Jeff Buckley's 'Hallelujah' Becomes America's Number One Digital Song

Jason Castro's American Idol Performance of 'Hallelujah' Propels Jeff

Buckley's 1994 Recording to the Top of the iTunes Singles Chart

A Crucial Song From His 1994 Debut Album Grace Becomes Jeff Buckley's First

U.S. Number One

Mar 13, 2008, 01:00 ET from Legacy Recordings

    NEW YORK, March 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Thanks to American Idol, America's
 top- rated network television show, the music of Columbia recording artist
 Jeff Buckley has achieved a sudden and unprecedented level of popularity
 across the USA.
     (Logo: )
     This week, Jeff's 1994 recording "Hallelujah" hit the #1 spot on
 iTunes' singles chart. It's the first U.S. Number One song on any chart for
 the revered singer/songwriter, who died May 29, 1997 at age 30.
     Jeff released Grace, his first full-length Columbia album, in August
 1994. One of its most popular tracks was (and still is) his beautiful and
 deeply spiritual rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," first recorded
 by its composer on Cohen's 1984 Columbia album Various Positions. Many
 critics and listeners consider Jeff Buckley's Grace version to be the
 definitive recorded interpretation of the song. "Hallelujah" was included
 on Rolling Stone's 2004 list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" and
 hailed by Q Magazine in 2007 as "the most perfect song ever."
     On Tuesday, March 4, Jason Castro, a 20-year-old aspiring singer from
 Rockwall, Texas, performed "Hallelujah" on American Idol-now in its seventh
 season on the Fox network and still the Number One-rated television show in
 the nation. Although "Hallelujah" has been performed by artists ranging
 from k.d. lang to Bon Jovi, American Idol judges Randy Jackson and Simon
 Cowell both stated that Jeff Buckley's version was their personal favorite.
     Jason Castro's rendition of the song -- combined with the judges'
 favorable comments -- propelled droves of viewers to the iTunes Store to
 download the original version from Grace, which promptly shot to No. 4 on
 iTunes singles chart and then over the following weekend continued to
 climb, finally reaching the coveted Number One position. To date, Legacy
 Recordings has sold over 565,773 digital downloads of Jeff Buckley's
     In terrestrial form, "Hallelujah" appears on Jeff Buckley's GRACE:
 LEGACY EDITION, a special three-disc set issued by Legacy Recordings in
 August 2004 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the album's original
 Columbia release.
     "It's a thrill to see Jeff's work being embraced in his own country at
 this level," says Mary Guibert, the artist's mother and the chief executor
 of his estate. "Even though it has been more than a decade since his
 departure, it was very moving to hear the American Idol judges speak so
 highly of Jeff. A mother can't help but love that!"

SOURCE Legacy Recordings