Why Aerosmith sang a song intended for Celine Dion
Cinematic ballads were huge in the 1990s. It’s like you couldn’t get out of a sentimental ’90s movie without hearing Dion, Whitney Houston or Peabo Bryson singing in the end credits. Aerosmith followed this trend by doing something unexpected: singing an emotional ballad for an action movie rather than a sentimental drama. However, they had not initially planned to sing a song for Dion.
According to Mental Floss, Aerosmith was planning to write a song for Armageddon, a movie starring Steven Tyler’s daughter, Liv Tyler. However, they haven’t been able to write a song that matches the movie and time is running out. Eventually, they decided to record “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing,” a song Diane Warren wrote for Dion. Warren is famous for writing songs for many artists including Cher, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, and Tina Turner.
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How the songwriter reacted to Steven Tyler’s voice on “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing”
In an interview with ShortList, Warren discussed his reaction to Tyler’s voice on the track. ” [W]When I wrote the song, which was so cool when Aerosmith did it, when Steven Tyler sang it, it became a different thing, because if you hear a girl sing that – when I wrote, I thought it would end up being like Celine Dion or somebody like that, you know back then – I mean, who’s a great singer – but it’s so much cooler to hear someone one like Steven Tyler – that gruff, macho rockstar, this amazing badass – to say those words to him, they just took a whole new dimension to it, ”Warren said.
“I don’t think it would have been the same hit, or the same standard, if it wasn’t for someone like Steven Tyler doing this song. She added, ” [Tyler] was doing all of these really awesome vocal things at the end that were so amazing – I mean, I think he’s one of the best vocals ever.
Did the public prefer Aerosmith or Celine Dion?
Warren preferred that “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” be in Tyler’s hands – but did the song play better than Dion’s music? The track peaked at the Billboard Hot 100. According to Top40-Charts, “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” was the 23rd most popular song of 1998.
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The success of “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” is quite an achievement considering that Aerosmith has been around for so long. However, Dion’s hit “My Heart Will Go On” was the 13th most popular song of the year. Audiences liked “I don’t want to miss a thing” – but they preferred a cinematic ballad from Dion.