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‘Gossip Girl’ Star Penn Badgley Covers Jeff Buckley’s ‘Lilac Wine’

Penn Badgley and Jeff Buckley
Jamie McCarthy / Mick Hutson, Getty Images

To achieve breakout fame from a role on a CW soap like ‘Gossip Girl,’ you need a brooding stare and freakish good looks — but to parlay that fame into the starring role in a movie about the life of an artist as critically beloved and tragically lost as Jeff Buckley, you also need a lot of moxie.

Penn Badgley, the ‘Gossip Girl’ star who’s toplining one of the two Buckley biopics currently in development, has all of the above — and now we have our first video proof, courtesy of some fan-shot footage of Badgley performing Buckley songs during a recent gig at the Cameo Gallery in New York.

This particular video catches Badgley playing ‘Lilac Wine,’ written by James Shelton and covered by a long list of artists, including Eartha Kitt, Nina Simone, Elkie Brooks and, of course, Buckley, who recorded it for his ‘Grace’ album in 1994. As Spin points out, Badgley’s performance of ‘Lilac Wine’ is no accident; because the movie he’s starring in is being produced without the approval or involvement of the Buckley estate, the filmmakers can’t use his original music, and have to focus on the songs he covered instead.

Have a listen to Badgley’s ‘Lilac Wine’ below. How do you think it stacks up against Buckley’s version?

Watch Penn Badgley Perform ‘Lilac Wine’

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