Nate Smith Notches Five Weeks At No. 1 With "World On Fire"

"World On Fire" is from Nate Smith's self-titled debut album and is his second country radio single.

Former nursing student and Christian singer Nate Smith lost everything in the November 2018 Camp Fire, which destroyed Paradise, California. Smith, who previously recorded in Nashville for Word Records before inking a deal with Sony Music Nashville, used parts of the Camp Fire loss to influence multiple songs – including his current five-week No. 1 hit “World On Fire.” The song is Smith’s second radio single from his self-titled debut album released last year. The success of “World On Fire” led to Smith’s national morning show debut last week.

“Anytime I’m thinking about the Camp Fire and stuff, it’s definitely an emotional thing,” Smith told Billboard. “There’s a lot of gratitude, too, when I think about it because in a weird way, as tough as the situation was — and it was harder on some people than me — it’s still changed the trajectory of my life.”

According to country music journalist Chris Owen, “World On Fire” is the 11th song in the last 10 years to spend five weeks or more at the top spot on Billboard’s Country Airplay Chart.

Smith was so excited when the song clocked four weeks that he videoed himself calling to share the news with his dad.

“Can you believe it?” Smith asked his dad, telling him it was just his “fat little son.” “I don’t think I can talk to him,” his dad commented. Smith said he wanted to call his dad because his dad “always answers.”

Smith wrote “World On Fire” with Taylor Phillips, Ashley Gorely and Lindsay Rimes. The song isn’t about fire but compares the pain and loss of heartbreak to a world on fire. Phillips, a one-time firefighter, is responsible for the title. He helped extinguish flames on a construction site, an experience that made him think about what the fire meant for the victim.

“I said, ‘You know, that person’s whole world is on fire,’ and I just wrote that down on my phone and really never looked back at it,” Phillips told Billboard. “I was scrolling through one day and started thinking about a relationship, breaking up with somebody in a town like that. You know, you’re not just leaving that person. You’re taking the whole town with you, leaving memories everywhere.”

The writers penned “World On Fire” at a writing retreat in November of 2022. Smith shared his experience with the Camp Fire on the first day, and Phillips joined them on day two. The former firefighter said he was surprised Smith was willing to share such painful experiences tied to the Camp Fire.

“I think that what’s so cool about his artistry is that because he is that vulnerable, he is willing to open up,” Phillips told Billboard. “He’s able to tell the world a lot of things that some people probably wouldn’t want to.”

Smith is in the midst of his World On Fire Tour now. He shared new song “Bulletproof” last week.

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