During his Nov. 11 concert in Nashville, Keith Urban paid tribute to the late Leonard Cohen with a stripped down cover of “Hallelujah.”
Cohen, who passed away on Nov. 7, was best known for the now-classic 1984 song. Hundreds of artists across many genres have covered “Hallelujah” over the years. It’s also basically become a requirement that at least one person in each season of every singing competition show in the world perform it.
A statement on Cohen’s Facebook page announced his passing on Nov. 10. “It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away,” the post read. “We have lost one of music’s most revered and prolific visionaries.”
Since Cohen’s original recording, other artists have consequently altered the lyrics. Even Cohen would perform different verses when playing the song live. One of the most notable covers is Jeff Buckley’s, although we’re a little partial to Willie Nelson’s version of “Hallelujah.”
Urban chose to honor Cohen with a simple and heartfelt rendition. The crowd sang along as Urban performed with only his acoustic guitar.
The video’s caption on Urban’s Facebook expresses the singer’s admiration for Cohen: “RIP Leonard. And thank you for being a vessel of glory on high. – KU.”
Eric Church, who was also inspired by Cohen’s music over the years, made a surprise appearance at the concert. Church joined Urban to perform “Record Year” before launching into their duet, “Raise ‘Em Up.” Tour openers Maren Morris and Brett Eldredge also came back later in the show to sing with Urban.
You can catch Urban on tour across the U.S. through November. For a full list of upcoming tour dates, visit his official website.