In recent years, from songs performed by "American Idol" contestants to tracks that have spurred the "Glee" cast's assault on Billboard's record books, inventive remakes have regularly infused the Hot 100.
Most notably, the "Glee" ensemble has covered styles from pop and rock to R&B, gospel, dance and show tunes. When the Hot 100 is refreshed tomorrow (Oct. 14), the troupe will bow with updates ranging from a ballad take on the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" to a soulful reworking of Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water."
(Unsolicited advice to Ryan Murphy: with its built-in a capella accents and drama-laden lyrics, wouldn't Sara Bareilles' "King of Anything" be a natural choice for the cast to cover?)
McKinley High's glee club isn't the only act this year unveiling remodeled versions of previous hits on Billboard charts. Jerrod Niemann turned Sonia Dada's obscure 1992 rock single "You Don't Treat Me No Good" into the Country Songs No. 1 "Lover, Lover"; Prince Royce sent Ben E. King's "Stand by Me" to the top of Tropical Songs; and, Lady Antebellum reached the top 10 on Country Digital Songs with a gentle version of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' "Learning to Fly."
In coming weeks, Santana could reach Adult Pop Songs with a remake of Def Leppard's "Photograph," featuring Daughtry; Sheryl Crow could enter Triple A with her rockier imprint on Terence Trent D'Arby's "Sign Your Name"; and, Williams Riley could motor onto Country Songs with an update of the Eagles' "Life in the Fast Lane."
Unexpected covers, however, have long graced Billboard tallies.
Here is a look at 20 such songs over the past 20 years that have returned to Billboard charts in, well, new directions.
"Heaven," DJ Sammy & Yanou featuring Do, 2002
Bryan Adams' 1985 Hot 100 No. 1 love song reached No. 8 in two forms 17 years later: as a dance track and as a stripped-down piano ballad. In 2005, Robbins labelmate D.H.T. similarly covered pop and adult bases, also reaching No. 8 with dual versions of Roxette's 1989 No. 1 "Listen to Your Heart."
"Hurt," Johnny Cash, 2003
The 139th and last of Johnny Cash's visits to Country Songs featured a haunting, acoustic arrangement of Nine Inch Nails' No. 8 Alternative Songs hit from 1995. The update, which also reached No. 33 on Alternative Songs, helped win the Man in Black yet another generation of fans before his passing in 2003; the video for "Hurt" won an MTV Video Award that year, as well as CMA single of the year honors, and a Grammy Award in 2004.
"Bringin' on the Heartbreak," Mariah Carey, 2003
Mariah Carey had previously covered R&B ("I'll Be There," "Endless Love") and pop ("Without You," "I Still Believe"). She expanded to rock with a remake of Def Leppard's 1984 No. 61 Hot 100 hit. Released as a ballad on her album "Charmbracelet," a remix reached No. 5 on Dance/Club Play Songs in 2003. The same year, QED's hi-NRG version of Def Leppard's "Love Bites" rose to No. 22 on Hot Dance Airplay.
"My Prerogative," Britney Spears, 2004
15 years after Brown's version became his sole Hot 100 No. 1 as a lead act, fellow paparazzi target Britney Spears played up the song's bad boy/girl lyrics. Spears' cover, which lessened the original's new jack swing production in favor of somewhat deeper dance beats, reached No. 22 on Pop Songs.
"Life Is a Highway," Rascal Flatts, 2006
Tom Cochrane introduced the rock anthem in 1992, driving it to No. 6 on the Hot 100. For, fittingly, the movie "Cars," Rascal Flatts added a touch of twang and took its version to No. 7. The following year, Jack Ingram covered a newer rock hit, Hinder's No. 3 Hot 100 smash "Lips of an Angel," with the remake reaching No. 16 on Country Songs.
"Umbrella," Marie Digby, 2007
Rihanna's seven-week Hot 100 No. 1, featuring Jay-Z, was so ubiquitous in summer 2007, but adult stations hedged at playing any rap. Singer-songwriter Marie Digby offered her acoustic take that preserved the song's infectious melody, peaking at No. 33 on Adult Pop Songs.
"Hello," David Cook, 2008
Of all the charted "American Idol" covers, none may have generated more attention than this David Cook performance, which added rock wails to Lionel Richie's R&B ballad - and helped spur Cook's eventual ascension to the 2008 "Idol" throne. "Hello" charted at No. 73 on the Hot 100, along with his similar rock makeovers of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" (No. 47) and Mariah Carey's "Always Be My Baby" (No. 67).
"Don't Stop Believin'," George LaMond, 2008
The "Glee" cast isn't the only act that has charted of late with a more pop-influenced treatment of Journey's evergreen 1981 No. 9 Hot 100 hit. Dance veteran George LaMond's club version climbed to No. 20 on Hot Dance Airplay. His cover remains a favorite at WKTU/New York, which has spun the song more than 2,100 times, according to Nielsen BDS.
"What Hurts the Most," Cascada, 2008
As with LaMond, and DJ Sammy and D.H.T. earlier in the 2000s, the dance-leaning Robbins label found success with another cover, this time dipping into Rascal Flatts' songbook. After the trio's single topped Country Songs for four weeks and reached No. 6 on the Hot 100 in 2006 (becoming its biggest hit by one spot over its Tom Cochrane cover), Cascada turned the slow, mournful song into a party track. The remake reached No. 1 on Hot Dance Airplay and No. 28 on Pop Songs.
"Wild Horses," Susan Boyle, 2009
The Susan Boyle phenomenon was fueled by a combination of new age arrangements and soaring vocals ("Amazing Grace," "I Dreamed a Dream"). She even put a popera stamp on the Rolling Stones' 1971 No. 28 Hot 100 beloved rock ballad. Boyle's version peaked at No. 98 on the Hot 100 the week that her album "I Dreamed a Dream" began its six-week reign atop the Billboard 200, marking the only debut collection by a female artist in the chart's 54-year history to arrive at No. 1 and remain in charge for at least six weeks.