Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen song)

Knowledge Identifier: $Hallelujah_(Leonard_Cohen_song)

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Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen song)

Song written by Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, originally released on his album Various Positions add

Category: Music (410)

Launched in 1984.

Countries: United States (29%), Canada (13%), UK (9%)

Main connections: Rufus Wainwright, Espen Lind, Donald Trump

Linked to: Australian Recording Industry Association, The Official Charts Company, Music Canada, Irish Recorded Music Association

 

Timeline


 

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1984

Following his original 1984 studio-album version, Cohen performed the original song on his world tour in 1985, but live performances during his 1988 and 1993 tours almost invariably contained a quite different set of lyrics with only the last verse being common to the two versions add something


1988

Bob Dylan was among the first to perform Cohen's song in concert with his earliest noted performance being in Montreal on 8 July 1988 add something


1991

First recorded by Cale in 1991 for the Cohen tribute album "I'm Your Fan" add something

 

Since 1991, "Hallelujah" has been performed by a wide variety of singers: over 300, and in various languages add something


1994

Jeff Buckley, inspired by Cale's earlier cover, recorded one of the most acclaimed versions of "Hallelujah" for his only complete album, "Grace", in 1994 add something


1995

Bono's version, which is mostly spoken, was included in "Tower of Song", an all-star tribute to Cohen in 1995 add something


1997

Buckley's version was not an instant hit, nor did Buckley live to see the full measure of the reception his recording would ultimately have; he died in 1997 add something

 

Canadian-American musician and singer Rufus Wainwright had briefly met Jeff Buckley and recorded a tribute to him after his 1997 death add something


2002

The album on which it appeared did not go &Gold (RIAA_certification) in the U.S. until 2002, nine years after its release add something


2003

Crowe performed the song for a national television special broadcast annually across Canada each year from 2003 through 2008 add something

 

The "Shrek" soundtrack, containing Wainwright's cover, was certified Double Platinum in the United States in 2003 as selling over two million copies add something


2005

In 2005 blues singer and guitarist Popa Chubby released "Big Man Big Guitar" containing a live version add something

 

Nerdore Rapper Beefy recorded a version in 2005 as a B-Side to his first album The Whitesican EP that was later released in his Pale By Comparison compilation add something

 

She has since sung it at several major events, such as at the Canadian Juno awards of 2005, where it "brought the audience to its feet for a two-minute ovation add something


2006

In 2006 the Norwegian quartet of Espen Lind, Kurt Nilsen, Alejandro Fuentes and Askil Holm released a cover of the song add something

 

In fact, like Cohen's original, the Buckley version was never released as a single, and it first charted posthumously in 2006 add something

 

Lang sang it at the 2006 Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame when Cohen was inducted into the Hall of Fame add something

 

The song appears on the 2006 album "Hallelujah Live", credited to Espen Lind with Kurt Nilsen, Alejandro Fuentes and Askil Holm, which reached the top of the Norwegian albums chart add something


2007

In 2007 it made the top 3 on the Swedish charts add something

 

In 2007, Sony BMG rereleased the album with a live music video of the song add something

 

Later, in 2007 it was released as single add something

 

The song was covered by Brian Melo during the final performance round of the fifth season of "Canadian Idol" in 2007; Melo would go on to win the title add something

 

After debuting at number 8 on the Norwegian VG-lista, the single reached number 1 in January 2007 add something

 

In September 2007, a poll of fifty songwriters conducted by the magazine "Q" listed "Hallelujah" among the all-time "Top 10 Greatest Tracks" with John Legend calling Buckley's version "as near perfect as you can get add something


2008

Also in 2008, the Welsh band Brigyn released a version in Welsh add something

 

International group Il Divo released a Spanish-language adaptation with different lyrics on their album "The Promise" , which topped the charts in the UK. The song was performed by singer/songwriter Damien Rice at the 2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions when Cohen was inducted add something

 

Statistics from the Recording Industry Association of America ; the Canadian Recording Industry Association; the Australian Recording Industry Association; and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry show that, by late 2008, more than five million copies of the song sold in CD format add something

 

It hit number one in France in March 2008 add something

 

The song was covered by Jason Castro, an American Idol season 7 contestant, on 4 March 2008 add something

 

The sudden resurgence of interest provided both &Gold (RIAA_certification) and Platinum status, the RIAA certifying the digital track on 22 April 2008 add something

 

"The Guardian", 19 December 2008 Burke herself was not enamoured of the choice of song, remarking "It just didn't do anything for me add something

 

It reached Christmas number one on the UK Singles Chart on 21 December 2008 add something


2009

A 2009 hit by Orthodox Jewish singer Ohad Moskowitz, "Bo'i Kala", featuring the words of the traditional tune accompanying a Jewish bride to the chuppah, is a musical adaptation of "Hallelujah" add something

