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"Bless the Broken Road" is a song that has been recorded by several American country music artists. Co-written by Marcus Hummon, Bobby Boyd, and Jeff Hanna in 1994, it tells how the journey through relationship heartbreak and disappointment was an important series of lessons along the broken road to finding one’s true love. It was first recorded by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in 1994, followed by Hummon on his 1995 album All in Good Time.

"Bless the Broken Road"
Song by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
from the album Acoustic
Released1994
GenreCountry, Pop
Length3:50
LabelLiberty
Songwriter(s)Marcus Hummon
Bobby Boyd
Jeff Hanna
Producer(s)Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
"Bless the Broken Road"
Song by Marcus Hummon
from the album All in Good Time
Released1995
GenreCountry
Length4:09
LabelColumbia
Songwriter(s)Marcus Hummon
Bobby Boyd
Jeff Hanna
Producer(s)Monroe Jones

Since then, many artists have recorded the song with Rascal Flatts's version being the highest-charting, becoming a number 1 hit on the Billboard country music charts in 2005 and earning the songwriters a Grammy Award for Best Country Song.

HistoryEdit

Singer-songwriter Marcus Hummon co-wrote the song with Jeff Hanna (of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) and Bobby Boyd. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band recorded it for the 1994 album Acoustic. One year later, Hummon covered the song for his debut album All in Good Time for Columbia Records.[1] His rendition includes backing vocals from Hanna and Matraca Berg.[2] Michael McCall of New Country magazine thought that Hummon's rendition was the best track on the album.[3]

Sons of the Desert recorded its own version of the song, for a planned second album on Epic Records that would have been released in 1998. This album was not released, due to a dispute between the band and its label.[4]

Since then, many artists have recorded the song including Melodie Crittenden, Geoff Moore, Selah, Jamie Slocum, Carrie Underwood, Buddy Greene, and Rascal Flatts.

Melodie Crittenden versionEdit

"Broken Road"
Single by Melodie Crittenden
from the album Melodie Crittenden
ReleasedJanuary 1998
FormatCD Single
GenreCountry
Length3:52
LabelAsylum #9945
Songwriter(s)Marcus Hummon
Bobby Boyd
Jeff Hanna
Producer(s)Byron Gallimore
Stephony Smith[5]
Melodie Crittenden singles chronology
"Broken Road"
(1998)
"I Should've Known"
(1998)

Also in 1998, Melodie Crittenden recorded the song under the title "Broken Road," and included it on her self-titled debut album for Asylum Records. Released as the first of two singles from it, this version was a number 42 single on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) charts.[6]

This version was featured on an episode of Dawson's Creek.

Critical receptionEdit

Billboard gave Crittenden's version a positive review in the January 17, 1998, issue, calling it "sheer poetry with a moving message."[5]

Chart positionsEdit

Chart (1998) Peak
position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[7] 48
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[8] 42

Rascal Flatts versionEdit

"Bless the Broken Road"
 
Single by Rascal Flatts
from the album Feels Like Today
ReleasedNovember 1, 2004
FormatCD single, music download
GenreCountry pop, Christian country
Length3:46 (Album Version)
3:38 (Single Version)
LabelLyric Street
Songwriter(s)Marcus Hummon
Bobby Boyd
Jeff Hanna
Producer(s)Mark Bright
Marty Williams
Rascal Flatts singles chronology
"Feels Like Today"
(2004)
"Bless the Broken Road"
(2004)
"Fast Cars and Freedom"
(2005)

The highest-charting rendition is by the country music group Rascal Flatts, who cut the song for the Feels Like Today album. Released in November 2004, this version spent five weeks at number one on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts. It also won a Grammy Award for Best Country Song[9] and earned a platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America. The song topped the 2 million mark in paid downloads on September 18, 2010. It's Rascal Flatts' third song to reach that mark, following "Life Is a Highway" and "What Hurts the Most".[10] As of October 2018, the song has sold 3,669,000 copies in the US.[11]

On May 25, 2005, during a live performance on American Idol by Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts,[12] an additional version was recorded. While not in wide release, and never included on an album, the version received enough radio airplay to enter the country music charts at number 50.[9]

In 2009, an acoustic version recorded by Rascal Flatts was included in the soundtrack of Hannah Montana: The Movie.

On May 19, 2012, "Bless the Broken Road" debuted at number 76 and went to number 41 next week on the UK Singles chart (The Official Charts Company), the band's first and only appearance on the chart.

