From Olivia Rodrigo to Bruno Mars, 17 of the Best BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge Covers

Browsing through BBC Radio 1's rad selection of musical guests is always a pleasure, and the best part of the radio station's offerings is its exquisite covers. Guests perform their own songs, then one cover, usually a song they've never sung publicly before. The covers often feature radically different arrangements of the songs, but it's also a chance for musicians to pay homage to the songs that inspire them.

So while many BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge covers are excellent, there are a few things that help a cover rise to the best of the best. Sometimes, it's because an artist is reconsidering an underappreciated work; Lewis Capaldi's 2022 cover of Britney Spears's "Everytime" definitely fits that bill. Sometimes a major artist chooses to spotlight a song that's flown more under the radar, like when Harry Styles covered Wet Leg's song "Wet Dreams" in 2022 or when Olivia Rodrigo covered Noah Kahan's "Stick Season" this October. Or, often, an artist puts a totally new genre spin on a hit song that's already topping the charts, or shows off their vocal range in ways not afforded by their own music.

Ahead, these are some of our favorite BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge covers of all time.

— Additional reporting by Victoria Edel

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Olivia Rodrigo Covers Noah Kahan's "Stick Season" in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge in 2023

Fresh off the release of "Guts," Rodrigo headed to the Live Lounge and performed Noah Kahan's "Stick Season," which became a TikTok hit in 2022. The original song and Rodrigo's arrangement are more acoustic than her typical style, but the anger and confusion of the song perfectly suits her voice.

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Lewis Capaldi Covers Britney Spear's "Everytime" in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge in 2022

Capaldi's cover of Britney Spear's "Everytime" is glorious, with a sweeping string arrangement that gives us goosebumps. In his iconic register, the song soars while he's still able to draw out the pain underneath.

If the Live Lounge had a king, Capaldi would probably wear the crown; his 2018 cover of "Shallow" is also one of the greats.

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Harry Styles Covers Wet Leg's "Wet Dream" in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge in 2022

In 2022, Styles gave Wet Leg's "Wet Dream" a spin, and his cover is sexy and fun in the way we expect from the former One Direction member. The band ended up opening for Styles during his 2023 tour.

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Taylor Swift Covers Phil Collins's "Can't Stop Loving You" in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge in 2019

A lot of artists have covered Taylor Swift songs, but in 2019, during the release tour for "Lover," Swift entered the Live Lounge and dropped this gorgeous cover of "Can't Stop Loving You" by Phil Collins. The comparatively stripped-down arrangement brings out the pain in the lyrics, but Swift also shines a light on a great song from decades earlier.

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Harry Styles Covers Lizzo's "Juice" in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge in 2019

We may never recover from hearing Harry Styles cover "Juice," complete with the lines "You better come get your man, think he got lost in my DMs," and "Heard you say I'm not the baddest b*tch, you lied." It's all just so good.

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Halsey Covers the Jonas Brothers' "Sucker" in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge in 2019

Halsey's cover of "Sucker" is really sonically different from the Jonas Brothers song . . . in the best way possible. We're digging the jazzy, slowed-down version, which could honestly pass for an original tune.

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The Jonas Brothers Cover Lewis Capaldi's "Someone You Loved" in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge in 2019

In this emotional cover of Capaldi's "Someone You Loved," Nick and Joe get all in their feelings, hitting beautiful high notes. It's also worth checking out Camila Cabello's smoky, R&B take on this song in the Live Lounge as well!

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James Bay Covers Taylor Swift's "Delicate" in the Live Lounge in 2018

Try to hold back the tears while listening to James Bay's vulnerable rocker version of Taylor Swift's "Delicate" (with a mashup of Drake's "One Dance," to boot).

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Khalid Covers Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car" in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge in 2018

We can only describe Khalid's voice as velvety in this beautiful rendition of Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car."

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Paramore Cover Drake's "Passionfruit" in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge in 2017

Drake's "Passionfruit" is all about the vibe, so it stays in one place musically. Hayley Williams's powerful voice definitely adds tension and dynamic in this gorgeous cover of "Passionfruit."

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Bruno Mars Covers Adele's "All I Ask" in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge in 2016

Fun fact: Bruno Mars was one of the original co-writers on this song with Adele. So it comes as no surprise that he pours his heart and soul into this slowed-down, stripped-back version of "All I Ask."

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Hozier Covers Arctic Monkeys' "Do I Wanna Know" in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge in 2016

Alex Turner's sound on the original "Do I Wanna Know" has an angsty vibe to it, while Hozier's rendition offers a melancholy and vulnerable take. If you're looking for a more pop-flavored cover, definitely check out Hozier doing Destiny's Child's "Say My Name."

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Ed Sheeran Covers Christina Aguilera's "Dirrty" in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge in 2015

You don't need to be part of the Ed Sheeran hive to appreciate this extremely in-pocket jam cover of Christina Aguilera's sexy "Dirrty."

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Demi Lovato Covers Hozier's "Take Me to Church" in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge in 2015

With her signature clear, emotive vocals, Demi Lovato brought us to church with this rousing cover of the Hozier radio hit. It's definitely one of her best performances!

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Miley Cyrus Covers Lana Del Rey's "Summertime Sadness" in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge in 2013

One of the most viewed BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge covers, Miley Cyrus's take on Lana Del Rey's "Summertime Sadness" brings a raspiness and smokiness to the original song that's just a delight.

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Kings of Leon Cover Robyn's "Dancing on My Own" at the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge in 2013

This Kings of Leon cover of "Dancing on My Own" isn't quite as sad as the Calum Scott version, but it has a wistful, dreamy quality to it that distinguishes it from the already great Robyn original.

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Bastille Cover Miley Cyrus's "We Can't Stop" in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge in 2013

Bastille's 2013 cover of Cyrus's "We Can't Stop" has racked up over 35 million views for good reason: it rocks. In a way, the British band kind of predicted Cyrus's rock-girl era. Their cover also mashes in a little bit of Eminem's "Lose Yourself" in the beginning and Cyrus's dad's song "Achy Breaky Heart" near the end.