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I'll Stand by You

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Title: I'll Stand by You  
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Subject: What Will the Neighbours Say?, Last of the Independents, The Pretenders, Mandy Moore (choreographer), Belle Amie
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I'll Stand by You

"I'll Stand by You"
Single by The Pretenders
from the album Last of the Independents
B-side "Rebel Rock Me"
Released July 21, 1994
Genre Soft rock, alternative rock
Length 3:59
Producer(s) Ian Stanley
The Pretenders singles chronology
"Night in My Veins"
"I'll Stand by You"

"I'll Stand by You" is a 1994 song recorded by The Pretenders from their sixth studio album, Last of the Independents. It was written by Chrissie Hynde in collaboration with the songwriting team of Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg. It was the Pretenders' last successful single in North America.

The song is a power ballad that pledges love and faithful assistance in times of personal darkness. Since its initial release, "I'll Stand by You" has also become a major hit for British girl group Girls Aloud in 2004 and Carrie Underwood in 2007, both times recorded as a charity single.

The Pretenders original

"I'll Stand by You" was released as the second single from the album Last of the Independents in 1994, and it reached number 16 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, the top 30 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart and number 10 in the United Kingdom. It charted higher in the UK and the U.S. than "Night in My Veins", the album's first single.

The music video for "I'll Stand by You" was released in 1994 and features Chrissie Hynde caring for an ill man.

Since 2010 the song has been used in an appeal advert for the NSPCC.


Girls Aloud version

"I'll Stand by You"
Single by Girls Aloud
from the album What Will the Neighbours Say?
B-side "Real Life"
Released 15 November 2004
Recorded 2004
Genre Pop
Length 3:44
Label Polydor
Producer(s) Xenomania
Certification Silver (BPI)
Girls Aloud singles chronology
"Love Machine"
"I'll Stand by You"
"Wake Me Up"
Audio sample
Music video
"I'll Stand by You" on YouTube

In 2004, the British all-female pop group Girls Aloud recorded a cover of "I'll Stand by You" as the official Children in Need charity single. Their version was produced by Brian Higgins and his production team Xenomania. The track was announced a single just ten days before its 15 November 2004 release. It became Girls Aloud's second number one on the UK Singles Chart, spending two weeks at the top position and receiving a silver certification from the British Phonographic Industry. The song appears on Girls Aloud's second studio album What Will the Neighbours Say? (2004).

The music video, directed by Trudy Bellinger, saw Girls Aloud stranded in a desert as they "stand by" each other. "I'll Stand by You" was promoted through various live appearances and has since been performed on a number of the group's concert tours. Despite its success, Girls Aloud's cover of the song was largely slated by contemporary music critics.

Background and release

The first version of "I'll Stand by You" that Xenomania created was described as a "weird, modernist breakbeat version", which was scrapped upon deciding an updated version of the original song would be better suited for Children in Need.[2] The track's release was announced a single just ten days before its release date.[3] Nicola Roberts said, "Hopefully if our single does well it's a lot of money going to the charity."[3]

The single was released on 15 November 2004 in the UK, the week of the Children in Need 2004 telethon. It was available on two different CD singles. The first disc includes "Real Life", a song taken from Girls Aloud's second album What Will the Neighbours Say?. The second CD format featured a medley of songs taken from the album, as well as the Tony Lamezma's Club Romp remix of the track. The Gravitas Vocal Dub Mix Edit of "I'll Stand by You" appears on the "Wake Me Up" single.

In order to promote the release, Girls Aloud toured radio stations across the United Kingdom and performed an acoustic arrangement of "I'll Stand by You" that they arranged themselves.[2] They also visited children's hospitals.[3]


Critical response

Girls Aloud's version of "I'll Stand By You" was not well received by most contemporary music critics. It was called "a particular soggy area" on Girls Aloud's album.[4] Alexis Petridis of The Guardian, who praised Girls Aloud's album, said that "I'll Stand by You" was "a thing of death-dealing tedium."[5] BBC Music felt it was "arguable whether this cover adds much to the Pretenders' original."[6] Sam Shepherd of musicOMH bluntly stated "perhaps the children most in need, are those that part with their pocket money for this drivel [...] This is a sub-karaoke version, limp, tired, and uninspired."[7]

