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23 Times Movie Characters Sang A Song Better Than The Actual Artist

Spoiler alert: Shrek has two songs on this list, and no, I will not be taking criticism at this time.

As a music lover, I truly appreciate when a film chooses the perfect song for a moment.

But I like it even BETTER when the characters sing the songs themselves. Especially when they cover popular songs!

So with that in mind, here are my favorite examples of movie characters covering popular songs!

1. "Holding Out for a Hero" from Shrek 2 (originally by Bonnie Tyler)

The fairy godmother onstage singing

2. "Your Song" from Moulin Rouge (originally by Elton John)

3. "Just the Two of Us" from Austin Powers 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me (originally by Grover Washington Jr. and Bill Withers)

4. "Somebody to Love" from Ella Enchanted (originally by Queen)

Ella singing

5. "Respect" from Are We There Yet? (originally by Otis Redding but made famous by Aretha Franklin)

Lindsey singing onstage

6. "Goofy Goober Rock" from The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (originally by Twisted Sister)

Spongebob floating with his wizard costume and peanut electric guitar singing

7. "You Oughta Know" from Booksmart (originally by Alanis Morissette)

8. "Somebody to Love" from Happy Feet (originally by Queen)

the penguins dancing under the stars

9. "I Like to Move It" from Madagascar (originally by Reel 2 Real)

King Julien dancing

10. "Rocket Man" from Rocketman (originally by Elton John)

Elton on Stage in his bedazzled Dodgers outfit

11. "Roxanne" from Moulin Rouge (originally by the Police)

12. "Don't Stop Believing" from Rock of Ages (originally by Journey)

13. "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)" from School of Rock (originally by AC/DC)

Dewey singing onstage for the encore of Battle of the Bands

14. "I'm a Believer" from Shrek (originally by the Monkees)

15. "Somebody to Love" The Cable Guy (originally by the Great Society)

16. "Jingle Bell Rock" from Mean Girls (originally by Bobby Helms)

17. "Lay All Your Love on Me" from Mamma Mia (originally by ABBA)

18. "Words I Couldn't Say" from Country Strong (originally by Rascal Flatts)

19. "We Belong" from Pitch Perfect 2 (originally by Pat Benatar)

20. "I Want to Hold Your Hand" from Across the Universe (originally by the Beatles)

Prudence sings from the bleachers

21. "Mamma Mia" from Mamma Mia (originally by ABBA)

Donna pleading to the skies on the roof where Harry, Bill, and Sam are staying

22. "Help!" from Yesterday (originally by the Beatles)

Jack sings onstage

23. And finally, "Hard Knock Life" from Austin Powers 3: Goldmember (originally by Jay-Z, whose version samples "It's the Hard Knock Life" from Annie)

That’s my list — what about yours? What do you think are some of the best song covers featured in movies? Let me know in the comments below!


"I'm a Believer" was written by Neil Diamond and originally performed by the Monkees. An earlier version of this post stated that it was originally by Smash Mouth, who covered the song for Shrek.


"Respect" was originally by Otis Redding, and "Just the Two of Us" was originally by Grover Washington Jr. and Bill Withers. A previous version of this post stated that "Respect" was by Aretha Franklin and "Just the Two of Us" was by Will Smith.