September 22

Which Version of “How Do I Live” Did You Like Better?

The Versions

As we have featured last week, we commemorate the song “How Do I Live?” and it’s 20th anniversary. LeAnn Rimes featured the extended version of “How Do I Live” on her second studio album You Light Up My Life: Inspirational Songs in 1997. The song was written by Diane Warren and was later performed by Trisha Yearwood. Both versions were released on May 27, 1997.

In the United States, Rimes version remained at No.2 for five non-consecutive weeks in the late 1997 and early 1998.

Despite only placing 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.

F.I.R. also covered “How Do I Live” and they invited Rimes to record a portion of the song for their third album Flight Tribe in 2006.


Actually, 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.

The song was nominated for Best Original Song for Con Air at the 70th Academy Awards. In Popular Media and in the webcomic Homestuck, the character John Egbert is a fan of the film, and there are numerous references to Con Air throughout the story. This includes published covers of the song “How Do I Live”.

For some reason, I vaguely remember LeAnn’s version, but Con Air was such a hit that time, Trisha’s version made a longer lasting impression and mark on me. How about you? Which version do you like better?


how do i live without you, leann rhymes, trisha yearwood

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