However, Stylus Magazine actually commended the song, comparing it to Shakespears Sister and calling it "far, far better than anyone gives it credit for."[8]

Chart performance

"I'll Stand by You" debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart on 21 November 2004, becoming Girls Aloud's second single to do so.[9] Despite competition from four new top ten entries, the song also remained at the top for a second week.[10] It slipped to number four in its third week, making way for Band Aid 20's take on "Do They Know It's Christmas?".[11] Girls Aloud spent a fourth week in the top five.[12] The single spent two further weeks in the top ten, holding on at number nine.[13] Overall, "I'll Stand by You" spent fourteen weeks in the top 75, including nine weeks in the top forty.[13][14] The single was ranked thirty-fourth on the year-end chart (see 2004 in British music). It was certified silver by the British Phonographic Industry.[15]

The song entered the Irish Singles Chart at number four.[16] It spent a second week at number four,[17] before rising to number three.[18] It spent three more consecutive weeks at number three.[19][20][21] It then slipped back down to number four,[22] and spent two more weeks in the top five.[23][24]

Music video

The video for Girls Aloud's version of "I'll Stand by You" was directed by Trudy Bellinger.[25] It begins with each member of the group lying or sitting motionless in a parched desert. At the song's climax, a thunderstorm begins, and the members of Girls Aloud come together and stand in a circle. A special Children in Need version of the video depicts the group members holding "Pudsey" teddy bears, the mascot of the organisation, towards the end of the video.

Live performances

Girls Aloud toured radio stations across the United Kingdom and performed an acoustic arrangement of "I'll Stand by You" that they arranged themselves.[2] As the charity's official single of the year, the song was showcased as the Children in Need 2004 telethon. They also performed the song on television programmes such as Blue Peter, CD:UK, Countdown, Diggin' It, GMTV, Ministry of Mayhem, Popbusters, Top of the Pops, and Xchange. In 2005, Girls Aloud performed "I'll Stand by You" at Dublin's ChildLine Concert and on the TV show All Time Greatest Love Songs. In 2006, they performed the song on Australia's Sunrise. The group also performed the cover version on their 2005 MTV special (as seen on the Girls on Film DVD) and ITV1's The Girls Aloud Party (2008).

"I'll Stand by You" has been performed by Girls Aloud on most of their concert tours. For 2005's What Will the Neighbours Say? Live, Girls Aloud's first tour, they sang the song in colourful, simple evening gowns. It was also included on 2006's Chemistry Tour and 2007's The Sound of Girls Aloud: The Greatest Hits Tour. "I'll Stand by You" was included on a ballad section on 2008's Tangled Up Tour, in which Girls Aloud walk along a catwalk which reaches the middle of the crowd.

Track listings and formats

These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "I'll Stand by You".

Credits and personnel


Chart procession and succession

Preceded by
"Vertigo" by U2
UK Singles Chart number-one single
21 November 2004 - 28 November 2004
Succeeded by
"Do They Know It's Christmas?" by Band Aid 20

Carrie Underwood version

"I'll Stand by You"
Single by Carrie Underwood
from the album Idol Gives Back
Released April 24, 2007
Genre Country pop
Length 3:42
Carrie Underwood singles chronology
"I'll Stand by You"
"So Small"

"I'll Stand by You" was covered in 2007 by Carrie Underwood as a charity single, recorded for the show Idol Gives Back which aired on April 25, 2007.

Carrie Underwood performed the song during her visit to Africa, which was used as soundtrack for a video vignette, where Underwood is seen singing to children and doing different activities with them. The single and the video were released on the U.S. iTunes Store on April 26, 2007. Ryan Seacrest announced that all money made on digital downloads would be donated to charity to help millions of poor children at the time.

On its first few days of release, the song sold 124,496 digital downloads,[29] prompting a debut on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 at number six,[30] Underwood's highest Hot 100 position since her 2005 debut single "Inside Your Heaven", which debuted at number one.

It was eventually removed from iTunes, leading the single to have one of the biggest falls in Hot 100 history. The single collected over 300,000 digital downloads in the time period it was available for download. As announced, all profits from the sale of the single were donated to charity. The single also received unsolicited airplay on U.S. country music radio stations, despite not being officially released to country radio.

