When the Stars Go Blue

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"When the Stars Go Blue"
Song by Ryan Adams
from the album Gold
ReleasedSeptember 25, 2001
LabelLost Highway
Songwriter(s)Ryan Adams
Producer(s)Ethan Johns

"When the Stars Go Blue" is a popular alternative country song composed and originally performed by solo artist and former Whiskeytown band member Ryan Adams. It was first released on his album Gold on September 25, 2001, and has been described as the "most gorgeous ballad" on that album.[1] "When the Stars Go Blue" has been covered by many artists, including Irish band the Corrs (featuring Bono of U2), country music singer Tim McGraw, and Norwegian artists Venke Knutson and Kurt Nilsen as a duo.


  • Ryan Adams - vocals, acoustic guitar
  • Richard Causon - piano
  • Ethan Johns - 12 string guitar, harmonium, electric piano, mandocello, Chamberlain strings, drums
  • Julianna Raye - background vocals

The Corrs version[edit]

"When the Stars Go Blue"
Single by the Corrs featuring Bono
from the album VH1 Presents: The Corrs, Live in Dublin
ReleasedApril 15, 2002 (2002-04-15)
Songwriter(s)Ryan Adams
Producer(s)Mitchell Froom
The Corrs singles chronology
"Would You Be Happier (Live)"
"When the Stars Go Blue"
"Summer Sunshine"

Irish band the Corrs recorded the song on their album VH1 Presents: The Corrs, Live in Dublin, featuring U2's Bono. The cover was released on April 15, 2002, in the United States, reaching number 11 on the Billboard Adult Alternative Airplay chart and number 18 on the Adult Top 40. The song was remixed for their album Dreams: The Ultimate Corrs Collection in 2006.


Chart (2002) Peak
Spanish Airplay (PROMUSICAE[2] 1
US Adult Alternative Songs (Billboard)[3] 11
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)[4] 18

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format(s) Label(s) Ref.
United States April 15, 2002 (2002-04-15) Triple A radio [5]
July 29, 2002 (2002-07-29) Contemporary hit radio [6]

Tim McGraw version[edit]

"When the Stars Go Blue"
When the Stars Go Blue.jpg
Single by Tim McGraw
from the album Reflected: Greatest Hits Vol. 2
ReleasedMarch 6, 2006
Songwriter(s)Ryan Adams
Tim McGraw singles chronology
"My Old Friend"
"When the Stars Go Blue"
"My Little Girl"
Music video
"When the Stars Go Blue" on YouTube

In 2006, the song was released by Tim McGraw as the first single from his compilation album Tim McGraw Reflected: Greatest Hits Vol. 2. Heribert Severing, creator and writer of severing.nu, included McGraw's version of "When the Stars Go Blue" on his list of the top Country singles of 2006.[7]

Chart performance[edit]

"When the Stars Go Blue" debuted at number 35 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs for the week of March 18, 2006.

Chart (2006) Peak
Canada Country (Radio & Records)[8] 1
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[9] 4
US Billboard Hot 100[10] 37
US Billboard Pop 100 50
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[11] 12
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)[12] 35
Year-end chart (2006) Position
US Country Songs (Billboard)[13] 20
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[14] 20


Certifications for When the Stars Go Blue
Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[15] Platinum 1,000,000double-dagger

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Venke Knutson and Kurt Nilsen version[edit]

"When the Stars Go Blue"
Single by Venke Knutson and Kurt Nilsen
from the album Places I Have Been
ReleasedFebruary 2006
Songwriter(s)Ryan Adams
Venke Knutson singles chronology
"Just a Minute"
"When the Stars Go Blue"
Kurt Nilsen singles chronology
"Just a Minute"
"When the Stars Go Blue"
"Push Push"
Music video
"When the Stars Go Blue" on YouTube

Norwegian singers Venke Knutson and World Idol Kurt Nilsen recorded a duet that appears in Venke Knutson's album 2005 Places I Have Been. The song was released as a single in Norway in February 2006, reaching number 14 on the Norwegian Singles Chart.[16]

Chart (2006) Peak
Norway (VG-lista)[17] 14

Other versions[edit]

Irish/British girlband Wonderland performed the track for their debut performance on television in Ireland. The recorded studio version was included the band's debut album Wonderland.[citation needed]

It was also featured in One Tree Hill as a hit song by fictional characters Haley James Scott and Chris Keller (real life singers Bethany Joy Lenz and Tyler Hilton) and features on the One Tree Hill Soundtrack.[18]

The song was performed by Blake Lewis on American Idol Season 6, originally airing on April 17, 2007.[19] His cover of the song made it to #92 of the pop charts in 2007.[20]

On July 16, 2006, Phil Lesh covered the song in the first set of a show at Charter One Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois.[citation needed] The show was made available for purchase via compact disc by Phil Lesh and Friends.[citation needed] On April 5, 2014, Lesh covered the song in the first set of a show at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Orshoski, Wes (September 2001). Ryan Adams Finds 'Gold' On Lost Highway. Billboard. Retrieved 8 April 2012.
  2. ^ > [dead link]
  3. ^ "The Corrs Chart History (Adult Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  4. ^ "The Corrs Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  5. ^ "Going for Adds" (PDF). Radio & Records. No. 1448. April 12, 2002. p. 31. Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  6. ^ "Going for Adds" (PDF). Radio & Records. No. 1463. July 26, 2002. p. 29. Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  7. ^ Severing, Heribert. "The Greatest Country Single Hits of them all: The Year is 2006". Retrieved 8 April 2012.
  8. ^ "Canada Country Top 30" (PDF). Radio & Records. May 19, 2006. p. 43. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  9. ^ "Tim McGraw Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  10. ^ "Tim McGraw Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  11. ^ "Tim McGraw Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  12. ^ "Tim McGraw Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  13. ^ "Best of 2006: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2006. Retrieved July 10, 2012.
  14. ^ "Adult Contemporary Songs – Year-End 2006". Billboard. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  15. ^ "American single certifications – Tim McGraw – When the Stars Go Blue". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved August 12, 2022.
  16. ^ aCharts.us: Venke Knutson and Kurt Nilsen's "When the Stars Go Blue" page
  17. ^ "Venke Knutson and Kurt Nilsen – When the Stars Go Blue". VG-lista.
  18. ^ "One Tree Hill Music". Official Soundtracks.
  19. ^ Lamb, Bill. "When the Stars Go Blue". American Idol Season 6 - The Songs. About.com - The New York Times Company. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
  20. ^ Lamb, Bill. "American Idols on the Charts - A Complete Record". About.com - The New York Times Company. Retrieved 25 March 2012.