Kris Allen Covers Outkast’s “Hey Ya” (VIDEO)

Check out Kris Allen’s cool, slowed up, slightly countrified version of the Outkast song “Hey Ya” performed last night in Tulsa OK.

The American Idol season 8 winner has been choosing cover songs requested by fans to perform nightly on his “Out Alive” tour.

This one might be one of my favorites! Watch below.

Follow Me!

mj santilli

Founder/Editor at
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted.I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!
Follow Me!

  • Patrick Tang

    American Acoustic Idol.

  • standtotheright

    It gets at the mournfulness of the song. I’m not sure I love it, but it’s a thought-provoking take. He’s surrounded himself with good musicians, that’s for sure.

  • washpd

    Love this cover! It’s not what I expected when I heard he covered it last night. I don’t get the “countrified” assessment, though. It doesn’t sound country to me at all. Great, tho!

  • Sunny Mc

    Angsty version of Hey Ya, brilliant! My only complaint is that I didn’t get to see him “shake it like a polaroid picture” :)

  • elliegrll

    At times I can hear a certain mourning, and Kris gives the song a new meaning, but at other points in the song it just seems like he slowed down a really fun song.  

    This is one of my favorite Outkast songs, and I still love watching the video, so that could be blurring my opinion, but this reminds me of what Pat Boone was accused of doing to some of Little Richard’s songs, he’s taken all of the energy and passion out of the song, and what’s left is rather bland.

  • standtotheright

    I wouldn’t say that was unfair, either. I don’t think it sucked all the passion away, but I do think that it maybe needed a bit more phrasing finesse to express it better. Still, at a few points it did hit, so I’d be curious to see what would happen if they worked on it more.

  • girlygirltoo

    That wasn’t what I expected when he saw he covered Hey Ya. It’s way different from the original, isn’t it? 

    It’s an interesting and cool take on the song, but I think that to do it in this mournful, angsty style, it might be better to simply leave out the “shake it shake it shake it like a Polaroid picture” part. 

    I still like it, though (although I was hoping to actually see him “shake it”)  :)

  • Miz

    MJ, I don’t hear ‘countrified’, but I do hear ‘folk’ in this. 

    I was expecting the fast and dancy Outkast version. This is similar to the Obahiah Parker cover. Very mournful and pretty.

    I love it. I’d like them to do it again mixing the slow with fast. Pretty great considering how fast they put it together. Katy, Kris’ wife, said they do these right before they go on. Amazing that they can do that.

  • elliegrll

    but I do think that it maybe needed a bit more phrasing finesse to express it better.

    That’s something that Kris has to pay attention to in a lot of his covers, and some of his own songs.   He’s putting the focus on the lyrics, which is fine, but that means that he really has to do a good job of selling them, especially when he’s doing an acoustic performance.

  • girlygirltoo

    Considering they put these covers together in a matter of hours before performing them, I think that, in general, Kris and the band are coming up with some very strong performances. Some are more interesting and better thought out than others, but IMO there hasn’t been a dud yet.

  • HopeForMusic

    I love it, and I can’t even pinpoint why exactly.  I just know that after listening once, it was already stuck in my head, and I had to listen again, then again and again.  Some of his covers that have just immediately struck me as brilliant haven’t had that effect on me.  This one is pretty amazing to me, but again, I can’t even explain why.

  • mtlfan2

    this is one I would have like to hear there by myself!
    I like it much.
    Very good for a last minute song.

  • David Facenfield

    i think i may like that the most of the recent covers he’s done on his OA tour

  • Valarie

    Love it! I would call it country/folk. Kris’ tone is beautiful and plaintive in this song.

  • marylouisedwyer

    Personally I always felt that Kris would do better if he performed country. Just an opinion.

  • Shoriagirl

    Love it!

  • almondean88

    I come to this song with no preconceptions as to how it should sound and I find Kris’s performance soulful and beautiful.  I agree that Kris’ tone is beautiful and plaintive in this song.  I love it! Again thanks MJ for posting this and letting everyone enjoy Kris’s talent.

  • durbesque

    Hey Ya….Oy Vey…. What was Kris thinking?  Doing this kick-ass song in his standard serious mode?  If he didn’t have an arm in a cast, and he’d be willing to lose the guitar, he could shake his booty to a rousing up-tempo rendition….I’d go for that!  But not this silly dirge.

  • JJ.

    It’s actually one of the deceptively ‘fun’ songs that are surprisingly sad when you focus on the lyrics. That’s why he decided to re-arrange the song to be more somber, I’m thinking. While I’d love an upbeat rendition from Kris that will let him demonstrate some swag, I thought this interpretation was fitting. And a wildly interesting and compulsively listenable version of “Hey Ya” too.

  • Elizabeth

    Lots of interesting comments about Kris’ performance of this song.  I simply liked it and find myself listening to it again and again.