Cost of Livin'

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"Cost of Livin'"
Single by Ronnie Dunn
from the album Ronnie Dunn
Released June 27, 2011 (2011-06-27)
Format Music download
Genre Country
Length 4:10
Label Arista Nashville
Writer(s) Ronnie Dunn
Phillip Coleman
Producer(s) Ronnie Dunn
Ronnie Dunn singles chronology
"Bleed Red"
"Cost of Livin'"
"Let the Cowboy Rock"

"Cost of Livin'" is the title of a song co-written and recorded by American country music singer Ronnie Dunn. It was released in June 2011 as the second single from his self-titled album, and his second release following the split of the duo Brooks & Dunn. Dunn wrote this song with Phillip Coleman.

Background and writing[edit]

Dunn had first had the song on hold in 2008, during the economic recession, but decided against recording it because he thought that the economy would improve. Dunn was also told that by label executives that he was "too wealthy" for the song, a comment which Dunn said made him "furious."[1] Phillip Coleman wrote most of the song, but Dunn changed the original chorus and hook.[2]


"Cost of Livin'" is about an ex-military man who is seeking employment. He tells the interviewer positive qualities about himself.

Critical reception[edit]

Giving it four-and-a-half stars out of five, Billy Dukes of Taste of Country said that it "tells a chillingly familiar story that one can’t help but stop and notice." He praised the "bare-bones production" and Dunn's "big voice".[3] Kevin John Coyne of Country Universe gave the song an A grade, calling it "a masterpiece that is as timely as it is well written and performed." [4] Dunn's performance of the song earned him two Grammy Award nominations, one for Best Country Song for co-writing "Cost of Livin'" and one for Best Country Solo Performance.

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Thien Phan.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2011) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[5] 19
US Billboard Hot 100[6] 86

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2011) Position
US Country Songs (Billboard)[7] 65


  1. ^ Dukes, Billy (27 July 2011). "Ronnie Dunn, ‘Cost of Livin” – Lyrics Uncovered". Taste of Country. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  2. ^ Graff, Gary (8 June 2011). "Ronnie Dunn 'Scared to Death' of Launching Solo Career". Billboard. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  3. ^ Dukes, Billy (8 June 2011). "Ronnie Dunn, ‘Cost of Livin” – Song Review". Taste of Country. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  4. ^ Coyne, Kevin John (3 July 2011). "Single Review: Ronnie Dunn, “Cost of Livin’”". Country Universe. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  5. ^ "Ronnie Dunn Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Ronnie Dunn.
  6. ^ "Ronnie Dunn Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Ronnie Dunn.
  7. ^ "Best of 2011: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2011. Retrieved December 10, 2011.