Abby Jones Follow November 25, 2022 | 2:29pm ET
Zayn spent the better part of his early singing career being labeled the bad boy of One Direction, and today he’s nodding to an actual rebel in the music world by sharing his cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Angel.” The tribute comes in celebration of what would’ve been the legend’s 80th birthday.
“Angel” appeared on Hendrix’s first posthumous album The Cry of Love in 1971. Zayn’s version keeps the original’s instrumentals with his vocals swapped in: “Being asked to collaborate to celebrate @jimihendrix 80th birthday was such an unexpected and huge honour,” the pop star wrote on Twitter. “I have so much respect and admiration for Jimi, his music and fans. ‘Angel’ is out now – hope you love the track as much as I do. Happy 80th Jimi.”
Hendrix’s estate gave their blessing, as well: “We are pleased that Zayn has been inspired to use original music from Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Angel’ in his recording of the song,” they said in a statement to Billboard. “We’re hopeful that this version of a Hendrix classic will enlighten a new generation of listeners about Jimi’s genius and further propel his continuing legacy.”
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Our take? It’s just fine. Listen to Zayn sing on “Angel” below, ahead of Hendrix’s 80th birthday on November 27th.
Zayn’s most recent album was 2021’s Nobody Is Listening, which marked his third solo LP since departing One Direction in 2015. That album included the singles “Better” and “Vibez”.