John Lennon’s “Imagine” — Which Pop Star Covered It Best?

Erika Brooks Adickman / October 8, 2010

October 9, 2010 would have been John Lennon’s 70th birthday, and to commemorate the loss of the celebrated music icon, we’ve rounded up seven pop star covers of the the music legend’s universally beloved song, “Imagine”. After the jump, sample the various interpretations of Rolling Stone’s #3 song of all time performed by the likes of Madonna, Lady Gaga, the cast of Glee and David Archuleta and more—and tell us who did it best. (Besides John Lennon, of course.)

Lady Gaga — The pop star has not only played John Lennon’s own piano, but just this week she performed with the Plastic Ono Band. And last year, Gaga donned Lennon-shaped sunglasses (and changed some of the lyrics) for her performance of “Imagine” at the HRC, slightly tweaking the lyrics to include a reference to Matthew Shepard.

Glee — Last season, New Directions teamed up with a visiting deaf choir from Haverbrook School for the Deaf and the result was this touching performance of Lennon’s hit. The song is performed by Amber Riley and the cast.

David Archuleta gave an incredible performance of “Imagine” during Season 7 on American Idol, cementing his status as a frontrunner. (As you well know, David went on to place second in the competition, and he performed this song yet again during the Top 2.)

Avril Lavigne’s cover was part of the 2007 compilation album Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur for their “Make Some Noise” initiative.

Burlesque star Christina Aguilera performed “Imagine” earlier this year at the MontBlanc John Lennon Edition Global Launch.

Madonna took on “Imagine” in January of 2005 for a televised Tsunami Aid benefit.

Last but not least, Elton John in Central Park performance for nearly 400,000 people in Central Park on September 13, 1980—just months before Lennon’s untimely death.

Take the poll below and let us know how you thought these seven pop stars measured up against the man himself.  And don’t forget—there’s still time to enter to win an autographed copy of Nic Harcourt’s Music Lust. Just head to The Live Buzz and share your ten favorite Beatles songs!

Who performed the best cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine”?

Voting on this poll has closed.


David Archuleta (51%, 41,151 votes)
Avril Lavigne (42%, 33,796 votes)
Lady Gaga (3%, 2,769 votes)
Christina Aguilera (3%, 2320 votes)
Madonna (1%, 753 votes)
‘Glee’ cast (0%, 182 votes)
Elton John, (0%, 165 votes)

Total Voters: 81,137

Thanks for voting!