Music

'Breathe': The Story Behind Faith Hill's Sultry Crossover Smash

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCmsZUN4r_s

Faith Hill made waves in country and pop music in 1999 with her hit single, "Beathe." Released on Warner Bros. records from her fourth album of the same name, the song became a massive crossover hit that went beyond country music and was named the number-one pop single of 2000 by Billboard. The song not only continued to establish Hill as a country-pop queen, but it also kickstarted the careers of two female songwriters.

The sultry love song was written by Nashville songwriters Stephanie Bentley and Holly Lamar, who knew one another previously in their hometown of Thomasville, Georgia. Bentley had already been living in Music City for a few years and had seen success as a singer, most notably alongside Ty Herndon on "Heart Half Empty." She had also written songs for Lorrie Morgan and others and worked as a backup and demo singer.

Holly Lamar only had one writing credit prior to co-writing "Breathe" and had just moved to Nashville when she spotted her old friend Bentley at a local gym. According to BMI, Lamar approached Bentley at the gym and the two reconnected. Since both women moved to Nashville to pursue music, they began writing together every Tuesday.

Bentley recalls that "Breathe" started as a simple melody that she brought to their writing session. Lamar then came up with the title and the songwriting process began. However, "Breathe" wasn't a country song that was written in a half hour. Bentley and Lamar took their time to make sure every facet of the tune was right.

"We wrote it on seven Tuesdays - our regular writing day," Stephanie explains. "We're both very picky and it took several times to get it right."

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The song soon made its way to the country singer, who recorded it, produced it with Byron Gallimore, and made it an international hit. It landed at No. 1 on the US Hot Country Songs chart, as well as on the Top 40 and Adult Contemporary charts. It also landed on the year-end charts, such as the Billboard Hot 100 (No. 2). "Breathe" was also nominated for multiple awards, including two CMA Awards and two Grammys, taking home the Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance. It also took home the BMI Award for Pop Song of the Year. The song was released in the United Kingdom in 2000 and reached No. 33. Fans will remember the song's dramatic music video, showing scenes of Hill laying in a bed and singing the song in a barren landscape.

These accolades not only furthered Hill's career, but they also put Bentley and Lamar on the country songwriting map. Bentley went on to write Martina McBride's "Concrete Angel," as well as songs by Céline Dion, Pam Tillis and Jo Dee Messina. Lamar went on to write Tim McGraw's "Unbroken," as well as songs by Lorrie Morgan, Jo Dee Messina and Wynonna Judd.

"Breathe" followed Hill's first crossover hit, "This Kiss," as well as "Let Me Let Go." and was followed by many more hits, including "The Way You Love Me," "Let's Make Love" (duet with Tim McGraw), "If My Heart Had Wings," "There You'll Be," "Cry," and many more.

"Breathe" Lyrics:

I can feel the magic floating in the air
Being with you gets me that way
I watch the sunlight dance across your face and I've
Never been this swept away

All my thoughts just seem to settle on the breeze
When I'm lying wrapped up in your arms
The whole world just fades away
The only thing I hear
Is the beating of your heart

'Cause 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

In a way I know my heart is waking up
As all the walls come tumbling down
I'm closer than I've ever felt before
And I know
And you know
There's no need for words right now

'Cause 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

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

I can feel the magic floating in the air
Being with you gets me that way

 

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'Breathe': The Story Behind Faith Hill's Sultry Crossover Smash