Song informationEdit

Rascal Flatts' version of the song is set in the key of C major, with a vocal range from C4 (Middle C) to A5.[13]

ChartsEdit

Chart (2004–05) Peak
position
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)[14] 41
Ireland (IRMA)[15] 35
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[16] 58
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[17] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[18] 29
US Billboard Pop 100 40
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[19] 20
Chart (2005) Peak
position
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[20]
Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts version
50

Year-end chartsEdit

Chart (2005) Position
US Country Songs (Billboard)[21] 3

Certifications and salesEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[22] Platinum 3,669,000[11]

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

Selah versionEdit

"Bless the Broken Road"
Single by Selah with Melodie Crittenden
from the album Bless the Broken Road: The Duets Album
Released2006
FormatCD Single
GenreContemporary Christian music
Length4:10
LabelCurb
Songwriter(s)Marcus Hummon
Bobby Boyd
Jeff Hanna
Producer(s)Allan Hall, Jason Kyle, Todd D. Smith
Selah singles chronology
"Bless the Broken Road"
(2006)
"Hosanna"
(2009)

Selah, a contemporary Christian music band, covered the song in 2006 on the album Bless the Broken Road: The Duets Album featuring a duet vocal from Crittenden.[23] Also released as a single, Selah's version peaked at number five on the Hot Christian Songs charts.

ChartsEdit

Chart (2006) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot Christian Songs[24] 5

AccoladesEdit

In 2007, this version of the song was nominated for a Dove Award for Song of the Year at the 38th GMA Dove Awards.[25]

Film versionEdit

A feature film based on the song, titled God Bless the Broken Road, began filming in 2015, and was originally announced to release in 2016.[26] The actual release was September 7, 2018. [27]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Morris, Edward (10 March 2005). "Rascal Flatts Takes Bow for "Broken Road"". CMT. Archived from the original on 2009-10-12. Retrieved 24 September 2010.
  2. ^ All in Good Time (CD booklet). Marcus Hummon. Columbia Records. 1995. 66124.CS1 maint: others (link)
  3. ^ McCall, New Country (November 1995). "Album reviews". New Country. 2 (14): 57–58. ISSN 1074-536X.
  4. ^ Bjorke, Matt. "Matt's Songwriter Spotlight - Marcus Hummon". About.com. Archived from the original on 2008-05-08. Retrieved 24 September 2010.
  5. ^ a b "Singles". Billboard: 66. 17 January 1998.
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 107. ISBN 0-89820-177-2.
  7. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 3501." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. March 30, 1998. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  8. ^ "Melodie Crittenden Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  9. ^ a b Whitburn, p. 339
  10. ^ "Week Ending Sept. 5, 2010: Rihanna Leads The Pack". Chart Watch. Archived from the original on 25 September 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
  11. ^ a b Bjorke, Matt (October 16, 2018). "The Top 30 Digital Country Tracks: October 16, 2018". RoughStock. Archived from the original on 2018-10-17. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  12. ^ "USA Today Underwood Wins Idol". Archived from the original on 2011-12-25. Retrieved 2017-08-24.
  13. ^ ""Bless the Broken Road" sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Archived from the original on 2011-12-23. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  14. ^ "Singles Top 40 from the Official UK Charts Company". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  15. ^ "Chart Track: Week 20, 2012". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 2012-09-23.
  16. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Rascal Flatts – Bless The Broken Road". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 2012-09-23.
  17. ^ "Rascal Flatts Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  18. ^ "Rascal Flatts Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  19. ^ "Rascal Flatts Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  20. ^ "Carrie Underwood Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  21. ^ "Best of 2005: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2005. Archived from the original on 2007-11-18. Retrieved June 16, 2012.
  22. ^ "American single certifications – Rascal Flatts – Bless the Broken Road". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  23. ^ "Bless the Broken Road: The Duets Album". Allmusic. Retrieved 24 September 2010.
  24. ^ "Chart history for Selah". Billboard. Retrieved 24 September 2010.
  25. ^ 38th Annual GMA Awards Archived 2009-04-26 at the Wayback Machine on About.com
  26. ^ Bond, Paul (2017-01-03). "NFL Great LaDainian Tomlinson to Star in Movie Based on Country Song". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2018-06-20. Retrieved 2018-06-19.
  27. ^ Busch, Anita (2016-05-16). "Kim Delaney, Jordin Sparks Join 'God Bless The Broken Road'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on 2018-06-20. Retrieved 2018-06-19.