Ashleigh Smith Gives Michael Jackson’s ‘I Can’t Help It’ A Jazzy Makeover

Photo Credit: Cyrus Christophe

Had Michael Jackson lived to see 2023, he would have celebrated his 65th birthday on August 29th. Although he left us entirely too soon 14 years ago, Michael’s memory and music will never die. His legacy and impact on the culture is undeniable, especially his influence on other artists. One of those artists is jazz vocalist Ashleigh Smith. The Bounce-Worthy Dallas native decided to commemorate the anniversary of Michael’s birth with the release of a cover of “I Can’t Help It.”

Produced by Quincy Jones, the classic album cut from Jackson’s iconic 1979 release Off The Wall is one of the more jazzy R&B songs from his catalog. Smith doubles down on the jazz with her twist on the oft-covered track.

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Ashleigh wraps her luscious vocals around the lyrics penned by Stevie Wonder and Susaye Greene. Accompanied by piano, bass, drums, percussion, guitar and trumpet, the instrumentation starts off subdued before increasing in intensity as the song progresses. She joins the musicians as they get loose and even shouts out the bass player. “Y’all know I love a bass line!” Smith declares, having fun with her rendition.

Even the cover art for Ashleigh’s single is an homage to Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall and Thriller album covers, combining the brick background of the former with his laid-back lean on the latter.

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Ashleigh Smith’s jazz-infused take on “I Can’t Help It” is the first sample of new music from the songstress who will release her next album in spring 2024. Until that arrives, we’ll have this on repeat. Join us when you listen below.

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