Courtney Love appears on this week’s episode of FOX’s music industry drama Empire. The Hole frontwoman plays Elle Dallas, a washed-up singer who helped launch the Empire label with her earliest albums. A scene in the episode has Dallas messing up a cover of Al Green’s “Take Me To The River”, and now Love’s version of the track is available to stream via Spotify.
Talking to Entertainment Weekly about the song choice, Love revealed that the showrunners originally wanted her to do Patti LaBelle’s “Messin’ With My Mind”, but she couldn’t properly handle the boisterous track. “I was so terrible. It was so wrong for me. When I sang it on the phone to the six Fox executives … I think they’re still cringing. It’s Patti LaBelle, man! I can’t hit those kinds of notes, never could.”
As for the role itself, Love poked fun at the parallels between her character’s downfall and her own personal life. “I had to get into the mindset of someone with that kind of sense of entitlement. I wanted to get more into the real diva and a delusional diva because I’m on drugs — not in life at all but as this character. You can’t imagine the research I had to do for that because I know nothing about that!”
Take a listen to her version of “Take Me To The River” below, and watch a clip from the episode over at EW.com.