According to Billboard and Nielsen Music, the song received 33,000 downloads (up 1,177%) and 3.8 million U.S. steams (a 279% increase) in the week ending Nov. 17. “Gains for ‘Hallelujah’ on the latest charts reflect a full week of consumption following the news of [Cohen’s] passing,” the article reads. The song is currently listed at No. 59 on the chart.
According to a recent profile of Cohen in the New Yorker, ‘Hallelujah’ took the singer five years and multiple drafts to write before he settled on the finished version. It was released as a track on Cohen’s 1984 album Various Positions, but it was not well received by the singer’s record label at first.
The song’s growth in popularity was instead driven by other artists, including Bono, Willie Nelson and Justin Timberlake, who translated their admiration for Cohen’s song into their own versions. Bob Dylan performed the song on the road in the late ’80s, telling The New Yorker “That song ‘Hallelujah’ has resonance for me…this song has a connective chorus, which when it comes in has a power all of its own.”
The Canadian singer/songwriter died on Nov. 7 at the age of 82.