Highway Don't Care
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Highway Don't Care
"Highway Don't Care"
TMG - Highway Dont Care cover.png
Single by Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift featuring Keith Urban[1]
from the album Two Lanes of Freedom
ReleasedMarch 25, 2013 (2013-03-25)[1]
FormatDigital download
LabelBig Machine
Tim McGraw singles chronology
"One of Those Nights"
"Highway Don't Care"
"Southern Girl"
Taylor Swift singles chronology
"Highway Don't Care"
Music video
"Highway Don't Care" on YouTube

"Highway Don't Care" is a song performed by American country music singer Tim McGraw and American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift on vocals, featuring Keith Urban on guitar.[2] It was released in March 2013 as the third single from McGraw's first album for Big Machine Records, Two Lanes of Freedom (2013). The song was written by Mark Irwin, Josh Kear and Brad and Brett Warren.[3] McGraw and Swift recorded their parts separately.[4]


The song is a mid-tempo ballad where the male narrator is separated from his lover who is driving. Throughout the verses, he tells her what he "bets" she is feeling, when a song comes on her radio (its part sung by Swift) containing the lines "I can't live without you, baby." He also says that the highway she's driving on doesn't care if she's alone or if she's going home, but he does. The song is in D major with a main chord pattern of D-Bm7-Gsus2-A.[5]Keith Urban plays lead guitar on it.

Critical reception

Thom Jurek of AllMusic, in his review of the album, wrote that "the hook is irresistible and McGraw's vocal, paired with the young singer's, is a perfect match."[6] Chuck Dauphin of Roughstock also reviewed the song favorably, saying that "this song flows well, with winning performances from two of the format's top vocalists."[7] Billy Dukes of Taste of Country gave the song five stars saying that the track is arguably "one of the best collaborations of the decade -- maybe even ever. Each artist brings his or her best effort to the song from McGraw's Two Lanes of Freedom album. 'Highway Don't Care' feels like a special moment from the very first listen, and only becomes more cathartic with time."[8] Jeff Benjamin of Fuse said the track has "major crossover potential".[9]

Commercial performance

The single has also been a commercial success. "Highway Don't Care" debuted at number 13 on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and number 43 on the US Billboard Country Airplay chart for the week of February 23, 2013, due to unsolicited airplay seven weeks before being released to radio.[10] It also debuted at number 59 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 23 on the Canadian Hot 100 for the week of February 23, 2013. It also debuted number one on the US Billboard Country Digital Songs chart with 86,000 downloads for the week of February 13, 2013.[11] The song has sold 2.3 million copies in the United States as of November 2017.[12]

Music video

The music video was directed by Shane Drake and premiered on May 6, 2013.[13] The music video for the song features Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift, and Keith Urban, as well as actors portraying the song's narrator and his lover. It was made in partnership with Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee and highlights the dangers of driving while distracted, particularly texting and driving. In the video, the narrator's lover mentioned in the song is driving, crying, and texting the narrator. After dropping her phone and trying to retrieve it, she drifts into the wrong lane while reaching across her car and collides with oncoming traffic. She is then airlifted by a Vanderbilt LifeFlight helicopter to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where she is treated in the Adult Emergency Department. The video implies that she survives as the doctor comes out to see the girl's parents and the narrator, after which they are seen smiling happily and embracing.

The structure of the video at first seems to imply that Tim McGraw (as the singer/narrator and a character in the video) is the boyfriend who keeps being texted by the female driver. Upon the LifeFlight helicopter arriving at the hospital, the viewer realizes that Tim McGraw's character is actually the physician who saves the driver's life, and the texts he had been receiving earlier in the video were from the hospital paging/notifying him about this emergency. Taylor Swift was standing in the bedroom-curtain. Keith Urban was standing on the beach.[14]


Year Organization Award/work Result Ref
2013 American Country Awards Collaborative Single of the Year Won [15]
Collaborative Video of the Year Won
Song of the Year (Songwriters Award) Won
Country Music Association Awards Musical Event of the Year Won [16]
Music Video of the Year Won
Single of the Year Nominated
2014 Academy of Country Music Awards Video of the Year Won [18]
Single Record of the Year Nominated
Vocal Event of the Year Nominated
BMI Awards Publisher of the Year Won [19]
Country Awards Top 50 Songs Won
CMT Music Awards Collaborative Video of the Year Nominated [20]
Video of the Year Nominated
iHeartRadio Music Awards Country Song of the Year Nominated [21]
Grammy Awards Best Country Duo/Group Performance Nominated [22]
CMC Music Awards International Video of the Year Won [23]

Official versions


Weekly charts

Chart (2013) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[24] 73
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[25] 21
Canada Country (Billboard)[26] 2
US Billboard Hot 100[27] 22
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[28] 4
US Country Airplay (Billboard)[29] 1

Year-end charts


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[34] 2× Platinum 2,300,000[12]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ a b "R&R :: Going For Adds :: Country". Radio & Records. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved 2013.
  2. ^ Wyland, Sarah (March 12, 2013). "Tim McGraw Collaborates with Taylor Swift & Keith Urban on New Single". Great American Country. