Miley Cyrus’ “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Voted Worst Cover By ‘Rolling Stone’ Readers

Robbie Daw | August 24, 2011 9:00 am

Following its Queen Of Pop and King Of Hip Hop tallies, Rolling Stone turned its Worst Cover Songs Of All Time roundup into a democracy by having the publication’s readers pick the unlucky 10 artists. Britney Spears has the (dis)honor of ranking twice on the list, while post-grunge footnotes Alien Ant Farm and Limp Bizkit also get dubious props. But it’s onetime Disney princess Miley Cyrus who lands at the top of the heap with her rendition of Nirvana’s biggest hit single. We have no way of knowing what Kurt Cobain would have thought of Miley covering “Smells Like Teen Spirit” during her Gypsy Heart Tour this year, but we’ll take a guess and assume he would have muttered something along the lines of, “Oh, well. Whatever. Nevermind.”

“When she started singing this on tour earlier this year her popularity had dramatically plunged in America, and when the videos started hitting YouTube the comments were just vicious,” Rolling Stone comments. “Fairly or not, it seemed to embody everything that people dislike about her.”

Meanwhile, Miley’s dad, Billy Ray, begs to differ. In a recent Spin feature on the 20th anniversary of Nirvana’s classic Nevermind LP, the achy breaky country crooner says the following:

“I saw Miley’s cover of ‘Teen Spirit’ in South America. The crowd just went crazy. And I thought, ‘How beautiful, man,’ because I do believe Kurt’s spirit is very much still on this earth, through his fans and his music. I did have a very surreal moment watching my little girl do their song, realizing, ‘Wow, these kids are singing along to his in English, every word. And I’m sure that Kurt loves it’.”

Thanks for that, Billy.

Anyway, on with the Rolling Stone list of the 10 Worst Cover Songs Of All Time:

1. Miley Cyrus, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana) 2. Limp Bizkit, “Behind Blue Eyes” (The Who) 3. Madonna, “American Pie” (Don McLean) 4. Sheryl Crow, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (Guns N Roses) 5. Britney Spears, “I Can’t Get No (Satisfaction)” (The Rolling Stones) 6. Alien Ant Farm, “Smooth Criminal” (Michael Jackson) 7. Britney Spears, “I Love Rock & Roll” (The Arrows/Joan Jett & The Blackhearts) 8. Avril Lavigne, “Imagine” (John Lennon) 9. Jessica Simpson, “These Boots Are Made For Walkin'” (Nancy Sinatra) 10. William Shatner, “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” (The Beatles)