The original “Smile” composed by Charlie Chaplin has seen it’s fair share of happy times and sad times. It’s a somber tune with a silver lining sung by the best of the best entertainers of all time (yes, OF ALL TIME). Janelle Monáe continues the tread of greats including Stevie Wonder, to Nat King Cole, to Michael Jackson covering Chaplin’s oldie for Billboard‘s Mash Up special which profiles an artist’s modern take of a historic song with an acoustic backing. Since Melanie Fiona and Kid Sister have been in the spotlight for their make overs, Janelle picked a record with a lot more layers. Watch her version after the jump plus six other “Smiles” that begat her crack at it.
JANELLE MONAE, “SMILE” (FOR BILLBOARD MASHUP MONDAYS)
THE WRINKLE IN TIME: In 2007, Janelle originally recorded her spin on “Smile” for the special edition version of her titular EP, Metropolis: Suite 1 (The Chase).
MICHAEL JACKSON, “SMILE”
THE WRINKLE IN TIME: MJ covered is idol’s song on the final track of the double disc, HIStory: Past, Present, and Future Book 1 in 1995.
NAT KING COLE, “SMILE”
THE WRINKLE IN TIME: “Smile” has become a family standard starting with Nat’s version in 1954, followed by Natalie Cole on her album Unforgettable with Love, dedicated to her dad, in 1991.
CHARLIE CHAPLIN, MODERN TIMES
THE WRINKLE IN TIME: Chaplin co-wrote the soundtrack with John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons for the s for the silent film, Modern Times in 1936.
JUDY GARLAND, “SMILE”
THE WRINKLE IN TIME: Judy Garland not only performed “Smile” once, but twice on The Judy Garland show, on two separate episodes.
STEVIE WONDER, “SMILE”
THE WRINKLE IN TIME: Recorded for his 1963 album, With a Song in My Heart.
JERMAINE JACKSON, “SMILE”
THE WRINKLE IN TIME: Performed live at his little brother’s funeral in 2009.