by Craig Shelburne
A sibling trio from East Tennessee with stage presence to spare, The Band Perry first enticed listeners with a sleeper single, “If I Die Young.” That beautiful breakout hit rose to No. 1 at country radio in December 2010 and set the foundation for a string of hits.
Kimberly Perry, who is credited as the song’s sole writer, told BMI Music World in 2011 that the title came out of nowhere.
“That literally fell out onto the paper,” she said. “Once I began to see that in my journaling, I ran downstairs because the boys were rehearsing. We all jumped into our writing circle and I said, ‘Just play these chords over and over until I say stop!’”
Eleven months after the chart-topping achievement, the Band Perry won three CMA Awards: Single and Song for “If I Die Young” and Best New Artist. In the latter category, they edged out Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Thompson Square, and Chris Young.
From the podium, Kimberly Perry stated, “I truly believe that ’If I Die Young’ would have been written with or without me. It just always felt like a song that was meant to be here. But I’ll tell you this, I was so excited to have the pen and paper in hand when it was ready to come to earth.”
She added, “I want to thank the fans of country music again. Your stories have changed our lives. Thank you, country radio, for allowing this song to be heard and giving it a shot. I want to thank my brothers who play it alongside me night after night. They are the backbone of The Band Perry. And, of course, our parents, Marie and Steve Perry. We are their labor of love. They’ve always encouraged our writing.”
With the momentum of the bittersweet ballad, the Band Perry retained its radio presence for the next three years, sending titles like “All Your Life,” “Better Dig Two,” and “Done” to No. 1. They also won a 2014 Grammy Award for a remake of Glen Campbell’s “Gentle on My Mind.” But after explorations into other music genres, their Instagram account appears to have gone dormant.
However, the Band Perry did hold a garage sale in their hometown of Greeneville, Tennessee, in 2019. News reports indicated they were working on new music, too.
“We’ve never done anything like this,” Neil Perry told WBIR during the sale, which was held in an empty shop downtown. “We originally thought about putting it up online doing a free for all for all the fans, but we came back here and started recording our next batch of music.”