Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties: Martina McBride, “I Love You”

“I Love You”

Martina McBride

Written by Adrienne Follesé, Keith Follesé, and Tammy Hyler


#1 (5 weeks)

October 30 – November 27, 1999

Radio & Records

#1 (5 weeks)

October 22 – November 20, 1999

A runaway McBride hit.

The Road to No. 1

After “Wrong Again” became Martina McBride’s third No. 1 single, she went top five with the sixth single from Evolution, “Whatever You Say.”  The lead single from her next album, Emotion, was also featured on the Runaway Bride soundtrack.

The No. 1

“I Love You” is a transparent “This Kiss’ rewrite sung in a baby girl voice that would’ve made even Barbara Fairchild say, ‘”That’s a bit much.”

I guess it captures the euphoria of newly found love in its own way, but everything from the lyrical content to the production to the performance is way too cotton candy for my tastes.

I could make a list of a dozen Martina McBride singles that are outright classics.   This one still doesn’t do it for me, even though everything is technically done well and it’s catchy as all get out.

The Road From No. 1

This was McBride’s last single of the decade, and she won her first CMA Female Vocalist trophy after singing it on the show.  We’ll see Martina McBride again with a solo No. 1 in the 2000s and a collaborative No. 1 in the 2010s.

“I Love You” gets a C. 

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

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Next: Clint Black with Lisa Hartman Black, “When I Said I Do”



  1. 1. For me, the drum mix in the video is distracting. It sounds considerably different than any of the mixes I’m used to, unless I’m misremembering.

    2. There sort of needs to be a “#2 Hits of 1999” sub-feature, considering all of the insanely long runs at the top.

  2. While it is hardly the worst thing I’ve ever heard by anybody, and while I don’t mind the song’s sentiment whatsoever, I have to admit that “I Love You” is kind of bland, a bit too aimed at the Adult Contemporary audience, and even the soccer mom segment of the country genre. It’s kind of…well, inoffensive (which is usually a good thing, but not necessarily all the time).

    Still, it was a huge hit–her biggest on the country chart, and her biggest hit overall, as it got to #24 on the Billboard Hot 100–and it’s not like she was going begging. Unfortunately, in today’s country music market, I would argue that she’d have a hard time just getting arrested on country radio, which just shows us all the sad state of those of her gender in this musical genre.

  3. I really like Martina McBride, but my goodness I cannot stand this song. I think its twofold: 1)her vocals here are aggravating and 2)it’s not remotely country sounding at all. I love a good pop country song, but this is neither good nor country.

    • I felt like I was one of the few people back in the day who thought Wild Angels was a much better album than Evolution, and for me, Emotion was a retread of its predecessor, which I didn’t like that much in the first place. I do love her singles from Greatest Hits, but I can’t say I ever went back to being a Martina McBride album fan.

  4. I remember being disappointed with this song at the time. It was hard to ignore just how much this single was reaching for the charm and energy of Faith Hill’s “This Kiss.” At every point of comparison it came up short. Remember as kid, when it was fun to add sugar packets to pop when you were in a restaurant with your friends? That’s how senselessly sweet this song is. It’s too much to the point of being hyperactive.

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