Jakie chan is a musician.
The purpose of the internet is to find new and amazing things, to connect people with ideas. I use the internet to find awesome covers and dig deeper to uncover them (Pun intended). Scrolling through Facebook, I found that Jackie Chan did a Cantonese cover of “I’ll make a man out of you” from Mulan (1998). I know that several celebrities will do cover songs but typically those are musicians specifically. It was interesting so I looked deeper.
Here’s a bit of background. Jackie Chan is a martial arts actor known for martial art films and comedies. Born in 1954, he’s been starring in films since the age of eight. His first film was Big and Little Wong Tin Bar (1962) as a child actor. He’s currently known now for films such as Rush Hour (1998) and Shanghai Noon (2000). He’s been extremely successful as he’s made over 200 films. Here is an interview with Jackie Chan hosted by Stephen Colbert. They discuss a bit of his early life as well as his most recent film Foreigner (2017). When he was just seven, he began training at the Chinese Opera Institute, a Hong Kong boarding school. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that he’s a skilled performer in more than just acting.
I could go on and on about Jackie Chan forever but that’s not the point of this article. If you want more information about Jackie Chan, you can check out his website.
I had to look into his musical career. Jackie Chan’s musical career isn’t only cover songs. He also has own original music. Since 1984, he’s released over 20 albums in multiple languages including English, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Japanese. The first being Thank You (1984). If you’d like, check out his full discography. Then he sings for the soundtracks of many of his movies, including The Spy Next Door (2010), The Myth (2005), New Police Story (2004), The Twins Effect (2003), and Police Story (1985). He sings the closing credits for the most recent film, Foreigner (2017).
Since you’re here for covers, let’s look at those now. He’s done quite a few covers including Disney songs and love songs. In all of them, his voice and pitch are phenomenal.
Let’s start with Jackie Chan’s Cantonese cover of “I’ll make a man out of you”. This is the cover that started the research into Jackie Chan’s musical career and it’s gorgeous.
Jackie Chan also did a cover of another Disney song but from Aladdin (1992). He brings a whole new feel to the song “A Whole New World”. This is an absolutely gorgeous duet in mandarin; Nana Ou-Yang uses her cello to elevate the cover. The combined vocals between Nana Ou-Yang and Jackie Chan are delightful.
This is one of Jackie Chan’s earlier cover songs. “Just for Tonight” is a cover that came out 2 years after the original by Gilbert Montagné in 1984. It’s an upbeat song with happy vocals, a perfect song to bust a move to. Below are both the English and Cantonese versions.
“Unforgettable” is a smooth slow song originally by Nat King Cole. Jackie chan collaborated on this duet cover with Ani Difranco. The two of them together create a song that is so sweet and slow. In this romantic song, their voices combine beautifully.. I couldn’t find a youtube video but you can find it here.
Here’s a video with Jackie Chan on the Ellen Show having some fun. He’s performing “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” originally by Elvis. I adore the original song. I adore Jackie Chan’s voice and I adore the cover version. The control he has over his pitch is fantastic. The clip below is short but it’s a beautiful example.
Here’s a clip from the Lopez show where Jackie Chan talks a bit about learning English before giving an example. Slower songs like country were easier to learn English from. Country songs are slower as opposed to other music genres such as rap. For the audience, he sings “Always on my Mind” originally by Elvis.
The next two aren’t really covers but instead, they are clips from movies where Jackie Chan and his co-stars sing a cover. It may not technically count but they are still fun and fantastic to watch.
In this scene, Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan sing a section of the “The Closer I Get to You” originally by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway.
Skiptrace (2016) has a scene with a cover of “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele. Jackie chan covers the song as a duet with Bingbing Fan and then several other members of the cast join in. It’s a fantastic scene with a collection of fantastic vocals.