Frank Ocean's Cover of 'Moon River' Spurs Streaming Gain for Classic Song

Audrey Hepburn in 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'
Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

Audrey Hepburn in 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'

Ocean's rendition earned more than 800,000 on-demand streams on its first day of release (Feb. 15).

The surprise release of Frank Ocean’s cover of “Moon River” on Feb. 15 led to a big gain in streams for the classic tune in the U.S.

According to initial reports to Nielsen Music, the collected on-demand audio and video streams of the most popular early versions of “Moon River” ­rose by 57 percent on Feb. 15, as compared to a day earlier. On Feb. 15, the song tallied 49,000 on-demand streams, versus 31,000 on Feb. 14.

For this comparison, the versions of “Moon River” that were researched included all of the renditions by its composer Henry Mancini (including his theme to the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s), actress Audrey Hepburn’s version (heard in the same film) and Andy Williams’ 1962 cover (which became, arguably, his most familiar song).

As for Ocean’s cover, it earned more than 800,000 on-demand audio and video streams on Feb. 15.

“Moon River” was written by Mancini and Johnny Mercer specifically for the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, starring Hepburn. In 1962, the song won the Academy Award for best original song and the Grammy Awards for record of the year and song of the year. Mancini’s version of “Moon River” reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary airplay chart in 1961 and peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 that same year.

"Moon River" has been covered over the years by artists such as Barbra Streisand, Louis Armstrong, Willie Nelson, Frank Sinatra and Rod Stewart.


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