I Loved Her First (song)

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"I Loved Her First"
I Loved Her First single cover.jpg
Single by Heartland
from the album I Loved Her First
Released June 5, 2006
Format CD single
Genre Country
Length 3:32
Label Lofton Creek
Producer(s) Walt Aldridge
Heartland singles chronology
"I Loved Her First"
"Built to Last"
"I Loved Her First"
"Built to Last"

"I Loved Her First" is a debut song recorded by American country music band Heartland. It was released in June 2006 as the first single title track from their debut studio album I Loved Her First (2006). The song reached Number One on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs charts in late 2006.[1] The song was written by Walt Aldridge and Elliott Park.


The song is a mid-tempo ballad in triple meter. In it, the male narrator is talking to the man who is about to marry his daughter, telling him that he is having difficulty giving her away because he "loved her first."

Critical reception[edit]

Deborah Evans Price, of Billboard magazine reviewed the song favorably, calling it a "beautifully written tearjerker that will hit home with dads everywhere who can't believe their little girls have grown up so soon." She calls Albert's performance "wonderful" and says that it "wrings every drop of emotion from the tender lyric."[2]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Todd Schaffer and premiered in mid-2006. It features the group singing and a family at a wedding reception.

Chart performance[edit]

"I Loved Her First" debuted at number 57 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks for the week of July 8, 2006. Driven by a viral video of a father singing the ballad at his daughter's wedding, it reappeared on the chart almost nine years later at number 7 on the chart dated February 21, 2015.[3] The song has sold over one million copies.[3]


Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2006) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[4] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[5] 34
US Billboard Pop 100 56
Chart (2015) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[3] 7

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2006) Position
US Country Songs (Billboard)[6] 30
Preceded by
"Would You Go with Me"
by Josh Turner
Billboard Hot Country Songs
number-one single

October 28, 2006
Succeeded by
"Every Mile a Memory"
by Dierks Bentley