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17 Years Ago: Faith Hill Tops the Charts With ‘Breathe’

Faith Hill Breathe
Warner Bros. Nashville

Seventeen years ago today (Dec. 25, 1999) was a Christmas to remember for Faith Hill: It was on that date that the singer landed at the top of the charts with her hit single, “Breathe;” the song tayed in the No. 1 spot for an astonishing six weeks.

“Breathe,” written by Stephanie Bentley and Holly Lamar, was the lead-off single from and title track of Hill’s fourth studio album. With sexy lines such as, “I can feel you breathe / It’s washing over me / Suddenly I’m melting into you / There’s nothing left to prove / Baby, all we need is just to be / Caught up in the touch / The slow and steady rush / Baby, isn’t that the way that love’s supposed to be? / I can feel you breathe / Just breathe,” the song also became Hill’s first and only No. 1 on the Hot Adult Contemporary chart, where it remained for 17 weeks, and was named the No. 1 single on Billboard‘s year-end countdown in 2000.

The success of “Breathe” was undoubtedly assisted by the song’s accompanying music video, which shows Hill, dressed only in a sheet, rolling around in a bed. While some found the video too racy, it propelled Hill’s image as a sexy singer and helped launch her crossover success into the pop world; the video also won the Mississippi native an ACM Award, for Video of the Year.

“Breathe” won a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance, and the album won Best Country Album. In addition, the success of the single helped Hill win both an ACM Award and a CMA Award for Female Vocalist of the Year.

The record Breathe, which includes one more No. 1 hit, “The Way You Love Me,” has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide; the single “Breathe” is also featured on Hill’s 2001 album, There You’ll Be, as well as 2007’s The Hits.

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