Celebrating The Legacy of Lonestar’s ‘I’m Already There,’ The Chart-Topping Ballad That Captured The Hearts Of Millions

The song became the unofficial anthem of the U.S. military.

By

Lexi Liby

| Posted on

June 23, 2023

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Photo Courtesy Lonestar

On this day in 2001, Lonestar began an impressive six-week reign at No.1 on the country chart with “I’m Already There,” the lead single and title track from the group’s fifth studio album.

“I’m Already There” became the band’s fifth consecutive No.1 and seventh overall chart-topper. The song was written by Lonestar’s lead singer, Richie McDonald, alongside Gary Baker, and Frank J. Myers. 

“I’m Already There” tells the story of a man who is separated from his family physically, but remains close to them mentally.

“I’m already there / Take a look around / I’m the sunshine in your hair / I’m the shadow on the ground / I’m the whisper in the wind / I’m your imaginary friend / And I know, I’m in your prayers / Oh, I’m already there,” Lonestar sings in the chorus.

The hit song was released in March 2001 and the inspiration behind it came from a personal experience McDonald had on the road, while talking to his son on the phone.

“He was 4, now he’s 17,” McDonald previously told Songfacts in an interview. “I remember that night clearly to this day, just hearing that little squeaky voice saying, ‘Daddy, when you comin’ home?’ And when you’re gone for six weeks at that point, you just hang up the phone and you cry and you think, you know what, physically maybe I’m not there, but mentally I’m already there. I’ll never forget sitting in that hotel room in Southern California and just thinking, ‘I’m already there.’

YouTube video

The first version of the music video premiered on CMT in June 2001, but the song drastically progressed following the September 11 attacks. Audiences from all over the world resonated with the song, associating it with what had happened that day. The band took the initiative to release another version of the music video in 2003, which featured military families. It became the most popular version, as well as the unofficial anthem of the U.S. military.

“You never have an idea that it’s going to have an impact, but that’s the great thing about country music: it’s just, I do what I do,” McDonald told American Songwriter. “But there’s somebody in the Army or the Navy or a truck driver or a pilot out there that basically does the same thing that I do, they’re away from their families. But I just had to write about it and express it and then if they feel the same way, that’s great. I just never imagine that it’s going to touch people the way it does.”

Lonestar continues to honor and show its appreciation for the military community by visiting a few military bases on their headlining tour, “Ten to 1.”

YouTube video

“It just connected them and we couldn’t be happier about it, because we’d always tried to do things with the troops, Michael Britt of Lonestar told PEOPLE.  “Any kind of benefit that we could do, we always did. It was a perfect fit for us to just move into playing shows for our troops.”

The group put together a Ten to 1 album as well that was released on June 2. “I’m Already There” is included in this album, as well as the other nine Number 1 singles.

“We’ve been doing this for a very long time, and we’ve been super blessed in our 30 plus years together to have 22 top 10 singles and then have 10 of those go No.1,” founding member Dean Sams, who has produced the group’s last six albums, shared in a statement. “We’ve adapted our sound so much over the years through playing live, we’ve started approaching songs a little bit differently and so we just thought we should put a version of who we are today out there with all 10 of our No. 1’s.” 

Ten to 1 Album Artwork
Ten to 1 Album Artwork

Ten to 1 Tracklist:

“No News”

“My Front Porch Looking In”

“Come Cryin’ To Me”

“Amazed”

“Smile”

“What About Now”

“Tell Her”

“I’m Already There”

“Mr. Mom”

“Everything’s Changed”

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Lexi Liby

Written by

Lexi Liby

I am a senior at Kansas State University, where I am majoring in Communication Studies. Throughout my time at college, I’ve had the opportunity to publish a few of my pieces in the University’s newspaper, The Collegian, and I’ve created my own website. I’ve previously interned for Country Insider, an iHeartMedia-owned country music industry newsletter and I am currently interning for CountryNow, a Red Light Management owned publication. I’m very passionate about music and writing, so I hope to find myself in a career that incorporates both of these passions.