This is one of my favorite pop hits of the past 10 years covered by an artist, who,musically, has never received the highest of accolades but has cemented celebrity through other mediums. But credit where credit is due – Jared Leto crushes this performance of Rihanna’s “Stay” that I stumbled across on YouTube tonight.

From the moment Leto begins to sing, he promises a fierce performance. The first crack in his voice on “cold sweat hot headed believer,” sends shivers down my spine. For a cover, I love how dedicated this is to the original, strict and dramatic piano with subtle percessuion to highlight slow builds to a melodic climax. His voice in the final chorus, bellowing and screeching those long high notes, is nothing short of rock star status. Just when I was getting tired of spending bored afternoons and lonely evenings practicing the same old chords and songs, feeling like I can’t bring anything new or original to the performance with my barebones skills, there is some evidence that keeping true to the song, in its,message and sound and integrity, is worthwhile indeed.

“It’s not much of a life you’re living
It’s not just something you take, it’s given
Round and around, and around, and around we go
Oh now, tell me now,

Tell me now, 
Tell me now you know…

Not really sure how to feel about it
Something in the way you move
Makes me feel like I can’t live without you
It takes me all the way
I want you to stay.

~Stay
Rihanna, Unapologetic