Underwood performed the song on the American Idol Season Six Finale on May 23, 2007.

Music video

Underwood in the music video.

The music video was filmed in Africa. Underwood is seen singing to young children and helping them with different art projects, such as painting. At one point in the video, she is seen walking into a cemetery with a girl on her arms, and a boy by her hand who is carrying flowers. Underwood is also seen crying towards the end of the video, when she is helping an ill person. This music video was made available for download on the U.S. iTunes Store.


Chart (2007) Peak
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[31] 10
US Billboard Hot 100[32] 6
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[33] 41A
  • A Charted from unsolicited airplay.

Shakira version

"I'll Stand by You"
Promotional single by Shakira featuring The Roots from the album Hope for Haiti Now
Released January 23, 2010
Format Digital download
Recorded Studio 36 at CBS Television City
(Queens, New York)
Length 3:55
Label MTV

"I'll Stand by You" is a cover in 2010 by the Colombian singer Shakira as a promotional charity single for the Hope for Haiti Now campaign[34] and was released on 23 January 2010, in the wake of the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake. Recorded live on the charity telethon Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief on January 22, 2010 in New York City. She performed the song during the program, exactly before Wyclef Jean's speech and after Reese Witherspoon's call on the phone bank. The song is found on the label for MTV.

Track listing

  1. " I'll Stand by You" (with the The Roots)- 3:55

Chart performance

Chart (2010) Peak
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[36] 53

Other versions


  1. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1995". Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  2. ^ a b c  
  3. ^ a b c "Girls Aloud help Children In Need".  
  4. ^ "Girls Aloud - What Will The Neighbours Say?".  
  5. ^ Petridis, Alexis (2004-11-26). "Girls Aloud, What Will The Neighbours Say?".  
  6. ^ David Hooper. "Girls Aloud, What Will The Neighbours Say?". Retrieved 2009-02-28. 
  7. ^ Sam Shepherd. "Girls Aloud - I'll Stand By You (Polydor)". Retrieved 2009-02-28. 
  8. ^ William B. Swygart (2004-12-13). "Girls Aloud - What Will The Neighbours Say?".  
  9. ^ "Girls Aloud seize number one slot".  
  10. ^ "Girls Aloud hold on to top spot".  
  11. ^ Karen Attwood (2004-12-06). "Band Aid heads for Christmas number one spot".  
  12. ^ "Band Aid 20 retains number one spot".  
  13. ^ a b "Girls Aloud - I'll Stand By You". Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  14. ^ "Girls Aloud".  
  15. ^ a b "BPI > Certified Awards Search".  
  16. ^ "Top 50 singles, week ending 18 November 2004".  
  17. ^ "Top 50 singles, week ending 25 November 2004".  
  18. ^ "Top 50 singles, week ending 2 December 2004".  
  19. ^ "Top 50 singles, week ending 9 December 2004".  
  20. ^ "Top 50 singles, week ending 16 December 2004".  
  21. ^ "Top 50 singles, week ending 23 December 2004".  
  22. ^ "Top 50 singles, week ending 30 December 2004".  
  23. ^ "Top 50 singles, week ending 6 January 2005".  
  24. ^ "Top 50 singles, week ending 12 January 2005".  
  25. ^ "Trudy Bellinger: Music Videos". Merge @ Crossroads. Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  26. ^ "Chart Track: Week 49, 2004". Irish Singles Chart.
  27. ^ " – Girls Aloud – Jump" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  28. ^ "Archive Chart: 2004-11-27" UK Singles Chart.
  29. ^ Carrie Underwood sets record with iTunes track
  30. ^ Billboard
  31. ^ "Carrie Underwood Album & Song Chart History" Canadian Hot 100 for Carrie Underwood.
  32. ^ "Carrie Underwood Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Carrie Underwood.
  33. ^ "Carrie Underwood Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Carrie Underwood.
  34. ^ "Hope For Haiti Now: A Global Benefit For Earthquake Relief".  
  35. ^ "Hope For Haiti Now".  
  36. ^ " – Shakira – I'll Stand by You". Singles Top 60.

External links

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