It’s a testament to Prince’s genius that, time and time again, his original compositions helped invigorate the careers of other artists. The classic example came when Sinéad O’Connor’s 1990 version of “Nothing Compares 2 U”—a relatively obscure 1985 song from the short-lived Prince project the Family—became a worldwide hit. The song’s second life cemented it as one of the great modern ballads and yet another notch—perhaps the most unexpected one—in Prince’s already ample legacy.
Given how widely the song is admired, it’s not surprising that other musicians have taken to covering it as a way to pay their respects in the wake of Prince’s death. Liz Phair and Chris Cornell both offered their own satisfying versions in recent days. However, the most stirring rendition of all comes courtesy of country artist and songwriter Chris Stapleton, who used it to close out his set Saturday night at Berkeley, California’s Greek Theater. Bathed in purple light and backed by an appropriately sparse arrangement, Stapleton delivered a jaw-dropper—with an impressive guitar solo and raw, emotive vocals. It was a fitting tribute to an artist who touched so many.