The world of music would not be the same with the Grace star
Andrew Trendell

12:50 17th November 2015

17 November, 2015: Today would have been the 'Hallelujah' and 'Grace' star's 49th birthday, had death not stolen him away from us when he tragically drowned. However, you can still feel his presence - as his songs and lyrics continue to inspire, long after his Last Goodbye. 

While the body of work doesn't stretch quite as far as we'd have hoped, its impact is unquestionable and his legacy is still being felt today. A posthumous new album is on the horizon

From Muse, Coldplay and Radiohead to Lana Del Rey, Adele and Bat For Lashes, his spirit continues to inspire. Here are just 11 of the great artists that Jeff Buckley inspired. 

  • Chris Martin, Coldplay: In an interview with the BBC, Martin said 'Shiver', which featured on the band's debut album 'Parachutes', was " blatant Jeff Buckley attempt". "Not quite as good, that's what I think. We were 21 and he was very much a hero, and as with those things it tends to filter through," Martin added.

  • Anna Calvi: "When I first heard Jeff Buckley I was 17," Calvi once told fans. "I remember my friend suggested I listened to him, saying his voice was 'even better than Thom Yorke's'. I remember lying on my bed with headphones on, listening to Grace all night, over and over and over. It seemed to combine the passion and intensity of classical music with a roughness and edge which I found incredibly addictive. I remember writing some of his slightly dubious lyrics on my school bag. I don%u2019t listen to Jeff any more, but I feel his music has settled inside me."

  • Matt Bellamy, Muse: With the soaring falsetto and maestro tendencies, it should come as no surprise that Bellamy is an avid fan of Buckley - telling Kerrang in 2005: "Back then, it wasn't really cool to sing falsetto because Nirvana and all that stuff was in. We saw Jeff Buckley do a concert, though, and he wasn't scared to be a high-voiced male. I think that helped me open up and not be afraid to use a more expressive and emotional vocal style."

  • Kiesza: The rising 'Hideaway' star is on record as listing Buckley's version of 'Hallelujah' as one of her favourite songs, saying that it was "the first song that inspired me to play live."

  • Bat For Lashes: Natasha Khan shares Buckley's knack of soul-searing vocals. She told LA Magazine: "My own music taste is rather eclectic. Vocally, Jeff Buckley is a huge influence and inspiration."

  • Thom Yorke, Radiohead: Everyone knows this story, but it's a good one so we'll tell you again. The band were finding it difficult finish recording 'Fake Plastic Trees' while making The Bends, so took a break to see a Jeff Buckley gig at Highbury. When they returned to the studio mesmerized by Buckley's set, Yorke sang the song twice before breaking down into tears.

  • PJ Harvey: Double Mercury-winner Polly Jean knew Buckley personally, and was a huge influence on her. So much so that she wrote the track 'Memphis' in his memory: "In Memphis...die suddenly, at a wonderful age, we're ready to go."

  • Bono, U2: The bespectacled stadium filler often pays tribute to the Grace star, once poetically saying "Jeff Buckley was a pure drop in an ocean of noise."

  • Ben Folds: "My singing used to be awful," Folds once said on US radio. "I don't have Jeff Buckley's voice…It can be kind of scary. You're on the radio next to -- well, on the shelf next to Jeff Buckley. We're in the B's. People can flip through and pick up his record instead and hear a lot better singer. He has that knack…"

  • Rufus Wainwright: They've both covered 'Hallelujah', and the pair once knew each other - inspiring Wainwright to pen the track 'Memphis Skyline' in his memory. Speaking to Uncut, Wainwright said: ""I met him once and we hung out and he died not long after. I hated him when he first came out. I thought he was riffy and kind of boring and I didn't really get it. But there was also a deeper rivalry with Buckley that existed in my mind. I don’t know if we could out-sing each other, but it would have been interesting to have had a singing competition with him."

  • Adele: Speaking of the music that influenced her huge third album 25, Adele said: "I try to listen to music that might uplift me but I don't really connect with it. So mainly, Jeff Buckley. And that's been my entire life I've done that. I remember falling out with my best friend when I was like seven and listening to Jeff Buckley, because my mom was a huge fan. Grace has always been around me."

  • Lana Del Rey: It stands to reason that the Ultraviolence pop-noir sensation would be drawn to the romance and melodrama of Buckley - not to mention his flawless vocal. "I moved to New York when I was 19 and I've had a love affair with the place ever since," she once said. "That’s when I found Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, Jeff Buckley, Leonard Cohen - my masters - and I've never really listened to anything else since." She would later add: "Jeff Buckley is another big inspiration... I mean, we talk about these people like we know them. They're a part of our relationship. We always say, 'All of our friends are dead and they never knew us'."

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Photo: Wenn/Press