James Dean-esque musician Jeff Buckley has the "died too young" mystique, and that's been a big part of the devotion he's inspired in his fans, but there's another component as well: The guy was an actual, honest-to-God great singer.
When it was announced that "Gossip Girl" star Penn Badgley would portray Jeff Buckley in the indie biopic "Greetings From Tim Buckley" it was met with a hearty amount of skepticism, but it seems like the pretty boy actor might just be able to deliver in the singing department if a new YouTube video (via My Discman Broke) is any indication.
Badgley, who shot "Greetings" last year, decided to perform live in a club for the first time in his life this past weekend at Cameo Gallery, and played the cover of "Lilac Wine" from Buckley's 1994 album "Grace." You can compare it to the original here, and see that he's actually doing a better-than-expected mimicry of the singer who died of accidental drowning in 1997.
The song was originally written by James Shelton in 1950, and had well-received covers by Nina Simone and Elkie Brooks, but it was Buckley's soulful rendition that introduced the track to a whole new generation. Generation X, to be specific.
"Greetings," which co-stars Imogen Poots, revolves around the 1991 tribute concert for his famous father Tim Buckley at St. Ann's Church, and the woman Jeff meets along the way. While this film is sanctioned by the estate of Tim Buckley, there's a rival version called "Mystery White Boy" starring Broadway's Spider-Man, Reeve Carney, as Jeff and is actually endorsed by Jeff's estate.
Whether either of them can capture the star's life, we can safely say that Badgley has at least got one part pretty right.