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


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.

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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 "Hallelujah."

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 Guilbert, 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!"

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SOURCE: Legacy Recordings

CONTACT: Tom Cording at Legacy Media Relations in New York,
+1-212-833-4448, or

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