I always endorse playing a few covers during concerts. It’s a great way to give the crowd something unexpected, and it’s a nice way to acknowledge some of the other great songs that have been written. Even if your version doesn’t live up to the original, it’s typically okay because there’s usually no harm in putting your own spin on something, at least as long as it’s not one of the most beloved songs ever written that you’re altering.

On New Year’s Eve, likeable musician and The Voice judge Cee Lo Green decided to pay tribute to John Lennon by performing “Imagine”. During the rendition however, he changed the lyric “no religion too” to “all religions true”. Many fans took the alteration as a slap in the face to the former Beatle and a fundamental change to his intentions. According to The New York Daily News, the anger quickly boiled over onto Twitter and led Cee Lo into more than a few altercations with fans. The musician defended himself by saying he was simply trying to make the lyrics more inclusive, but his apology did little to squelch the outrage.

Based on what he changed the lyric to, it’s fairly obvious Cee Lo wasn’t trying to convert anyone or push any sort of agenda, but to me, he should have seen this backlash coming. “Imagine” is routinely voted as one of the greatest songs ever written. It’s extremely special to a lot of people, which is why changing the words was a bad idea, to me. Had Cee Lo chosen pretty much any other song in Lennon’s solo catalog, he likely could have played around all he wanted, but “Imagine” is a special case.

What do you think? Should Cee Lo have changed the lyrics to “Imagine”? Sound off by voting in the poll below…

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