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"I'll Be" is a song written and sung by American singer Edwin McCain. The song was released in January 1998 as the first single from his second album, Misguided Roses. McCain recorded an acoustic version of the song for his follow-up album, Messenger.

"I'll Be"
Edwin McCain I'll Be Cd.jpg
Single by Edwin McCain
from the album Misguided Roses
B-side"Grind Me in the Gears"
ReleasedJanuary 26, 1998
Format7-inch, CD single, digital download
Songwriter(s)Edwin McCain
Producer(s)Matt Serletic
Edwin McCain singles chronology
"See the Sky Again"
"I'll Be"
"What Matters"
Music video
I'll Be on YouTube

The radio version of "I'll Be", which was released on a CD-single with "Grind Me in the Gears" as the B-side, differs from the album version. Its opening melody is played with electric guitar (as opposed to acoustic on the album) and the vocal and saxophone lines differ.

On December 22, 1999, McCain also recorded a version with Warren Haynes on the live concert album from the 11th Annual Christmas Jam, a benefit concert for Habitat for Humanity in Asheville, North Carolina. The album is titled Wintertime Blues: The Benefit Concert.[1]

In 2015, McCain re-recorded "I'll Be" for his album "Phoenix (EP)".[2]



Although "I'll Be" has become a popular wedding song, McCain said "it's really more of a prayer" written in a moment of personal desperation after a break-up, the idea being that "maybe if I write my future, it'll come true."[3]

In popular cultureEdit

At the height of the song's popularity back in 1998 it was featured during a pivotal moment in the first-season finale of the hit WB series, Dawson's Creek, titled "Decisions".[4]

In 2000, the song was featured in an episode of the television show Higher Ground.

The song was used in the masquerade ball scene in A Cinderella Story.

It was covered by Dean Geyer on his debut album Rush.

In the episode of The Office "Here Comes Treble", the song is covered by Andy Bernard's a cappella group.[citation needed]

Blake Jenner performed the song in the finale of The Glee Project.

Chart performanceEdit

"I'll Be" ended up being a success for McCain in the United States, peaking at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 after debuting at #7 on the issue dated September 26, 1998. While it was only his second single to chart, it became his first and only Top 10 hit and his biggest hit.

Track listingEdit

7" vinyl/CD single
  1. "I'll Be" - 4:25
  2. "Grind Me in the Gears" - 4:19
Digital download[5]
  1. "I'll Be" (LP Version) - 4:26
  2. "I'll Be" (Acoustic Version) - 4:37
  3. "I'll Be" (Music Video) - 4:07


Chart positionsEdit

Chart (1998–99) Peak
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[6] 52
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)[7] 6
US Billboard Hot 100[8] 5
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[9] 10
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)[10] 6
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[11] 6

End of year chartsEdit

End of year chart (1998) Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 74

Kian Egan versionEdit

"I'll Be"
Single by Kian Egan
from the album Home
ReleasedMay 12, 2014 (2014-05-12)
FormatDigital download, streaming
Songwriter(s)Edwin McCain
Producer(s)Brian Rawling
Kian Egan singles chronology
"I'll Be"
Music video
I'll Be on YouTube

In 2014, "I'll Be" was covered by Irish musician Kian Egan. The song was included on his debut album, and was released as a single on 12 May 2014 through Rhino Records.[12]

Background and productionEdit

In an interview with Digital Spy, Egan said "I chose 'I'll Be' for my second single, as I've always absolutely loved this song. This song means a lot to me and being able to record it was an honour. I'm incredibly excited to be able to perform this for all my fans."[citation needed]

Music videoEdit

The footage was shot in Egan's hometown of Sligo, in County Sligo, and the singer can be seen strumming a guitar while wandering along the deserted beach. In the visual, Egan also throws pebbles out to sea before meeting up with friends around a campfire. Lyrics to the pop rock ballad include: "I'll be your crying shoulder, I'll be love's suicide. I'll be the greatest fan of your life."

Sharing some cute pictures which showed the trio on the beach in between takes, Jodi told her Instagram followers at the time: "#daddyandkoa #beachlife #newvideo."[13]


The single cover of the song shows Egan sitting on a plush red sofa and holding a white guitar.[14]

Track listingEdit

  • Promotional CD single[15]
  1. "I'll Be" (radio mix) – 3:09
  • Promotional CD single[15]
  1. "I'll Be" (radio mix)
  2. "I Run to You" (featuring Jodi Albert)

Chart performanceEdit

Chart (2014) Peak
UK Airplay Top 200 71


  1. ^ "Wintertime Blues: The Benefit Concert"
  2. ^
  3. ^ Edwin McCain interviewed about "I'll Be" (video).
  4. ^ Edwin McCain Soundtrack Filmography
  5. ^
  6. ^ Canadian peak
  7. ^ Canadian AC peak
  8. ^ "Edwin McCain Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  9. ^ "Edwin McCain Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  10. ^ "Edwin McCain Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  11. ^ "Edwin McCain Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  12. ^ "Kian Egan announces second single 'I'll Be' - listen"
  13. ^ "Kian Egan releases video for new single 'I'll Be' filmed in Ireland". Retrieved 2014-05-12.
  14. ^ "Kian Egan reveals artwork and name of his second single 'I'll Be'". Retrieved 2014-04-09.
  15. ^ a b I'll Be (single). Kian Egan. Rhino Records. 2014.CS1 maint: others (link)

External linksEdit