You Must Love Me

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"You Must Love Me"
Single by Madonna
from the album Evita
B-side "Rainbow High"
Released October 27, 1996
Format CD, cassette, 7"
Recorded 1995
Genre Pop
Length 3:09
Label Warner Bros.
Madonna singles chronology
"Love Don't Live Here Anymore"
"You Must Love Me"
"Don't Cry for Me Argentina"

"You Must Love Me" is a pop ballad recorded by American singer-songwriter Madonna from the soundtrack album Evita of the motion picture of the same name.[1] It was released in October 1996 by Warner Bros. as the first single from the album. Written by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, the song won an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1997.[1] It was seen by critics as her "new adult, matriarchal image".[2]

Featuring a simple, elegantly arranged melody, the single entered the top twenty in countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. The music video shows her while being eight months pregnant with her first child, and scenes from the film Evita, for which she received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.


The song was specially written for the film version of Evita and won an Oscar for "Best Original Song in a Film" in 1997.

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The track is the only song recorded for the movie that did not originate in one form or another from the original stage version of the musical. The song reunited lyricist Tim Rice and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber after eleven years of not working together on any new songs. It was written specifically for the film (the director Alan Parker requested a rewrite of parts of the final scenes of the score) and was included in the stage production for the first time when the musical was staged in Iceland in 1997 and subsequently in many other productions, including the English language revival, starring Elena Roger, in June 2006 at London's Adelphi Theatre.

The song speaks on two levels: First, the literal level of Eva Perón's discovery that her husband Juan Perón has actually loved her all along and not merely seen her as a political prop. Second, in a more political level, as Eva Perón talking to her people, notably represented in the musical by the character of Che. The B-side to the single was "Rainbow High".

Brooke White covered this song on the seventh season of American Idol, during Andrew Lloyd Webber week. She marked Idol history that night when she stopped after the first verse in the song to restart because she forgot the lyrics.[3]



The song won the 1996 Academy Award for Best Original Song.[1] Madonna also performed the song at the awards. The song also won a Golden Globe Award as Best Original Song. Kathleen Guerdo from Billboard said that "[Madonna] delivers what is by far one of the strongest vocal performances of her career, comfortably scaling to the song's demanding soprano heights while infusing it with delicate, heart-rending emotion. This bodes well for the creative potency of the rest of the soundtrack, which is due Nov. 14. Prepare for wall-to-wall airplay of this flawless ballad on pop and AC radio."[4]


The song returned Madonna to the UK top 10, at number 10 (selling 90,428 copies), and it was the beginning of an eight-year run of consecutive UK top 10 hits until the end of 2003 when "Love Profusion" stalled at number 11. It also became a hit in the US, reaching number 18, and was certified gold by the RIAA on October 22, 1998. It was released and was immediately embraced by US radio.[5]

In Germany, it was her worst peaking song, only reaching #78.[6]

Music video[edit]

Madonna sits before a piano in the music video for "You Must Love Me". In the background a cello player can be seen.

Madonna filmed the music video for "You Must Love Me" on August 31, 1996 at Culver Studios in Culver City, California while she was eight months pregnant with her daughter Lourdes. The video was directed by Alan Parker, also the director of Evita. The video includes footage from the film Evita, and shows Madonna singing the song in a small room. She stands behind an acoustic piano to hide her pregnancy, and her pianist and cellist are also in the video. The video was included as a bonus feature on Evita: 15th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray released on June 19, 2012.

Live performances[edit]

Madonna performing "You Must Love Me" during her Sticky & Sweet Tour

On March 27, 1997, Madonna performed the song at the 69th Academy Awards.[7]

Madonna performed the song on a world tour for the first time in 2008 on the Sticky and Sweet Tour, marking one of the only acoustic, down-tempo moment in the entire show, which was dance intensive (the other down-tempo song of the tour being "Devil Wouldn't Recognize You").

Formats and track listing[edit]

US CD / 7" Single
  1. "You Must Love Me" (Single Version) – 3:09
  2. "Rainbow High" – 2:27
EU CD Single
  1. "You Must Love Me" (Single Version) – 3:09
  2. "Rainbow High" – 2:27
  3. "You Must Love Me/I'd Be Surprisingly Good For You" (Orchestral Version) – 4:27

Credits and personnel[edit]

  • Vocals by Madonna[1]
  • Written by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber[1]
  • Produced by Nigel Wright, Alan Parker, Andrew Lloyd Webber, David Caddick, Madonna (single version only).



  1. ^ a b c d e f g Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 137. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ Browne, David (October 25, 1996). "You Must Love Me (1196) – Music Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 14, 2009. 
  3. ^,,20177497_20196668_20448265,00.html
  4. ^ "Single Reviews". October 19, 1996. Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Radio Embraces 'Evita' Madonna Cut Ushers in WB Set". October 26, 1996. Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche". Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  7. ^ Ciccone, Christopher (2008) 'Life with my Sister Madonna', Simon & Schuster: New York, p.247
  8. ^ a b c d e f Hit Parade (1996). "Madonna – You Must Love Me (European Charts)". Retrieved September 12, 2008. 
  9. ^ Top Singles – Volume 64, No. 18, December 16 1996
  10. ^ "Madonna: Discografia Italiana" (in Italian). Federation of the Italian Music Industry. 1984–1999. Retrieved January 8, 2010. 
  11. ^ Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks – You Must Love Me
  12. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 1997". Retrieved August 28, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Madonna-You Must Love Me-Single Certification". Recording Industry Association of America. 

External links[edit]