A good Bonnie Raitt cover certainly can make us love you. Performing at the American Foundation for AIDS Research Inspiration Gala last Thursday night, Katy Perry covered a song that “needs no introduction.” That song being Raitt’s 1991 classic “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” one of the most gut wrenching songs ever put to record. Gut wrenching isn’t so much a part of her usual palette, but fresh from covering Al Green last week and perhaps stirred by her recent split with John Mayer, Perry did Raitt better than good by hitting all the high notes and leaning into all the song’s emotions.
President Obama has not, to our knowledge, covered “I Can’t Make You Love Me” (yet!), but plenty of other talented musicians have. The song has served as a right of passage for American Idol contestants aplenty, and as hallmark for emotionally savvy artists like Adele, Bon Iver and Tank. We hadn’t yet considered the California Gurl and the inventor of the whipped cream bra as the later, but she has proved us wrong with a cover that ranks up with our mom’s cover of the song (forever our #1).
How do you think she did? Do you have a favorite “I Can’t Make You Love Me” cover?