It’s Been 15 Years Since Trisha and LeAnn Duked it Out With ‘How Do I Live’
On this date in 1998, both LeAnn Rimes and Trisha Yearwood were nominated for the Grammy Award for Single of the Year for "How Do I Live", marking the only time the same song was nominated for Single of the Year twice in the same year. Neither wrote the song, but both recorded a version of "How Do I Live" that resonated with listeners across multiple radio formats. Both were nominated for awards, but neither was actually featured on the soundtrack of the movie for which the song was intended. The story of how both women recorded and released the same single on the same day in May of 1997 is one of the more interesting back stories for a song you'll ever hear.
LeAnn Rimes was approached with a song written by Diane Warren called "How Do I Live", written for the movie Con Air. The song was recorded in early 1997, but Walt Disney Pictures decided the 14-year-old's rendition of the song was too young of a sound and not quite country-leaning as they'd like. They enlisted Trisha Yearwood to record the song for the movie soundtrack. When Rimes heard about Trisha's version she moved up the release of her version to pop radio to coincide with Trisha's release to country radio. It proved to be a smart business decision.
While both songs were nominated were well-received by their respective audiences, Rimes' rendition went astronomical, landing at #4 in Billboard's All Time Top 100 and the single went bonkers on the charts. Despite never reaching the #1 spot (thanks to Elton John and Princess Diana), the song stayed in the Pop Top 100 for 69 weeks, 32 weeks in the Pop Top 10 and a record 291 consecutive weeks in the Country Top 25.
Impressed yet? Despite the sordid back story on the song that nearly went full-cat-fight level, the single never made its way onto the movie's soundtrack. While Trisha' version was ultimately used in the film, the soundtrack didn't actually feature either single, instead opting to go with the film's score. That's a great choice considering the single sold 4 million-plus copies.
All that being said, who's got the better version? 15 years later, is LeAnn country enough for you? To refresh your memories, give a listen to both ladies' versions of the song and vote for your choice below.