There are three more days until the Big Game, but the commercials are already rolling in (or as the industry likes to pretend, “getting leaked”). As expected, everyone is pulling out all the stops for the best, most eye-catching ad, with cameos from Zendaya to the entire Austin Powers cast already confirmed. Naturally, Taco Bell isn’t one to be left behind, and they’ve recruited one of the current moment’s largest pop stars to star in their ad: Doja Cat. Not only that, she’ll be giving a rousing rendition of Hole’s classic 1998 hit “Celebrity Skin” for the commercial. How this all relates to ground beef and questionably Mexican fast-casual food, we’re not so sure either — but she sounds, as always, exceptional, and she even got Courtney Love’s blessing to change up some of its lyrics.
Called The Grande Escape — get it?! — the ad will air during the Super Bowl’s fourth quarter and will feature Doja Cat and a gaggle of others dressed as clowns escaping from clown school in pursuit of “discovering Live Más for themselves.” (This is not a joke; it’s taken directly from a press release.) The ad hopes to serve “as an epic story of liberation from conformity” and, we admit, Doja Cat’s rendition of “Celebrity Skin” — the legendary band’s defiant anthem against celebrity culture and consumption — definitely fits the bill.
While Taco Bell hasn’t “leaked” its official ad (though Doja herself did “leak” it in an Instagram Live) you can hear Doja Cat’s electrifying cover of the song early with a behind-the-scenes video of her recording the song and filming the commercial. No stranger to the rock sound, Doja Cat sounds right at home over the track’s crashing guitars, growling and belting out its lyrics with a ripping confidence. Her version will also include reworked lyrics done alongside Love, and the full cover will be released officially on streaming services on Friday, February 11, via RCA.
“It’s no secret I’m a major Taco Bell fan which has made my role with this campaign all the more fun,” said Doja Cat of the commercial in a press release. “I’ve enjoyed every moment of this campaign, especially the ones where we get to break all the rules, and look forward to continuing collaborating with the brand.”
While this may be the first time Doja Cat’s covered a straightforward rock song, she’s long been experimenting with punk and grungier sounds. Her 2019 Hot Pink track “Bottom Bitch” was a classified emo-pop banger that was released, notably, before pop-punk had its second-coming largely in 2020. A year later, she infamously debuted a thrashing nu-metal rework of “Say So” at the 2020 MTV EMA awards.
In the same vein, Hole has had a resurgence among the newest generation of pop stars, perhaps to the joy and complicated contention of Courtney Love. Miley Cyrus delivered a rousing and memorable cover of “Doll Parts” during her album promotions for Plastic Hearts, and pop’s current reigning princess, Olivia Rodrigo, famously mined Hole’s catalog with the promo image for her Sour Prom concert film, paying homage to Hole’s seminal 1994 punk record Live Through This in a mascara-running prom getup while clutching a bunch of flowers. Love didn’t appear to be a fan of this tribute, however, later writing on social media: “Stealing an original idea and not asking permission is rude. There’s no way to be elegant about it. I’m not angry. It happens all the time to me.”
Good thing Doja Cat got Love’s blessing first! Hear her cover of “Celebrity Skin” above and relive the original, below.