A quintet of unlikely collaborators joined Mary J. Blige in an L.A. studio this week to record a cover of Led Zeppelin’s ubiquitous 1971 hit, “Stairway to Heaven.”
The R&B diva’s backing ensemble included Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, American Idol judge/studio bassist Randy Jackson, and Steve Vai and former Michael Jackson bandmember Orianthi on guitars.
A spokesperson for Blige tells SPIN.com that the cover version will be added as a bonus track on the international version of her latest release, Stronger With Each Tear, which hits stores abroad on March 15. No domestic release for her version of “Stairway” has been planned.
“I think this song is not hard at all because it’s based on pure emotion,” Blige told Spinner. “You gotta get lost in the rock ‘n’ roll moment of it all, and once you get lost in the rock ‘n’ roll moment of it all you can do is scream to the top of your lungs or go as low as you need to go.”
Rock covers are nothing new to Blige, who’s taken on U2’s “One” and, most recently, Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” at the Grammys, alongside Andrea Bocelli. Watch the video here — fast-forward to the 1:53 mark if you’d like to skip Wyclef Jean’s long introduction. You can purchase the single via iTunes — proceeds benefit Red Cross efforts in Haiti.
WATCH:Mary J. Blige & Andrea Bocelli, “Bridge Over Troubled Water”