"If I Didn't Love You" is a heartbreaking piano ballad where Jason Aldean and Carrie Underwood sing of how they can't move on. In their verses, both reveal similar feelings of emotional pain. We don't know what caused the breakdown of their relationship, but it's clear they still both love each other. By the end of the song, the two are trading anguished lines as the listeners too despair why they can't get together again.
Two of Aldean's band members, Kurt Allison and Tully Kennedy, wrote the song with John Morgan and Lydia Vaughn. The singer told Apple Music Country host Kelleigh Bannen he wanted to record a duet for his 10th album and was "trying to force it with other songs." This track came through late in the process after Allison and Kennedy decided to try to come up with something.
When Aldean's band members presented him with this duet, he put Carrie Underwood at the top of his list. They sent it to her, she loved the song, and the timing worked out perfectly. According to Aldean, when Underwood laid down her vocals, she "just nailed it." She "took the song to a whole different place," he said.
Aldean told Audacy the new track is a "Type A breakup song," and somewhat reminiscent of his "Don't You Wanna Stay" duet with Kelly Clarkson. "The fact that we have this big, sort of power duet is really cool," he said. "I can really only think of one other time when we've done this and that's when I cut the song with Kelly. It's a really different kind of thing for me."
The song debuted at #2 on the Country chart, marking the highest opening for a duet between a solo male and female. The previous best debut was Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani's "Nobody But You
," which arrived at #9 in December 2019 and eventually reached #2.