Today, Trisha Yearwood's "How Do I Live" is considered to be one of her signature songs. Yearwood released the song as a single in 1977 from her album (Songbook): A Collection of Hits, but the song's backstory is a bit more complicated than that.
Originally meant to be released as a single for the 1997 film Con Air, "How Do I Live" was actually offered to another artist before Yearwood.
The song's writer, Diane Warren, wrote the song with LeAnn Rimes in mind and promised it would be hers. Even though the film company went with Rimes' version of the song at first, they didn't like its pop influences and also thought that she was too young to sing the song, since she was only 14 at the time.
That's how Yearwood got to record "How Do I Live," because she was chosen to create a new version for the film. However, neither version of the song made its way on to the official Con Air soundtrack. Despite that, Yearwood's version of the song became not only one of her signatures, but the signature song of the film.
Both Yearwood and Rimes released their versions of the song on the same day in 1997, and both experienced great chart success. Yearwood's version ended up peaking at the second spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and also made its way into the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100, claiming the 23rd spot on that chart.
Yearwood's version of "How Do I Live" was nominated for a number of awards, earning Yearwood the Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance. The song was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song, but lost to "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion.
In the song, the narrator sings about how lost she would be if her love left her behind. The loss of her love would not only mean the loss of the best thing in her life, but the loss of everything good in her life overall. The lyrics detail her feelings, as she sings, "Without you there'd be no sun in my sky/There would be no love in my life/There'd be no world left for me."
Yearwood's official music video for "How Do I Live" is an emotional work of art, like the song itself, containing a blend of clips from Con Air along with Yearwood's performance of the song. You can watch the video below.
Many years after its release, Yearwood's performance of "How Do I Live" still manages to capture our hearts.
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