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How Do I Live

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Extended Mix Mr. Mig Dance Radio Edit (re-issue) RH Factor Radio Edit (UK) You Light Up My Life

May 27, 1997 (1997-05-27) (U.S.) February 23, 1998 (1998-02-23) (UK)

CD single, cassette tape, Maxi single, vinyl

1997 Glenn Meadows/Masterfonics (Nashville, Tennessee) Starstruck Studios (Nashville, Tennessee) Barking Dog Studios (Mt. Kisco, New York) KD Studios (Nashville, Tennessee) Curb Studios (Nashville, Tennessee)

"How Do I Live" is a song written by Diane Warren. It was originally performed by LeAnn Rimes and the extended version of the song was later featured on her album You Light Up My Life: Inspirational Songs in 1997 and later performed by Trisha Yearwood. Both versions were released on May 27, 1997.


In the U.S., Rimes's version peaked at No. 2 for five non-consecutive weeks in late 1997 and early 1998, behind "Candle in the Wind 1997" by Elton John, and "Truly Madly Deeply" by Savage Garden. It set a record for staying on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 69 weeks, a record it held until "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz set a new record of 76 weeks. The Rimes recording also set the record for the most time in the Billboard Hot 100's top 5 at 25 consecutive weeks and held the record for nineteen years (until it was broken in early 2017 by The Chainsmokers's song "Closer"), the record for Billboard Hot 100's top 10 at 32 consecutive weeks (a record also matched by The Chainsmoker's song "Closer"), and the record for Billboard Hot 100's top 40 at 62 consecutive weeks. It ranks at No. 4 on Billboard's All Time Top 100, the only single on the top 10 of this list not peaking at No. 1. The only songs that finished ahead of it were Bobby Darin's cover of "Mack the Knife", Santana's song "Smooth", and Chubby Checker's version of "The Twist". It has been certified 3× Platinum by the RIAA for shipments of 3 million copies in the United States, the highest certified country single of that time, to be surpassed twelve years later by "Love Story" from artist Taylor Swift, which has been certified 8× Platinum.

Despite only peaking as high as No. 7 in the UK Singles Chart, Rimes' version of "How Do I Live" spent 34 weeks on the chart, ending up as the 6th best selling single of 1998. As of August 2014, the song has sold 710,000 copies in the UK.

"How Do I Live" was also covered by F.I.R. (Faye and Real featuring LeAnn Rimes). F.I.R. invited Rimes to record a portion of the song for their third album Flight Tribe in 2006.


The song was originally intended for release as a single for the 1997 action blockbuster Con Air soundtrack.

According to LeAnn Rimes, Warren wrote the song with her in mind, promising it to Rimes "no matter what." Walt Disney Pictures, the parent company of Touchstone Pictures, decided that Rimes' recording had too much of a "pop" feel to it and, because she was 14, that she was too young for the subject matter expressed in the song. Trisha Yearwood was ultimately chosen to re-record the song, utilizing a more throaty, country-western vibe. Yearwood's version was released on May 27, 1997 to country radio and appeared in the film. According to Yearwood, she had no idea of Rimes' recording prior to being approached by Touchstone Pictures to do the song.

When Wilbur Rimes (Leann's father and then manager) heard of the release, her version was quickly released to mainstream pop radio. Neither Rimes' nor Yearwood's version of the song was included on the soundtrack album for the film (which consists of the score by Trevor Rabin and Mark Mancina).

Rimes' version was released on a CD and cassette tape single, with the original rendition of the song plus an extended version, the latter of which was later re-issued on Rimes' You Light Up My Life: Inspirational Songs, while the former was issued on her Greatest Hits in 2003 in the US, The Best of LeAnn Rimes in 2004 internationally and again in the US on her All-Time Greatest Hits album in 2015. The CD single was later re-issued with the original version of the song as the A-side track with the B-side being replaced by the Mr. Mig's Dance Radio Edit, which would later be featured on the remix edition of The Best of LeAnn Rimes in 2004, while in 2014 her Dance Like You Don't Give A...Greatest Hits Remixes featured a new remix by Cahill.

Yearwood's version

US/Japan CD-Single/US cassette tape
  1. How Do I Live 4:28
  2. How Do I Live [Video Version] 4:07
European CD single
  1. How Do I Live [Video Version] 4:07
  2. How Do I Live 4:28
  3. She's in Love with the Boy 4:05

Other versions

  1. How Do I Live (Cahill Remix) 6:30
  2. How Do I Live (Cahill Radio Edit) 3:34


Both the Rimes and the Yearwood versions debuted on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 on the week ending June 14, 1997. Rimes' version was noted for its extreme longevity, spending a record-breaking 69 weeks on the chart and 32 weeks on the top ten alone, also a record. The track spent 25 of those in the top five, yet another record. Despite not peaking at number one, the Rimes version spent five weeks at number two, ten weeks at number three and seven weeks at number four, all non-consecutive. It also spent 62 weeks in the U.S. Top 40 and 30 weeks on the UK Top 40 singles chart.

On March 11, 2017, "Closer" by The Chainsmokers and Halsey set the new record for the most amount of time a song has spent in the top five of the Hot 100 when it was ranked at number five, marking its twenty-sixth week in the top five (though unlike "How Do I Live" this was nonconsecutive).

Trisha Yearwood's version was moving quickly up the charts, getting as high as number 23, when MCA refused to issue any more copies of the single, for fear of cannibalizing album sales. The limited press run of 300,000 sold out, and the single was off the Hot 100 after 12 weeks. Yearwood's single on the country charts quickly climbed all the way to number 2. Rimes single was the top selling country single of all time.

Rimes' version ranked at number 4 on Billboard's All Time Top 100 in 2008. When the All Time chart was retabulated for the chart's 55th anniversary in 2013, it remained in the same position, being the most successful single by a female artist in the list.

Rimes' version spent 11 weeks atop the Adult Contemporary chart. In Australia, Rimes' version peaked on the ARIA Charts at number 17 while Yearwood's peaked at number 2.


In 1998, for the first time in history, the Grammy Awards nominated two artists for the same song in the same category. Directly following Rimes' performance of the song, Yearwood won the Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance. Yearwood also performed the song at the Country Music Association for which she won the 1997 award for Female Vocalist of the Year Yearwood also won the 1997 Academy of Country Music Award for Top Female Vocalist.

The song was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song, but lost to "My Heart Will Go On" from the film Titanic. Yearwood performed the song at the award ceremony.

Credits and personnel

Diane Warren – songwriter

Rimes version

Credits for LeAnn's version are adapted from the liner notes of the UK version of Sittin' on Top of the World.

The song was used in the 1997 movie Con Air.

The song is semi-frequently used in the webcomic Homestuck (albeit in the form of a cover) due to one character's fascination with the movie Con Air and, in particular, the scene near the end of the movie during which the song is played.


How Do I Live Wikipedia

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