The Story of “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” Aerosmith, and Diane Warren
Last week, I was listening to an interview with one of my favorite rock bands, Aerosmith. The interviewer was talking about the band’s monster hit “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” one of my favorite songs. I consider myself very knowledgeable when it comes to music, and believe me, I am VERY aware that is VERY common for artists to not write their own music or lyrics. However, I was always of the impression that Steven Tyler had written the song about his daughter Liv for the movie Armageddon. I will also admit to being more than a little heartbroken that I was misinformed and had no idea that Aerosmith didn’t write the song at all… So I decided to do a little research and figure out what the story was. The true story behind “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” left me mind-blown.
This is Diane Warren, a name I bet you probably have never heard before. While Armageddon was being produced in 1997 and 1998, Aerosmith was slated to produce a heart-warming power-ballad for the film’s soundtrack, which made sense since the movie was lead singer Steven Tyler’s daughter Liv’s first major starring role. The band had recently released their Nine Lives album, which was doing well commercially, and they had been very active promoting and touring supporting it. They said they got together in the studio to write the yet-unnamed song for the soundtrack, but had been so burnt out promoting Nine Lives that they were creatively very spent and had a hard time coming up with anything.
One of their label executives played them a couple “rough drafts” that had been written by other songwriters. The band was used to writing their own music, but time was running out to get the ball rolling for the song. The executive was really excited about one song in particular, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” written by… Diane Warren. The label executive noted that the song had actually been eyemarked for a different artist (whom they didn’t name) as a solo female piano ballad (it wouldn’t surprise me if it would have been Monica). The label knew this song was important, and the executive admitted he was curious to hear the song performed by a rock band. Aerosmith made a demo, the label loved, the movie studio loved it, it got produced, and the rest is history.
What left me really surprised was how accomplished Diane Warren, this musician and songwriter I had honestly never heard of, was. Check this out:
- She’s won SIX academy awards for songs she’s written, like “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” for Aerosmith, “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” for Starship, and “How Do I Live” for LeAnn Rimes
- She’s had SEVEN different hits on Billboard’s singles chart by seven different artists… AT THE SAME TIME.
- She was named ASCAP’s pop songwriter of the year six times, for songs including “Un-break My Heart” for Toni Braxton, “Because You Loved Me” for Celine Dion, and “For You I Will” for Monica.
- She has also written, literally, hundreds of other hits for popular musicians, both contemporary and classical including:
- “Blame it on the Rain” for Milli Vanilli
- “Could I Have This Kiss Forever” for Whitney Houston and Enrique Iglesias
- “Have You Ever” for Brandy
- “I Turn to You” for All-4-One and Christina Aguilera
- “I Was Here” for Beyonce
- “I’d Lie For You (And That’s the Truth)” for Meat Loaf
- “If I Could Turn Back Time” for Cher
- “If You Asked Me to” for Patti Labelle
- “I’ll Be” for Reba McEntire
- “I’ll Never Get Over You (Getting Over Me)” for Expose
- “Insecurious” for Cyndi Lauper
- “Love Cuts Deep” for Michael Bolton
- “Love Will Lead You Back to Me” for Patti Labelle
- “Music of My Heart” for *N’Sync and Gloria Estefan
- “Music of the Sun” for Rihanna
- “Rhythm of the Night” for DeBarge
- “Saving Forever For You” for Shanice
- “When I See You Smile” for Bad English
- “You’ll Never Stand Alone” for Whitney Houston