"Hey Brother" is a dance song by Swedish DJ and producer Avicii from his debut studio album, True (2013). American bluegrass singer Dan Tyminski provides uncredited vocals for the track. It was written by Avicii, Ash Pournouri, Salem Al Fakir, Vincent Pontare and Veronica Maggio. The song, which serves as the album's third single, was solicited to Australian radio on 9 October 2013 and later released on 28 October 2013 in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. In March 2014 a version of the track remixed by Avicii himself was released on his remix album True (Avicii By Avicii), this time featuring new vocals from singer Vincent Pontare.
On 1 November 2013, the lyric video for "Hey Brother" was released onto YouTube by AviciiOfficialVEVO. The video is an assortment of stock footage clips depicting regular people and obscure events in normal everyday life such as playing basketball, Aundrea Fimbres with her face off screen having a light snack on chocolate and an olive, popcorn popping, and having a snowball fight, all in slow motion and all whilst a dynamic animation of text represent the lyrics.
The official music video was released on 9 December 2013. It depicts two brothers growing up in wartime America. There are pictures and clips of the Vietnam War interspersed in the video. At the end it is revealed that the younger boy thought of his father (who died in the Vietnam War) as the older brother he never had. It features two boys, the older boy is Zach Voss, the younger boy is Brandon Slabaugh. The end of the video shows Avicii standing by the trees near the site of the father's grave which he walks away while fireflies are shown to be flying around the trees while Avicii is walking through the grass based on a true story.
A music video was also released for the Avicii by Avicii version on April 9, 2014 on Avicii's VEVO page. The video was directed by Nick Fung and Nate Olson and features clips from the Cartoon Hangover web-series "Bravest Warriors". The video was released as part of "Channel 4", a project by Avicii which had several songs from his "True (Avicii by Avicii)" album made into music videos by various YouTube filmmakers and animators, which included MysteryGuitarMan, Keshen8, and YoMama, as well as Cartoon Hangover.
In the United Kingdom, after climbing for several weeks, "Hey Brother" peaked at number two on the UK Singles Chart on 15 December 2013 ― for the week ending dated 21 December 2013 ― being held off the top spot by Lily Allen's cover of "Somewhere Only We Know". As of 9 February 2014 - for the week ending 15 February 2014 - the single has spent 10 consecutive weeks in the top 10. In addition, "Hey Brother" peaked at the top of the UK Dance Chart. Including previous releases "I Could Be the One", "Wake Me Up!" and "You Make Me", Avicii therefore reached the summit of the UK Dance Chart four times in 2013 alone. The song spent a total of six weeks at the top spot on the UK Dance Chart, ended by "Rather Be" by Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne.
In the United States, the song entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart at No.77 in December 2013. It continued climbing and rose to No. 19 in March 2014, and reached a million in total sales that week. After Clear Channel personnel noticed the song's success at pop and adult pop radio, they asked Island Def Jam to craft a remix that showcases the song's instruments more prominently. Support for this remix enabled "Hey Brother" to debut, and peak, at number 59 on Billboard's Country Airplay chart in March 2014.