Friday, September 19, 2008
The Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs (#4)
The song was the written for the movie CON AIR, but the version that wound up in the soundtrack was not the one that landed the #4 spot in Billboard's Hot 100 of all time.
At a restaurant in Santa Monica, California, songwriter Dianne Warren approached then 14 year-old Leann Rimes to do a demo of a song that Warren had written for an upcoming movie. It was uncertain still if the tune would be picked up for the film, but because Rimes fell so in love with HOW DO I LIVE, she asked Warren if she could record the song for her own album should it not make it to the movie's audio track. Warren agreed and soon after, recording ensued.
However, Rimes found out that the day following her vocal dubbing, the same musicians were contacted to do a second version of the song, this time with Trisha Yearwood. Why Yearwood's version was the one picked up by Con Air, no one knows for sure, though Warren suggests that movie producers felt Yearwood's version seemed more appropriate for their project. It was this version, too, that was sent to country radio by record executives at MCA.
Later, during a chance meeting between Rimes and Mike Curb, producer of Leann's version, Curb asked Rimes if it was all right for him to ship her track to pop radio rather than to country. Not really knowing what this meant, Rimes agreed instantly, and the rest is history.
Rimes sold 3.5 million physical singles of HOW DO I LIVE while Yearwood sold slightly more than 300,000. And while Yearwood's cut reached No. 23 in Billboard's Hot 100, Rimes hit No. 2 and spent an amazing 69 weeks on the chart, the most for any song before or since.
See below a more recent live performance of HOW DO I LIVE by LeAnn Rimes with her friend, English R&B/Soul songstress, Joss Stone.
No. 3 in our countdown was recorded 49 years ago by an Italian-American who picked his stage name after seeing a broken neon sign at a Chinese restaurant....