If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, than Irish singer-songwriter Hozier should be feeling pretty good right now. The unassuming singer’s breakout hit, “Take Me To Church” has become a new favorite cover song for his contemporaries –including pop artists Ellie Goulding and Kiesza.
Performing at the Grammy Awards, Hozier proudly introduced Annie Lennox, who joined him onstage in a soulful ballad of the iconic hit.
Already six months into the song’s original release, “Take Me To Church” is still dominating playlists internationally. Recently, it reclaimed its Number One spot in Hozier’s native Ireland. The chart-topper has been streamed more than 250 million times, with the “Take Me To Church” video reaching some 150 million viewers.
But humility precedes the breakout artist — Andrew Hozier-Byrne never imagined, nor sought, his almost-instantaneous fame. Contrarily, when he recorded “Take Me To Church,” appealing to a mainstream audience was the farthest thing from the artist’s mind.
In a recent interview with Australia’s news.com.au, Hozier expressed his surprise about the song’s popularity.
“When we were making it, we didn’t think it would work on radio, we didn’t think it would chart and we didn’t really care,” he said.
“I think the fact you can do something left-of-field which deals with subjects not everyone else is talking about and have it find a place in the top 10, and audiences are open to it, is incredibly encouraging.”
With its controversial anti-homophobic video garnering over 150 million views, “Take Me To Church” has become an anthem for gay rights.
And while he’s eager to share other songs of his repertoire, Hozier has reacted positively to other artists covering the song. After electro artist Ellie Goulding released her ethereal version of “Take Me To Church,” Hozier tweeted how “very, very flattered” he was.
While he may be flattered, Hozier shows no signs of slowing down, having just released the video for his new single, “Work Song,” which features the brooding artist performing to an audience of couples entwined in a passionate dance.
[Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images]