On a forthcoming Father’s Day appearance by Matthew McConaughey on Tim McGraw’s Beyond The Influence Radio show on Apple Music Country, the vocalist and host shares a story regarding how “Live Like You Were Dying” — his 2004-released classic — was developed. Written by Tim Nichols and Craig Wiseman, the song notes how realizing that a loved one has a terminal illness offers a new perspective on life. Moreover, the desire to experiencing life at its fullest while also becoming a better person is typically the result of this introspection.
“’Live Like You Were Dying’ was one of those songs that came at a very traumatic time in my life. It showed up and was sent to me in the middle of my father’s diagnosis of glioblastoma brain cancer and going through all of his treatments,” McGraw recalls, remembering his father Tug’s final days. “We spent three hours up until sun up recording this song and my uncle collapsed in a couch crying every time we did a pass of it. That’s got to be one of the most special memories I have of making any music anywhere,” McGraw adds poignantly.
Released as the lead single from McGraw’s eighth studio album of the same name, the song spent seven weeks at number-one on the Billboard country music charts. At the close of 2004, the magazine named it the greatest-selling country song of the year. It later won several awards, including Single of the Year and Song of the Year at the 2004 Country Music Association Awards and Academy of Country Music Awards, respectively. Plus, it won the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Country Song.