 

Lisa Hordijk, winner of the 2009 Dutch "X Factor" released "Hallelujah" as her debut single, which went double platinum and remained at the top of the Dutch charts for ten weeks add something

 

In an April 2009 CBC Radio interview, Cohen said that he finds the number of covers of his song "ironic and amusing" given that when he first wrote it, his record company wouldn't put it out add something

 

In July 2009, the Buckley track was ranked number three on the 2009 Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time, a listener poll held every decade by the Australian radio station "Triple J" add something


2010

Also in 2010, the Maccabeats of Yeshiva University released "Voices from the Heights", with an "a cappella" version with the words of the Jewish liturgy "Lecha Dodi" add something

 

Neil Diamond recorded it for his 2010 album, "Dreams" add something

 

On 16 April 2010, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and the Richard Eaton Singers conducted by Jack Everly premiered a new arrangement for orchestra and chorus by Claude Lapalme add something

 

In May 2010 on "Australia's Got Talent" a version sung by 15-year-old Bobby Andonov led judge Dannii Minogue to declare, "Bobby, I have heard so many versions of that song, that is now my favourite version of that song and you can print that tomorrow" add something

 

It has sold 1,144,000 digital copies in the US as of May 2010 add something

 

A video of the song was filmed in Toronto, Canada in December 2010 by filmmaker Greg Riccio Jr. supporting the Free Hugs Campaign to promote random acts of kindness add something


2011

German metal guitarist Axel Rudi Pell released a cover of the song on his album "The Ballads IV" and as a single in 2011 add something

 

Steven Page performed the song live at the state funeral of Canadian Opposition Leader Jack Layton on 27 August 2011 add something


2012

In 2012, Carly Rose Sonenclar sang "Hallelujah" as her final song on the US television show "The X Factor add something

 

In early 2012, during interviews advancing his latest album, "Old Ideas", and more touring, Cohen says that he's not tired of the song being covered: "There's been a couple of times when other people have said can we have a moratorium please on 'Hallelujah'- Must we have it at the end of every single drama and every single Idol- And once or twice I've felt maybe I should lend my voice to silencing it but on second thought no, I'm very happy that it's being sung add something

 

The Swiss pop rock singer Bastian Baker released a cover in 2012, which charted in Switzerland and France add something


2013

In 2013, Straight No Chaser covered the song on their "Under the Influence" album add something

 

On April 20, 2013, Buckley's version of the song was played at Fenway Park during a tribute honoring the victims of the Boston Marathon Bombings before the Red Sox played their first home game following the tragedy add something

 

South African singer Karen Zoid released a version as a tribute to former South African president Nelson Mandela in December 2013 add something


2014

Irish priest Father Ray Kelly was officiating a wedding at Oldcastle church in Meath, Ireland in March, 2014 when he decided to surprise the couple, Chris and Leah O'Kane, performing a version with lyrics written for the occasion add something

 

On April 2, 2014 it was announced that Buckley's version of the song will be inducted into the Library of Congress's National Recording Registry add something

 

It has sold 1,28 million as of December 2014, making it the biggest selling "X Factor" winner's single to date add something


2015

On 31 May 2015, a 167-piece operatic choir Côr Glanaethwy sang a rendition in Welsh in the final of "Britain's Got Talent" add something


2016

April 2016 Canadian singer songwriter Reid Jamieson includes the song on his tribute album, "DEAR LEONARD: The Cohen Collection" add something

 

August 2016 British Tenor Jonathan Antoine includes the song on his second album "Believe" add something

 

On October 21, 2016, Pentatonix released a music video for its cover add something

 

"Hallelujah" experienced renewed interest following Cohen's death in November 2016 and appeared on multiple international singles charts, including entering the American "Billboard" Hot 100 for the first time add something

 

On 12 November 2016, an episode of "Saturday Night Live" opened with cast member Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton performing a rendition of the song in tribute to both Cohen and Clinton; the preceding week had seen both Cohen's death and Clinton's unexpected loss to Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. presidential election add something


2017

In 2017, The International Observer named Buckley's version of "Hallelujah" the greatest song of all time add something

 

On 20 May 2017, the season finale of "Saturday Night Live" opened with Alec Baldwin appearing as Donald Trump performing a reprise of the song, joined by a cast of characters from the Trump administration add something

 

On 26 May 2017, Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington, who took his own life almost two months later, sang it at the funeral for former Soundgarden and Audioslave singer Chris Cornell after he hung himself a week before in a Detroit hotel room add something


2018

On 7 May 2018, Madonna performed a version of the song at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute in New York City add something

 

Released on 12 June 2018 under the alternative title "Free Tommy Robinson", it charted in the UK iTunes Charts add something