Over the last year, Halsey has become one of the biggest breakout stars in American pop music. With her distinct, husky vocal delivery and her innovative, lyrical songwriting style, Halsey has won over the hearts of so many music fans around the world. She might be best known for original hits like “New Americana” and “Colors,” but Halsey got her start online recording covers of other popular artists’ songs.
Below we’ve pulled together a list of some of the best Halsey covers she’s sung in concert or in the studio, including covers of contemporaries like Ed Sheeran as well as legends like Fleetwood Mac.
“Birthday” by Katy Perry
Back in the summer of 2014, Halsey visited Sirius XM studios to play an acoustic cover of Katy Perry’s pop hit “Birthday.” Her sweet, heartfelt version is a far cry from Perry’s bouncy original hit, but it’s an excellent new take.
“Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac
Teaming up with St. Lucia at Bonnaroo 2016, Halsey tackled the catalog of the legendary Fleetwood Mac head-on. Halsey’s husky vocals are a perfect match for Stevie Nicks’ original contribution to “Dreams,” Fleetwood Mac’s only No. 1 single.
“Give Me Love” by Ed Sheeran
“Give Me Love” was the last single that British pop heartthrob Ed Sheeran released off his debut album, “+,” and Halsey’s cover retains all the stirring emotions of the original in this early cover song.
“I Walk the Line” by Johnny Cash
Halsey paid tribute to the late, great Johnny Cash with a slowed-down cover of his classic hit “I Walk the Line.” This song was originally featured on the deluxe edition of her debut album, “Badlands,” and it gives a whole new feel to the heartfelt track.
“Juicy” by Notorious B.I.G.
In her massive hit “New Americana,” Halsey sings that she’s part of a generation “raised on Biggie and Nirvana.” According to a number of interviews, Halsey’s father did raise her on old-school hip-hop, and she pays homage to the legendary Biggie Smalls in this live cover of “Juicy.”
“Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber
Halsey worked with Justin Bieber on his recent album, “Purpose,” contributing vocals to the song “The Feeling.” In early 2016 Halsey headed to the studio at an Australian radio station to cover another song off the album, “Love Yourself,” keeping the same stripped-down sound while adding her unique vocal stylings.
“Skinny Love” by Bon Iver
Justin Vernon’s indie folk project Bon Iver has its fair share of mainstream fans, including Beyoncé and Kanye West, so it’s no wonder that Halsey also holds the group in high esteem. Hear her cover of the adored track “Skinny Love” in this early recording.
“The Sound” by The 1975
Another on the list of flawless Halsey covers, this version of The 1975’s “The Sound” translates perfectly to Halsey’s vocal style. Check out this cover recorded in BBC 1’s Live Lounge to hear her on-point rendition of the U.K. group’s hit.
“Trap Queen” by Fetty Wap
This jazzy cover of Fetty Wap’s breakout single “Trap Queen” relies on low-key piano and minimalist percussion to deliver a sound totally unique from the New Jersey-based rapper’s original track.
“When You Were Young” by The Killers
At a handful of her headlining concerts, Halsey has celebrated The Killers’ anthem “When You Were Young” with a powerful live cover. Hear her channel the energy of The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers in this live clip: