Leonard Cohen’s original 1984 version of “Hallelujah,” possibly the most sincerely covered song in the history of songs, has broken into the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time. This follows the beloved singer-songwriter’s passing last week (he died on November 7, but the public was not notified until November 10). Previously, the only cover of the song to chart was a version by Justin Timberlake and Matt Morris featuring Charlie Sexton in 2010. It, too, arrived on the chart under tragic circumstances: Timberlake’s take was a charity track released via the Hope for Haiti telethon in the wake of that year’s devastating earthquake. This week, Jeff Buckley’s version (perhaps the second-most beloved to the original) is also receiving a boost, specifically on the digital tracks chart; Cohen’s own rendition from his 1984 album Various Positions has entered the Hot 100 at No. 59. What’s a word you say in praise of something wonderful, but also sad? Oh, yeah: Hallelujah.
Leonard Cohen Photo: Frans Schellekens/Redferns/Getty Images