The long-awaited return of British singer Adele began last Friday with a new single, “Hello,” and a video to accompany the ballad.
After the news spread and the tears were shed (it’s an Adele song, after all), the Internet memes started, including a video combining the new “Hello” with one of its predecessors, Lionel Richie’s 1984 smash hit of the same name.
But Richie didn’t invent using the salutation as a song title, nor was he the last to do so.
Adele’s track is the latest in a canon of compositions, each called “Hello” (or a close relative thereof).
Where does the Grammy winner’s newest rank? We put it head-to-head against some of our favorites dating back to 1968, giving the case for each — and why Adele’s might just be better.
‘Hello’– Lionel Richie
Richie wins because: It was the first song almost everyone thought about after hearing the title of Adele’s comeback single.
Adele wins because: There are no clay busts of her head in her music video, nor does she stalk a blind student.
‘Hello’ –Ice Cube (feat. Dr. Dre and MC Ren)
Ice Cube wins because: The NWA reunion track sees the trio of emcees at their bragging best (“I started this gangsta [expletive]”).
Adele wins because: It’s much more likely to end up in karaoke catalogs, thanks to one or two (or 20, or 30, or …) fewer profanities.
‘Hello’ — Martin Solveig (feat. Dragonette)
Solveig wins because: The shimmering offspring of ’90s Euro-pop and modern house gets a huge boost from the underrated Canadian synth-pop trio Dragonette.
Adele wins because: You had probably already forgotten about Solveig’s version, which was one of the top dance singles in the world in 2010. House music can age poorly.
‘Hello, I Love You’ — The Doors
The Doors wins because: “Hello, I Love You” is one of the most recognizable Doors songs of all time, along with being a No. 1 hit for the band.
Adele wins because: Her “Hello” wasn’t largely stolen from the Kinks’ “All Day and All of the Night.”
‘Hello, It’s Me’ — Todd Rundgren
Rundgren wins because: The musician and producer’s biggest pop hit is the aural equivalent of getting high while sitting on shag carpet in a friend’s basement.
Adele wins because: Her “Hello” will unquestionably be the best version of the song, while Rundgren’s track got a show-stealing cover version by The Isley Brothers.