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Ranking Musician Tribute Songs from Best to Worst

We were intrigued to hear that Patti Smith’s new record Banga contains a track called “This Is the Girl,” which is apparently a tribute to none other than Amy Winehouse. We haven’t heard the song yet — if you have, do feel free to let us know in the comments whether it’s any good or not — but either way, it’s the latest in a music industry tradition: that of musicians writing songs for their deceased counterparts. Of course, some such songs are more successful than others — and so, here’s a selection that spans the spectrum of good to bad. Guess which end “I’ll Be Missing You” comes at!

Stevie Wonder — “Sir Duke”

If you look up “exuberant” in an online dictionary, you may well find a link to the above video, Stevie Wonder’s joyous tribute to Duke Ellington — who died two years before this song was released — and the other “pioneers that time will not allow us to forget.” You can feel it all over, people.