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I can't remember the word used to describe a song sung by someone else and not the original person. Anyone can help me on that one? Thanks.

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    You already give the answer in your title: such a song is known as a cover (version). Sep 15 '14 at 14:53
  • @JanusBahsJacquet, I maybe thinking of a slang term then? What happen was when I put up a Michael Jackson song, being sung by someone else, my co-worker said "this isn't MJ, it's a ...". She didn't use the word "cover"
    – MCHam
    Sep 15 '14 at 16:42
  • Possibly, if she likes Michael Jackson but not the cover version, she may have said something like clone, wannabe, copycat, etc.? Sep 15 '14 at 16:53
  • Did the singer sound like Michael Jackson, could only a fan have identified him as not being the "original"? A sort of vocal fake Michael Jackson. An imitator?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Sep 15 '14 at 17:25
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A cover is a new recording of a previously recorded song.

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If the song is sung by a person or group that sounds like the original artist(s) and if that person or group performs primarily music of that original artist(s), they can be called either:

  • a "(famous artist such as Elvis) impersonator"

or

  • "tribute band" such as "Rolling Stones tribute band"
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    The first term I was going to suggest myself. I have another up my sleeve if and when the OP replies!
    – Mari-Lou A
    Sep 15 '14 at 19:09
  • @Mari-LouA and Kristina, What if the song is not song by a band, like Michael Jackson. What would the word to describe that?
    – MCHam
    Sep 18 '14 at 20:19
  • @MCHam I'm not sure I understand, but I was going to suggest an "impressionist singer" and something else, slightly more obscure, but I've forgotten now. An impersonator tends to dress and act like a famous person. An impressionist mimics a famous person's voice and mannerisms.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Sep 18 '14 at 20:38
  • That is what my first bullet point references: If the person primarily plays songs by that one artist (Michael Jackson, for example), in the style of that artist, they could be called a "Michael Jackson Impersonator". If they are singing a song by another artist but are not trying to look and sound like that artist, they can be called a cover artist - like this list from YouTube: thetoptens.com/best-youtube-cover-artists Sep 18 '14 at 22:36
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"Rendition" is typically used in the context of classical music. It does not always imply 'not original' but in most usages it does.

Meaning: a performance or interpretation, especially of a dramatic role or piece of music

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