Cheater, Cheater

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"Cheater, Cheater"
Cheater, Cheater.jpg
Single by Joey + Rory
from the album The Life of a Song
ReleasedSeptember 17, 2008 (2008-09-17)
FormatMusic download
GenreCountry, bluegrass
LabelSugar Hill / Vanguard
Songwriter(s)Rory Feek
Joey Feek
Kristy Osmunson
Wynn Varble
Producer(s)Carl Jackson
Joey + Rory singles chronology
"Cheater, Cheater"
"Play the Song"
Music video
"Cheater, Cheater" at

"Cheater, Cheater" is the debut song from country/bluegrass duo Joey + Rory, from their debut album, The Life of a Song. The song debuted on the Hot Country Songs chart at #57 for the chart week of September 27, 2008. Co-written by both Joey and Rory, the song was originally recorded by country group Bomshel, whose version failed to chart after its release as a single.


"Cheater, Cheater" is an up-tempo song with bluegrass influences, including accompaniment from Dobro, mandolin and fiddle. The female narrator, in the lyric, asks her unfaithful partner where he met "that no-good, white-trash ho" (i.e., his mistress). Several remixes have been made for the song, including the Sleighbell Mix and King Mix. The Sleighbell Mix was released as a Christmas promo single, in which the word ho becomes ho-ho-ho and bells are added to the music.[1] The song was available on iTunes as the "Free Single of the Week" from October 14–21, 2008.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

Reviews of "Cheater, Cheater" have been positive. said that "'Cheater, Cheater' is an honest-to-God pure country song that jumps out of the speakers. With lyrics that find Joey as the woman who's been cheated on… [i]t’s three minutes of tempo and while it remains to be seen whether radio will embrace this truly country duo, songs like 'Cheater, Cheater"'are what makes country music what it is: honest, true to life music."[3]

Engine 145 critic Matt C. gave the song a "thumbs up" rating. He called it a "delightfully acoustic barn-burner" and said "it’s arresting to hear what nearly qualifies as a bluegrass song performed by a strait-laced contemporary country singer", although he criticized Joey's "oddly phrased and somewhat colorless" lead vocals and Rory's "barely audible" backing vocals.[4]

Music video[edit]

A music video directed by Peter Zavadil was released to accompany the song. In the video, Joey is seen following Rory around, confronting him over cheating on her. Mixed in are scenes of the duo performing the song together in happy moods. The video ends with a cameo from Naomi Judd playing the "ho".[5]

The video debuted at #20 on the CMT Top Twenty Countdown in mid-November, and reached a peak of #15 for the week of January 9, 2009.

Chart performance[edit]

The Joey + Rory version of "Cheater, Cheater" debuted at #57 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for the chart week of September 27, 2008, and entered the Top 40 in its eighth week. The song peaked at #30 in January 2009, spending 20 weeks on the chart.[6] The song has sold 367,000 copies in the US as of March 2016.[7]

Chart (2008–09) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[8] 30
US Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100[9] 23


  1. ^ Joey+Rory's Myspace
  2. ^ iTunes chooses Joey & Rory's "Cheater, Cheater" as free single Archived October 24, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Cheater, Cheater" Archived November 10, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ C., Matt (2008-08-15). "Joey & Rory - "Cheater, Cheater"". Engine 145. Archived from the original on 2014-12-18. Retrieved 2008-08-29.
  5. ^ "Cheater, Cheater" music video
  6. ^ "Cheater, Cheater" - January 31, 2009
  7. ^ Bjorke, Matt (March 15, 2016). "Top 30 Digital Singles Report: March 15, 2016". Roughstock.
  8. ^ "Joey + Rory Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved January 22, 2011.
  9. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2011). Top Pop Singles 1955–2010. Record Research, Inc. p. 459. ISBN 0-89820-188-8.