Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah' charts on Billboard Hot 100 for first time | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah' charts on Billboard Hot 100 for first time

Leonard Cohen performs in Toronto on Friday, June 6, 2008. Cohen's "Hallelujah" is finally getting some redemption on the Billboard charts. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Harris
November 21, 2016 - 1:32 PM

TORONTO - Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" is finally getting some redemption on the Billboard charts.

Once considered by his record label as unworthy of being released as a single, the original 1984 track climbs onto Billboard's Hot 100 in the latest week of chart data — debuting at No. 59.

Billboard says it's the first time Cohen's track has appeared on the Hot 100, despite becoming a modern staple of popular music.

Cohen died at his Los Angeles home earlier this month at the age of 82.

As news of his death spread, listeners returned to his music.

"Hallelujah" saw its digital streams jump 279 per cent to 3.8 million for the week ended Nov. 17, while digital downloads rose 1,177 per cent to 33,000 copies.

The song originally appeared on Cohen's album "Various Positions" but spent years mostly undiscovered by the mainstream.

It was an onslaught of covers by other artists, including Jeff Buckley, k.d. lang and Rufus Wainwright, who helped with its discovery. The song also became a staple of dramatic moments in television shows and films in recent years.

Cohen's albums also saw a spike in attention on the latest chart. "You Want it Darker," his most recent studio album released in October, rose from No. 48 to No. 7 on the Billboard 200 albums chart with 30,000 units sold, according to data compiler Nielsen Music.

"The Essential Leonard Cohen," his greatest hits album, also made the charts at No. 13 with 20,000 units sold.

While this is the first time Cohen's "Hallelujah" charted on the Billboard Hot 100 in its original version, it's not the first time the song itself has appeared.

Versions by numerous other performers have also left their chart marks, including one recorded by Justin Timberlake and Matt Morris in 2010 for MTV's "Hope for Haiti Now" telethon that hit No. 13.

Pop group Pentatonix, which sings mostly a capella covers, has been scaling the charts over the past three weeks with a version of "Hallelujah" from its new Christmas album. This week it's slightly above Cohen at No. 56.

Surprisingly, Buckley's 1994 cover — often credited as the first time many people heard the song — has never made the Hot 100.

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News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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