Sometimes, a fun game that my friends and I like to play is to recast the Moulin Rouge version of “Lady Marmalade,” a song that has played at every sleepover, school dance, and karaoke bar since 2008.
Ariana Grande and Cardi B are obvious contenders and the only two we’ve unanimously agreed upon. We’ve thought about Lizzo, Beyoncé, and Rihanna. Halsey and Billie Eillish have both been thrown in as P!nk replacements, but let’s be honest, they could never. In any casting, Missy Elliott would reprise her role, of course.
I can tell you that one name that has never been and will never be considered is Ed Sheeran. Apparently, Sheeran told Charlamagne Tha God that his latest collaboration with Bruno Mars and Justin Bieber was originally born from his desire to re-record a version of “Lady Marmalade” with the three of them.
Let me just say, absolutely not.
Sheeran has a history of appearing in places no one asked him to be, like Game of Thrones or my car radio whenever I plug my phone into the aux for having the audacity to name a song “The A Team” so it’s the first thing that autoplays. Please, stay away from “Lady Marmalade.”
I am not a “Lady Marmalade” purist by any means. The song was originally recorded by The Eleventh Hour in 1974, before being redone by LaBelle the same year. It’s been covered many times by Italian pop star Sabrina, British girl group All Saints, and perhaps most notably by Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mýa, and Pink for the movie musical Moulin Rouge.
That being said, do I need to hear three of the least attractive and most annoying men on Earth sing a markedly worse rendition of a song about getting extremely wine drunk and paying for sex? I do not.
I would welcome a new “Lady Marmalade” cover with open arms, but only with the right cast.
An earlier version of this post credited Patti Labelle instead of LaBelle. We’ve fixed the error.