Music & Culture

Weezer’s “Africa” Tops Billboard’s Charts & 5 Other Chart-Topping Covers

Never underestimate the power of a cover song! Whether it’s recorded or a live performance, many artists gain popularity from their cover versions of songs. The latest success story is Weezer‘s latest single- a cover of Toto‘s “Africa.” In late 2017, 14-year-old Weezer fan Mary Klym created a Twitter account campaigning for the band to cover “Africa.” For months, she tweeted them multiple times a week.

Eventually, Weezer drummer Patrick Wilson noticed and in May of 2018, the band released their version of “Africa.”

The original by Toto topped the Billboard Hot 100 in February 1983. Just last week, Weezer’s version became the first cover song to reach #1 on Billboard’s Rock Airplay chart.


Here’s a list of 5 other cover songs that have charted on Billboard!

1. “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails, later covered by Johnny Cash

Nine Inch Nails released a slow, eerie song called “Hurt” in 1995, which peaked at #8 on the US Alternative Songs and #54 on the US Radio Songs charts. Johnny Cash remade “Hurt” into a more stripped down, gritty version in 2002, just a few months before his death. Cash’s peaked at #9 on the Rock Digital Song Sales chart.


2. “Heaven” by Bryan Adams, covered by DJ Sammy & yang feat. do

Bryan Adams released this power ballad in 1985 which topped the US Hot 100 and reached #12 on the US Adult Contemporary charts. While there have been numerous covers of the song, the most famous is the 2001 dance remix by DJ Sammy & yang feat. do. The song peaked at #8 on the US Hot 100 but was #1 on the UK Singles Chart.



3. “It’s My Life” by Talk Talk, covered by No Doubt

New wave band Talk Talk released the title track to their second album called “It’s My Life” in 1984. It topped the US Hot Dance Club Play and #31 on the US Hot 100 charts. In 2003, No Doubt released their pop/rock rendition to promote their Greatest Hits album The Singles 1992-2003. No Doubt’s reached #10 on the US Hot 100 and #16 on the US Dance Club Songs charts, as well as topped the US Adult Top 40 chart.



4. “Listen To Your Heart” by Roxette, covered by D.H.T.

Swedish-duo Roxette released “Listen To Your Heart” in 1989 which hit #1 on the US Hot 100 chart. At the time, it was the first song in the US to top the charts without having a 7″ single that was released commercially. Belgian dance group D.H.T. had extreme success worldwide with their version. They released both a trance version as well as an acoustic version in 2003 and it gained popularity worldwide in 2004 and 2005. It reached #1 on the US Pop Songs and #8 on the US Hot 100 charts.



5. “I Will Always Love You” by Dolly Parton, covered by Whitney Houston

Dolly Parton released “I Will Always Love You” in 1974 when she decided to go solo from her long time musical partner Porter Wagoner. It reached #1 on the US Hot Country Songs chart twice; it was released again in 1982 when she re-recorded it for The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas movie soundtrack. While it was a big commercial success, Whitney Houston’s power ballad in 1992 is far more well-known and successful. It was recorded for The Bodyguard soundtrack, a movie in which Houston starred in, and it was #1 on the US Hot 100 chart for 14 weeks. It’s also the best-selling single by of all time by a female singer!


Featured image: Twitter (@weezerafrica)