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Story Behind the Song: The Band Perry, ‘If I Die Young’

After it was released as a single in June of 2010, “If I Die Young” became a smash hit for the Band Perry. The song, written by Kimberly Perry, climbed to the top of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in December, hit No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart, was a Top 10 hit on the Adult Top 40 chart (No. 4) and earned a Top 20 spot on both the Mainstream Top 40 and Hot 100 charts as well (No. 12 and No. 14, respectively).

“If I Die Young,” in addition to being nominated for a Grammy Award and two ACM Awards, won Single of the Year and Song of the Year at the CMA Awards in 2011. It has been certified six times platinum. Below, Perry tells The Boot about writing the song.

“If I Die Young” is actually the first song that we had penned for [our debut] album. It defines an early chapter of our music career.

We penned it on a cloudy day in East Tennessee, which is where we live and do all of our best thinking. We wanted to write a song about making the most of whatever time you’re given — whether it’s two years, 20 years or 200.

We really have gotten to live and love at our young ages. “If I Die Young,” for us, is about, if it all ends at this moment, look at what we’ve gotten to do. Whatever time we’re given will be absolutely enough, as long as we make the most of it.

… We’ve had people writing in and telling us about what this song means to them. People are finding a lot of life through this song. That’s the spirit that we wrote it out of. That makes us so excited.

This story was originally written by Alanna Conaway, and revised by Angela Stefano.

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