Die a Happy Man

Album: Tangled Up (2015)
Charted: 21


  • This tender ballad was written for Thomas Rhett's wife, Lauren, who he's known since first grade (they married in 2012). He penned the tune with Sean Douglas and Joe Spargur.
  • This is the first song that Rhett has 100% penned about how he feels about Lauren. Rhett told Taste of Country that she'd been asking for a love song like Tim McGraw's "Just to See You Smile" for years, and watching her listen to it for the first time was very rewarding. "I've written love songs but never to the extent of that personal," he said. "We strictly wrote that song about me and my wife's relationship."

    "I just think this song shows how me and Lauren love each other, and I hope this song is an encouragement to other married couples or people that are dating," Rhett added.
  • The song's music clip was shot in Hawaii and features Rhett and Lauren. "My wife is one of those people that never wants to be in the spotlight or in videos, but it was inevitable for her to be in this one because I wrote the song for her and about her," the singer told People.

    "It really is just us," he added. "We just hung around and did exactly what we would do if a camera was on us or not, except for the scenes where they're telling us to kiss underwater — that's something we don't typically do!"

    Rhett's video for "Vacation" was filmed in Hawaii at the same time.
  • Following three songs that peaked at #2 on the country chart, ("It Goes Like This," "Make Me Wanna" and "Crash and Burn"), this became Rhett's first chart-topper on the survey. It spent 17 weeks at #1, the third-longest reign in the chart's history. (Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise" is the record holder having spent 24 weeks at the summit.)
  • It was Thomas Rhett's wife Lauren who got him to write the song. "We were in the car, and Tim McGraw's 'Just to See You Smile' came on," she recalled to Billboard magazine. "I was like, 'Babe, people don't write songs like this anymore. It's so sweet - it just melts your heart. Write a song like that! About something besides whiskey, beer or taking a girl home in a big truck.'"
  • Nelly recorded a soulful version, which also hit the Hot 100. Best known as a rapper and R&B singer, Nelly has dabbled in country music before, recording a Top 3 hit "Over and Over" in 2004 alongside Tim McGraw.
  • Thomas Rhett, Sean Douglas and Joe Spargur penned the song on a bus in Little Rock, Arkansas. Douglas recalled the songwriting session during an interview with The Boot:

    "It was the first day. We woke up in the morning, rolled out of the bunk and came out. Three guys, having coffee, essentially still in our underwear, talking about how we had written these frivolous but fun tunes before, and talking about our beautiful wives and … talking about wanting to write something that might last for a minute, that might make an emotional impact on somebody, that might become something they might want to play at their wedding someday.

    People get into rooms every day and write and talk about what they want to do and what kind of tune they want to do. It's very seldom that three, or however many, people can actually agree on what they want to do and even more seldom that they actually agree and then do it, and that it actually goes on and sees the light of day and actually does anything. So we happened to all be on that romantic wavelength that morning, and it worked out."
  • Thomas Rhett would have liked his wife to have heard the song for the first time in more romantic circumstances. He told The Boot: "I wish I could have played "Die a Happy Man" for her in person the first time she heard it, but I actually sent her an email of the demo at 4:00 in the morning, when we finished it on the bus."

    Rhett added: "But when she woke up and heard it, she's like, 'This is, hands down, one of the best songs you've ever written.'"
  • The song won Single Record of the Year at both the 2016 ACM and CMA Awards.
  • The Hawaii vacation shown on the song's music video had already been planned by the Rhetts prior to the label coming up with the concept. "We try to go to Hawaii once a year; it's kind of our spot. And the label was like, 'Do you mind if we send a couple video guys along and capture some footage?'" Thomas Rhett recalled. "My buddy TK [McKamy], who's done the last four videos of mine, it was him and literally one other guy with a camera and a couple of lights."

    "And basically, for five days, we all hung out," the singer added. "He's like, 'Y'all do your thing, and we'll capture moments. You'll have to do a little bit of acting, but at least it won't be acting because you love the person you're being romantic with.'"
  • This won Song of the Year at the 2017 Academy of Country Music awards. Announcing the prize, David Copperfield and Nancy O'Dell poked fun at the Oscar's Best Picture mix up when they "revealed" the card in the envelope read "Emma Stone - La La Land."

    Copperfield then used his conjuring skills to correct the "mistake". With a wave of his hand, the card magically changed to show the real winner: Thomas Rhett for "Die A Happy Man."

    Rhett also won male vocalist of the year at the same ceremony.


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