Lee Greenwood Opens Up About How "God Bless The USA" Became A 4th Of July Staple
Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Lee Greenwood Opens Up About How "God Bless The USA" Became A 4th Of July Staple

When deciding on your 4th of July playlist, "God Bless The USA" is a staple for many. Lee Greenwood opened up about the song, and its lasting power over the years. Believe it or not, it's been 40 years since the singer recorded the patriotic anthem.

At the time, Greenwood didn't realize how iconic the tune would become. Independence Day is a busy day for the singer. Audiences can usually find him singing on the patriotic holiday. "We always joked, if I'm not singing somewhere on the Fourth of July, you might as well take the flag down," Greenwood told The New York Post. Greenwood revealed he wrote the song on the back of a tour bus. At the time, he wanted a tune that could be inspirational and remind Americans of all the great things that the country had to offer.

"It was something I wanted to do my whole life anyway," said Greenwood. "But I never intended 'God bless the USA' to be a hit." At the time, Greenwood's team didn't even plan to release the song as a single. However, when Irving Azoff, then head of MCA, heard the song, he realized that he had a hit on his hands.

Lee Greenwood Talks Tune

"If he hadn't made the call to release the single of the song, nobody would have heard of it - I guarantee you," said Greenwood. "It changed my life."

As for the singer, he said that he still gets emotional over this tune after all this time. Even though he's performed it more than a thousand times, the song still strikes a chord in his heart. Through his travels, he's met with the families of military members who have died serving the country.

"It still gets me," he said. "That will tear me up. I absolutely still get emotional about it." The singer also opened up about having a whole closet full of patriotic attire. He said that he owns a lot of red, white, and blue clothing. "I have more red, white and blue clothing than probably anybody on the planet," said Greenwood.

As for politics, Greenwood shared that he only lets the song be used if he believes in the candidate wholeheartedly.

"I don't want to be used politically just because I'm an artist who believes in my country," said Greenwood. "I'm ever optimistic that we will endure, even with the changing environment around the world. Democracy has a chance to survive because we can elect new people."