Ann and Nancy Wilson, alias Heart, always are interested when TV music-competition entrants attempt their songs.
Being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Thursday, April 18 — with HBO then televising the ceremony Saturday, May 18 — the sibling music veterans are very aware of contestants on such shows as FOX’s “American Idol” and NBC’s “The Voice” often making use of classic Heart songs.
“‘Alone’ has been done by people like Carrie Underwood,” Nancy Wilson tells Zap2it, “and it’s a really interesting thing. Rock and roll has a way that it feels like rock and roll, but when Celine Dion did ‘Alone,’ it turned into something completely different. Whenever we’ve heard other people sing Heart songs, it’s usually not rock. It’s cool, but it’s not rock.”
Indeed, covers of Heart tunes aren’t limited to amateur singers. “I’ve heard a lot of people do ‘Barracuda’ in different ways,” Ann says, “and there have been a few ‘Crazy on You’s.” Nancy adds such songs “are not easy to sing, The playing field is pretty narrow by the time somebody tries any of those, but there have been a few brave people.”
Planning a cross-country summer “Heartbreaker” tour with Nancy as a tribute to Led Zeppelin, whom they saluted with “Stairway to Heaven” at last December’s Kennedy Center Honors, Ann reasons talent-show rivals choose Heart songs because they “have a lot of physical challenges in them. And those competition shows really aren’t about soul singing, they’re about what you can achieve with your voice. It’s more like a sporting event than an artistic competition.”
Nancy confirms she and Ann typically aren’t watching “American Idol” or “The Voice” whenever their songs come up: “Someone will say, ‘Oh, they played your song again!’ We usually hear about it after it happens, then we’re like, ‘Too bad we missed it again.'”
Ann says she and Nancy “occasionally” will go on YouTube afterward to look up such performances “if there’s one that stands out in some way, but we’re pretty busy. We’re still out there doing it.”