If You're Reading This

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"If You're Reading This"
If Youre reading this McGraw.jpg
Single by Tim McGraw
from the album Let It Go
ReleasedJune 11, 2007
RecordedMay 15, 2007 (live recording)
June 2007 (remixed version)
Tim McGraw singles chronology
"I Need You"
"If You're Reading This"

"If You're Reading This" is a song performed by American country music artist Tim McGraw. The song was first performed at the Academy of Country Music (ACM) awards, which were held in Las Vegas, Nevada and aired May 15, 2007 on CBS.[1] Shortly after McGraw's live performance, several radio stations began playing a telecast of the song, boosting it to a debut at number 35 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts from unsolicited airplay. A remixed version of the live recording was later released to radio as a single, overlapping Tim's then-current single, "I Need You", (a duet with wife Faith Hill).

In November 2007, "If You're Reading This" reached a peak of number 3 on the Billboard country charts, becoming McGraw's forty-second Top Ten country hit overall. The song also peaked at number 41 on the Billboard Hot 100.

About the song[edit]

"If You're Reading This" is a tribute to the families of soldiers who have died.[2] Its lyrics take the form of a letter written from a soldier to his family — a letter that is intended to be sent only if the soldier dies ("If you're reading this / I'm already home").[3]

McGraw co-wrote the song, with Brad and Brett Warren of country duo The Warren Brothers, approximately three weeks before the ACM awards aired.[1][4] The three were inspired by reading a magazine article on war casualties.[3]

When McGraw performed the song at the ACM awards show, one hundred relatives of soldiers joined him onstage, under a banner that read "Families of Fallen Heroes".[2] After performing the song, he received a standing ovation.[1]

Chart performance[edit]

Despite the lack of a studio recording, the song received airplay on country radio after several stations began playing the CBS telecast of McGraw's live performance.[5] As a result, it entered Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart at number 35.[4][6] Scott Siman, McGraw's manager, had been working with both the label (Curb Records) and radio stations to "address the fact that we don't have a studio recorded version of this song". A remixed version (with most of the audience noise removed, except for applause at the end) was released to radio in June 2007, while McGraw's then-current single "I Need You" (a Faith Hill duet) was also climbing the charts.[7][8] This remix was added to later presses of his then current album Let It Go, and Curb began promoting the song as a single in place of "I Need You".

"If You're Reading This" is the second song in McGraw's career that has charted from a live performance. In 2001, "unknown fans" taped McGraw's performance of the song "Things Change" during the CMA awards, and posted the recording to Napster; as a result, several stations downloaded and played the live telecast of that song.[9]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2007) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[10] 3
US Billboard Hot 100[11] 41
US Billboard Pop 100 48
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[12] 81

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2007) Position
US Country Songs (Billboard)[13] 8


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[14] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ a b c "News: Headlines: Tim McGraw's Special Tribute". Great American Country. Archived from the original on 2007-06-16. Retrieved 2007-05-31.
  2. ^ a b "Tim McGraw Gets Emotional And Political". All Headline News. Retrieved 2007-05-31.
  3. ^ a b "Tim McGraw Relives Emotional Debut At ACMs". WKRN.com. Archived from the original on 2007-05-24. Retrieved 2007-05-31.
  4. ^ a b "News: Headlines: Tim McGraw Song Remains TV Moment". Great American Country. Archived from the original on 2013-01-23. Retrieved 2007-05-31.
  5. ^ "CMT.com : News : ACM Exposure Fails to Bolster Superstars' CD Sales". CMT.com. Retrieved 2007-05-31.
  6. ^ "Tim McGraw's "If You're Reading This" Is In High Demand". Engine 145. Archived from the original on 2014-12-18. Retrieved 2007-05-31.
  7. ^ "Tim McGraw officially releases "If You're Reading This" to radio". Country Standard Time. Retrieved 2007-06-14.
  8. ^ "Tim McGraw's "If You're Reading This" Officially Released". CMT.com. Retrieved 2007-06-14.
  9. ^ "CMT.com: Tim McGraw: "Things Change" — But the Questions Keep Coming". CMT.com. Retrieved 2007-05-31.
  10. ^ "Tim McGraw Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  11. ^ "Tim McGraw Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  12. ^ "Tim McGraw Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard.
  13. ^ "Best of 2007: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2007. Retrieved December 13, 2007.
  14. ^ "American single certifications – Tim McGraw – If You%27re Reading This". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved September 27, 2012. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]