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Data Reveals Which Cover Songs Are the Most Popular in Concert

April 26, 2016 by Amy

Cover Songs Infographic

Cover songs have long been a prominent component in the live concert experience. Whether they’re being used to pay tribute, as many artists have done recently in honor of Prince, or simply as a way to spice up the setlist, cover songs add that extra special element that make many live performances truly unique.

Using concert data available over at for 30 of today’s top touring artists, we were able to determine who covers them the most live, who they cover the most, and which of their songs gets covered the most.


In an attempt to gather the most accurate representation as possible, the following stipulations were applied:

1. Can’t be “featured” on a song or performed during a joint or co-headlining tour ( counts those as covers)

2. No tribute bands, cover bands, DJs (except for when tallying total number of times played)

3. No side projects, former band songs, or anything else that would disproportionately skew numbers
ExampleBeyoncé performing Destiny’s Child songs, Paul McCartney performing Beatles or Wings songs


Data Highlights

*Many artists branch out from their familiar genres to cover others, as evidenced by Third Eye Blind taking on Beyoncé, Ice Nine Kills dabbling with Adele, and Nickelback daring to do justice to the one and only, Garth Brooks.

*Over time, some cover songs have become more recognizable than the original. This was especially notable in the case of Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, whose enduring cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Blinded By the Light” easily made the group the top act to most often cover “The Boss.”

*As previously mentioned, the music of Prince has been regularly making its way into setlists over the past week, and that’s not likely to slow down any time soon. Of the 30 artists evaluated in our study, Maroon 5 was found to cover Prince the most in concert.


***Click the image of each respective artist below to watch YouTube videos of various cover songs.***




Beyonce Adele Guns N Roses Coldplay Rihanna Garth Brooks The Who Goo Goo Dolls Journey Justin Timberlake Justin Bieber Florence and the Machine Bob Dylan Maroon 5 Carrie Underwood Taylor Swift Keith Urban Dave Matthews Band James Taylor Pearl Jam Jimmy Buffett Elton John Zac Brown Band Bruce Springsteen Billy Joel Paul McCartney Metallica Mumford and Sons Celine Dion Rolling Stones

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