“The Great Pretender” was released by the Platters in 1955. The cover version I know was by the Band from 1973. Richard Manuel reaches for the high note near the end (at 2:15). In addition to Manuel’s vocal which captures the sadness of the lyrics, the highlight is Garth Hudson’s organ throughout the record.
A great song like this can be done in a wide range of styles as you will see below.