For more about that “part of our journey,” click on over to these…
This really was the “Hallelujah” TV cover that started it all. In 2008, when Castro performed a vulnerable acoustic version on Idol’s top 16 week, judge Simon Cowell noted that the late Jeff Buckley’s 1994 rendition was one of his favorite recordings of all time. This resulted in a huge sales spike for Buckley’s “Hallelujah,” propelling it to the top spot on the iTunes singles chart. The single was later certified platinum, 14 years after its original release and 11 years after Buckley’s death; at the time, this was the biggest digital sales spike for a song performed by an Idol contestant. Cohen’s original and a version by Rufus Wainwright also received sales boosts, and Castro himself appeared briefly in the top spot on iTunes chart (he was removed due to Idol producers not wanting to favor any one contestant; it was a very different world then). Eight years later, Castro’s “Hallelujah” is still considered one of the greatest performances in American Idol history.
“Hallelujah” has also been recorded by Rufus Wainwright, Bob Dylan, k.d. Lang, Bon Jovi, and countless contestants on American Idol (including season seven contestant Jason Castro, who had a minor hit with it and created another moment for Buckley’s version).
In March 2008, after American Idol contestant Jason Castro sang Buckley’s arrangement of “Hallelujah” on Fox’s talent competition, Buckley’s recording shot to #1 on the Top Digital Songs chart.
In 2008, during the seventh season of American Idol, Jason Castro performed Buckley’s version of the song, which propelled the late singer’s version to the top of download charts
And you definitely want to check out Billboard’s list of 12 Most Memorable Covers of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’, because it wraps up with Leonard Cohen’s own original version.
RIP, Mr. Cohen. The world has lost a poet.