Why LeAnn Rimes Almost Wasn't Allowed to Sing 'How Do I Live'

During the 1990s, LeAnn Rimes and Trisha Yearwood recorded versions of “How Do I Live.” Rimes almost wasn’t allowed to release her rendition of the song. A movie producer felt only Yearwood’s “How Do I Live” should be released because he had issues with her music.

LeAnn Rimes’ ‘How Do I Live’ was written for this classic 1990s movie

During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, songwriter Diane Warren discussed the origin of “How Do I Live.” “I wrote that for [the movie] Con Air and it was done by two artists at same time, LeAnn Rimes and Trisha Yearwood,” she recalled. “So I met with [producer] Jerry Bruckheimer and he showed me the scene in the movie, and I went and wrote ‘How Do I Live.’ It wasn’t really chosen for the movie yet, but I did run into LeAnn Rimes and told her it was.”

A movie producer preferred Trisha Yearwood’s cover to LeAnn Rimes’ original

Rimes then recorded her version of “How Do I Live.” “And we went in and did a demo, and then she went back to Texas and recorded the song and they spent a lot of money on it,” Warren remembered. “I guess Jerry wanted some changes and her dad didn’t want to change anything.

“I was trying to explain, ‘All you have to do is just make it different for the movie,’” Warren added. “And they wouldn’t do it. So Jerry goes, ‘Is it okay if Trisha Yearwood does it for the movie?’ And I go, ‘Yeah, if I don’t have to pull it from LeAnn.’”

Warren was pressured to deny Rimes the chance to perform the song. Ultimately, Rimes and Yearwood released the song. For a while, Warren received a lot of criticism for allowing this. Everything changed when both versions of the track were hits and one was far more popular.

The way the world reacted to the 2 versions of ‘How Do I Live’

Rimes’ “How Do I Live” became a massive hit. The song reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for 69 weeks. It’s the fifth biggest song in the history of the Billboard Hot 100, behind only Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk!,” Bobby Darrin’s “Mack the Knife,” Santana’s “Smooth,” and Chubby Checker’s “The Twist.” Notably, “How Do I Live” did well even though it was a stand-alone single without a parent album.

Yearwood’s “How Do I Live” was popular as well, but it didn’t reach the level of saturation that Rimes’ did. Yearwoods’ version peaked at No. 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 and lasted on the chart for 12 weeks. The song’s parent album, (Songbook) A Collection of Hits, became a hit too. It peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and lasted on the chart for 54 weeks. Despite what she was told, Warren didn’t need to take the song away from Rimes for Yearwood’s version to find an audience.

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