnesota, a fan chose Prince’s “Purple Rain.”
It’s a big ask. Some Prince songs are free to cover. No one will bat an eye if you cover “Erotic City,” or if you take liberties with “Lady Cab Driver” or “Batdance.” But once you start getting into songs like “When Doves Cry,” or “Raspberry Beret,” or “I Would Die 4 U” or the big one, “Purple Rain,” then you’re getting into uncertain territory. Prince’s great songs are so singular, so of their time that any ideas for renditions or modifications should be met with confusion and amazement.
Clarkson stepped up to the plate for “Purple Rain” and...it’s not too bad! She did it justice, retaining its powerful and emotional backdrop while making it her own. Let’s just say that her version would have at least made Billy, the owner of First Avenue, dramatically nod in approval.
Take a look at Clarkson’s upcoming tour dates here.