A Definitive Ranking Of Beyoncé’s Best Cover Performances

We will always love Bey's way with cover songs.

by Amanda Bell

Beyoncé just proved once again that she’s only the dopest mom ever when she showed up to Blue Ivy’s Los Angeles school fundraiser this weekend and belted out a pitch perfect rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” for the crowd.

She wasn’t the only star to cast her light upon the night — Billy Crystal and Will Ferrell were co-hosts of the event — but like always, once Bey hit the stage, it was a full-on Queen B reign. If you haven’t watched it yet, your week is about to start looking up already. Bookmark this for the repeat treatment because it’s straight fire.
It’s not the first time Beyoncé has worked her special unicorn magic on an old favorite and made it all her own, of course. In fact, B has a whole history of slaying the stage with someone else’s songs, and we wanted to celebrate all the Beyness with a ranking of the best of the best. You’re welcome.

  1. “Sex on Fire” by Kings of Leon (2011)

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    No disrespect to the Kings of Leon, but when Beyoncé started hitting these high notes with her fierce lower register still at full ferocity, it was 100% ownage, and there was just no going back to the original afterwards.

  2. “Proud Mary” with Tina Turner (2008)

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    The 2008 Grammys got extra lit when Bey teamed up with TIna Turner herself to make mary prouder than ever with their performance of the Creedence Clearwater Revival classic. We’ll go rollin’ on a river with you any day, Bey.

  3. “The Closer I Get To You” with Luther Vandross (2003)

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    Beyoncé’s Dangerously In Love album included one of the freshest duets of the millennium when she teamed up with Luther Vandross to revive Robert Flack and Donny Hathaway’s epic ballad. Your ears will thank you for tuning into this beauty.

  4. “I Wanna Be Where You Are” by Michael Jackson (2011)

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    Beyoncé said that MJ was a supreme inspiration for her as an artist, and that totally came through with her riveting, multi-level delivery of one of Jackson 5’s finest.

  5. “Fever” by Little Willie John (2003)

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    Body temperatures were definitely on the rise all through the night after Bey performed this number from The Fighting Temptations soundtrack.

  6. “Back to Black” by Amy Winehouse (2013)

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    Jay Z was the executive producer on The Great Gatsby’s soundtrack, so we expected Beyoncé’s contributions to be nothing short of legendary, and she did not disappoint. Her super sexy rendering of Amy Winehouse’s critically acclaimed single was beyond beautiful.

  7. “Ex Factor” by Lauryn Hill (2014)

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    B’s On The Run tour picked up some serious speed when she dropped this soulful version of Lauryn Hill’s second Miseducation of Lauryn Hill single. We were crazy in love with this performance for sure.

  8. “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley (2007)

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    Does Bey’s voice make us crazy? Possibly… in the best way. Her take on the sing-along song was brief but insanely gorgeous enough to make our heads spin. Oh, and no one ever has to ask her “who do you, who do you, who do you think you are?” Because they know.

  9. “The Way We Were” by Barbra Streisand (2008)

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    B took us straight to the corners of our minds with this enchanting and romantic vision of all the sappy memories and proved there is literally no song that she can’t slay.

  10. “A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke (2013)

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    Powerful doesn’t even begin to describe Beyoncé’s edition of this historically significant song. Better stock up on tissues before you hit the play button on this one because SOB.

  11. “At Last” by Etta James (2009)

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    At the first inauguration of President Obama, Beyoncé bared her soul (and revisited her Cadillac Records counterpart) with a chilling take of the bluesy serenade. It … doesn’t get much better than that, world.

  12. “Fingertips Part 1,” “Master Blaster (Jammin’),” and “Higher Ground” by Stevie Wonder (2015)

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    Everybody was saying YEAAAAAAAH to Bey’s energetic three-part tribute to the man of Motown. Not only was she clearly feeling herself, but she, Ed Sheeran and Gary Clark, Jr. took the bar on tribute covers and threw it straight to the sky where it’ll remain untouchable for the rest of eternity.