Meet the one remaining singer who has never covered 'Hallelujah'

“It feels incredible to be known and recognized worldwide for something you’ve done—or not done, in this case."
(Shutterstock / Jacob Lund)

If jazz is supposed to be about the notes you don't play, leave it to a jazz singer to make history for the song they didn't sing.

That's the achievement marked this week by Katie Jones, a songstress who this week became the final vocalist in the world to have still not recorded the Leonard Cohen classic "Hallelujah." She finally crossed the finish line not because of anything she did, but rather when Doug Bilfard, an amateur open mic-er from Tennessee, posted his rendition on his YouTube channel, DougsHomeTunesAndCampingEquipmentSales.

"It feels incredible," said Jones. "To be known and recognized worldwide for something you've done—or not done, in this case—is truly all any musician dreams of from the first time they step to the mic and sing a song, and in doing so don't-sing a different song. That's something you have to remember: when you're singing something, you're not-singing something else."

Jones claims to have never sung the song in any place where anyone could hear her or she could be recorded. She remained mum when asked whether she has ever sung the tune in the shower, however.

"Ha. Well that wouldn't count, right? I mean it's a beautiful song, who wouldn't be tempted? But I've never—I'm sure I've never—well anyway it wouldn't matter, right?"

Asked whether there was a lot of pressure on her now that she was the one remaining vocalist who hadn't performed the tune, Jones downplayed the issue.

"Not really. I mean… the attention is a bit much, I've got a lot of the papers calling, obviously. That's a lot to deal with, but I knew what I was getting into when I—wait, I knew what I wasn't getting into when I didn't… sorry, the double-negatives are getting confusing. But in terms of worrying I'm going to lose the title… that's not likely to happen any time soon," she said.

Jones reflected further on the ease of keeping the record.

"I mean I'm not going to accidentally sing the song. How would you accidentally sing a song? It's so much easier not to sing a song than it is to sing a song! I'm so lucky that way, haha. Much easier to non-achieve something than to achieve it. I'm not going to be walking around and accidentally go, you know, I heard there was a secret chord / that David played and it pleased the Lord…"

"That's not something you accidentally—wait is your tape recorder on? No. No! Noooooooo!"

There is no singer remaining who has never covered "Hallelujah."

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