Story Behind the Song: Rascal Flatts, ‘Here’
Rascal Flatts released "Here" in September 2008, as the fifth single from their Still Feels Good album; it became a No. 1 song on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart in January 2009. The tune was written by songwriters Jeffrey Steele and Steve Robson, shortly after Steele lost his 13-year-old-son Alex in an accident on Jan. 28, 2007. Below, Steele tells The Boot about how the song came to be.
Steve and I were both at the Grammys and nominated for "What Hurts the Most." It was two weeks after Alex died. I wasn't going to go. I was supposed to sing at this BMI songwriter event as a pre-Grammy celebration. I was going to cancel, because I was too busted up. I didn't know what to do with myself. I kept calling BMI and saying, "I'm not going to be able to to this ... it's too soon, and I don't feel right." They called me back and said, "If you feel like doing it, the door is open."
There was this group, Three 6 Mafia, that Alex wanted to meet, and they were going to be at the Grammys. I decided at the last minute we were going to go and try to meet them so we could tell them about Alex and how bad he wanted to meet them. That was our reason for now going.
I called BMI and said, "I am going to be there and try to get through this." So I go to L.A. and do this show. I sang "What Hurts the Most" for Alex. Right when I finished singing, I get a call from Steve saying he was in town. He said, "I want to meet up with you -- we're going to celebrate, because we're nominated!" He was going to be in town two extra days writing for this American Idol thing. He asked if I wanted to get together. I told him I was supposed to be going back, but I'd stay an extra day.
The next day, I met him at this funky studio in Venice, Calif. We got together, and I really didn't feel like doing anything. I was really depressed. He started playing this music he was working on. When I hear his music, it makes it so easy for lyrics and melodies to fall out of me. As soon as I heard what he was playing, I came up with the melody and words about all the roads I had to take to get me here ... even though you're gone now, I'd go back and do it again. That was the thought in my head.
It was the first thing I put on paper since his death. It was kind of written as a love song, but it was really directed at Alex. It was a pretty magical, bittersweet and tearful moment. The result was that song.
This song was originally written by Alanna Conaway, and revised by Angela Stefano.
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