"Hallelujah" is a song written by Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen and originally released on his studio album Various Positions (1984). The song found greater popular acclaim by way of a cover by John Cale, which formed the basis for a later cover by Jeff Buckley.
Although it achieved little initial success, in recent years cover versions have been performed by a large number and broad range of artists, both in recordings and in concert, and has now surpassed "Suzanne" (written in the 1960s) to become the most-covered Cohen song.
In 2008 "Hallelujah" became a record-setting UK chart phenomenon when a version performed by Alexandra Burke, winner of the massively popular television talent competition "X Factor," rocketed to the #1 slot on the UK singles chart, becoming the fastest-selling single by a female artist in UK chart history. So much interest in the song was generated that Jeff Buckley's rendition bulleted to #2 while Cohen's original version entered the singles chart at #34, bringing the artist his first-ever British Top 40 single. With versions of the song holding down three Top 40 UK Singles Chart positions simultaneously, "Hallelujah" became the fastest-selling digital single in European history. RIAA, CRIA, ARIA and IFPI statistics alone show that, prior to late 2008, more than five million copies of "Hallelujah" sold in CD format.