Kacey Musgraves has recorded a version of the 1961 Elvis Presley classic “Can’t Help Falling in Love” for the upcoming soundtrack to director Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” biopic, the singer has revealed.
The country-pop star noted that she had covered the song Monday while walking the red carpet at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit gala. Musgraves was there with Luhrmann, Priscilla Presley and members of the film’s cast.
Details on the soundtrack have been hard to come by before now, with little publicly revealed beyond the fact that the first single from the album, Doja Cat’s “Vegas,” which includes an interpolation of the Presley hit “Hound Dog.” will be out this Friday. Doja Cat premiered a partial version of the song live at her two April Coachella appearances.
Beyond that, all that has been officially said about the soundtrack is that it will be on RCA, Presley’s label; that it will be out in “summer” (presumably early summer, since the film comes out just three days after the start of summer, on June 24); and that it will include contributions from a number of name artists representing different genres.
The news that Musgraves is involved is further indication that the album may include a lot of material from singers who are not part of the film’s cast. And presumably a few that are, too: Luhrmann was at Coachella checking out not just Doja Cat but sets by Yola and Shonka Dukureh, who portray Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Big Mama Thornton, respectively.
“Can’t Help Falling in Love” started life as a soundtrack song. It was a No. 2 U.S. hit for Presley after he recorded it for the “Blue Hawaii” soundtrack in 1961, and it quickly fell into the realm of being a standard. Originally thought of as more of an easy-listening song, it initially drew the attention of 1960s interpreters like Perry Como, the Lennon Sisters, Doris Day, Patti Page, Andy Williams, Al Martino and Keely Smith.
Bob Dylan was the first big-name rocker to tackle it, on his controversial 1973 album “Dylan.” But it didn’t really start catching on with the rock generation until U2 began closing its shows with the song in the “Achtung Baby” era of the early ’90s, and UB40 had a hit version in 1993. It’s since been covered on record or live by Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, Andrea Bocelli, Beck, Spiritualized, Chris Isaak, Il Divo, A-Teens, Haley Reinhart and Evan Rachel Wood, among dozens of others. The Stylistics even had an unlikely disco hit with it in 1976.
Talking with Variety‘s Marc Malkin on the red carpet, Luhrmann was still playing it close to the vest, but not too close, saying only of Musgraves’ contribution that “she has a song in the movie — something to do with love.”