Top 10 Best Versions of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah

Hallelujah, the iconic song by the late Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, has taken on a life of its own since its release in 1984. The song's powerful lyrics and haunting melody have resonated with generations of music lovers and have been covered by countless artists across a wide range of genres. From the melancholic original to the heart-rending renditions by contemporary artists, Hallelujah has been interpreted in many ways, each bringing its unique spin to the timeless classic.

Whether you prefer the stripped-down acoustic versions or the grandiose orchestral adaptations, one thing is for sure - Hallelujah has the power to move and inspire like few other songs can.

But we need your help to determine which versions are truly the best. We've already received hundreds of votes, and now it's your turn to weigh in. Whether you're a lifelong fan of Cohen or just discovering Hallelujah for the first time, we invite you to join us in celebrating this iconic song and the artists who have given it new life over the years.
The Top Ten
1 Peter Hollens Peter Hollens' rendition is a vocal-only version that highlights his impressive a cappella skills.

Most other singers try to outdo Cohen on his own song. Not here. Peter deliberately had Jackie Evancho go into her upper range high notes to set a contrast between his mellow tenor voice and hers. This makes this cover version unique to all other covers done.

The crescendo they do at the 3:06 mark is one of the most dynamic you will ever hear on an A Capella recording of any song.

Peter and Jackie got together and performed this again live at Jackie's recent concert at the Newmark Theater in Portland, OR. Perfect blending of voices.

2 Jeff Buckley Jeff Buckley's version is known for its hauntingly beautiful guitar work and his soaring vocals that reach an emotional climax in the song's final verse.

I think it's simply the most sincere of all versions. It doesn't try to outdo Cohen with big arrangements or show off some jaw-dropping, pretentious, and hollow vocal performance. It's the original song stripped down to its ethereal essence and feeling.

In a way, it gives me the same vibe as the Hurt version by Johnny Cash or My Funny Valentine by Chet Baker. It's the perfect version. Not because it's the biggest, more ambitious one, but because it has exactly what the song needs to feel perfect, nothing more, nothing less.

3 Leonard Cohen "Hallelujah" is a song written and originally performed by Leonard Cohen. His version has a deep, melancholic quality that captures the essence of the song's lyrics.

Over 480 different cover versions of this, topped only by "Yesterday" and a couple of Christmas carols. Leonard Cohen makes everybody else sound like an amateur.

Original is always best. He did write it after all. I just can't figure out what is supposedly so great about the Buckley version.

Absolutely nobody can top the guy who actually composed the song and lived the events that inspired it.

4 Rufus Wainwright Rufus Wainwright's version is known for its sparse, delicate instrumentation and his haunting vocals. It has a quiet, contemplative quality that draws the listener in.
5 KD Lang KD Lang's rendition is a stirring, slow-paced ballad that showcases her powerful voice and her ability to convey deep emotion through her singing.

Best cover of Hallelujah ever done by far! KD is one of my favorite singers. Her range is amazing, and her performance of Hallelujah at the 2010 Olympics was truly amazing.

When asked to sing this at the opening ceremonies for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver with Lang, Cohen deferred, saying something along the lines of "You have KD. What do you need me for?"

The only person other than Cohen who really emotionally knows what this song is. Is it a coincidence that they are both Canadian?

6 Willie Nelson Willie Nelson's version has a distinctive country flavor and features his trademark vocal style, which is both understated and powerful.
7 John Cale John Cale's rendition is known for its stripped-down, almost minimalist instrumentation, which puts the focus squarely on his plaintive vocals.
8 Pentatonix Pentatonix's take is a modern a cappella arrangement that showcases the group's harmonizing abilities and features a powerful lead vocal by Scott Hoying.

I love this band and their songs are amazing, especially Say Something and Hallelujah. Another favorite is Imagine. They truly are amazing, and the song is just so precious. I hope they have fun on their tour. I love them so much! They make me cry sometimes.

I still get chills when I hear this version. Their skill and power is unparalleled.

When you listen with headphones, the beautiful harmony is even richer!

9 Bon Jovi Bon Jovi's version is a rock-infused take on the song that features soaring guitars and Jon Bon Jovi's powerful vocals.

This must be by the tribute band, since the great version actually by Bon Jovi is already listed.

10 Bob Dylan Bob Dylan's version is a sparse, acoustic take on the song that emphasizes the lyrics' poetic qualities.
The Contenders
11 Allison Crowe Allison Crowe's version has a raw, passionate quality that emphasizes the song's emotional depth. Her performance is accompanied by her own piano playing.

Communicating emotion without sentimentality is a unique gift and talent of Allison Crowe. She's able to perform Leonard Cohen's song in her unique way, which reaches so many people who desire such authenticity.

12 Susan Boyle Susan Boyle's version is a dramatic, powerful interpretation that highlights her soaring vocals and emotional depth.
13 Regina Spektor Regina Spektor's rendition is known for its sparse, piano-driven instrumentation and her distinctive vocal style.
14 Justin Timberlake Justin Timberlake's version is a soulful, R&B-infused interpretation that features his smooth vocals and rich orchestration.
15 Celine Dion and The Canadian Tenors Celine Dion and The Canadian Tenors' version is a dramatic, operatic interpretation that features soaring vocals and rich orchestration.
16 Il Divo Il Divo's version is a classical crossover arrangement that features the group's trademark harmonies and lush orchestration.

Even without "understanding" the non-English lyrics, I was crying before the end of the first verse. Their rich voices and phenomenal balance of volume is non-equaled.

17 Chester Bennington Chester Bennington's version is a raw, stripped-down take on the song that showcases his powerful, emotional vocals.

This has got to be one of the most emotional covers for this song. Chester sang this at Chris Cornell's funeral, and you can tell he was hurt. Chris wasn't just some celebrity to him. He was pretty much family.

18 Neil Diamond Neil Diamond's version is a gentle, contemplative take on the song that emphasizes the lyrics' poetic qualities.

This song needs an older singer no matter who it is. This is a celebration of the realization of a life lived well.

19 TakeNote TakeNote's version is a modern a cappella arrangement that showcases the group's harmonizing abilities and features a powerful lead vocal by Kyra Kisor.

This is the Clemson TakeNote a cappella singers from their 2007 album "Now That We Have Your Attention".

20 Jeff Gutt Jeff Gutt's version is a rock-infused arrangement that features his soaring vocals and powerful guitar work.
21 Kate Voegele Kate Voegele's version is a delicate, acoustic take on the song that showcases her sweet vocals and gentle guitar work.
22 Theory of a Deadman Theory of a Deadman's version is a rock-infused arrangement that features their trademark sound and gritty vocals.

More people should hear this version!

23 Crystal Bowersox Crystal Bowersox's rendition is a soulful, bluesy take on the song that showcases her powerful vocals and emotional depth.
24 Andre Rieu Andre Rieu's version is a lush, orchestral interpretation that features soaring strings and rich instrumentation.
25 Lee DeWyze Lee DeWyze's version is a stripped-down, acoustic arrangement that emphasizes the song's poetic lyrics and his plaintive vocals.

His version is the best. So soulful.

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