During his solo show at Chicago's Vic Theatre, Wilco's Jeff Tweedy unexpectedly covered Beyonce's mega-hit, "Single Ladies." (Via Paste)
It was a request -- more a dare -- from a fan: either "Ashes Of American Flags" from Wilco's critically adored album, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, or Beyonce's "Single Ladies." He amicably obliged with a mostly spoken word version of the Beyonce song. It was funny and charming -- an earnest singer-songwriter type singing (talking, really) a cheesy pop song. But something did sit right with me, even though I laughed along with the audience. Why don't male artists cover songs written by, or made famous by women? I mean, in a non-ironic way? (Yeah, somewhere I have the Replacements doing twenty drunken seconds of "Jolene," but that doesn't count.)
Speaking of Dolly Parton, the White Stripes famously covered "Jolene," too. Not changing the gender, I might add. Though I think this still falls under the category of "ironic cover:"
I dug through my iPod and came up with very few covers of female-penned songs that were still reverent. Jay Brannon's super-pretty version of Joni Mitchell's "All I Want" stood out: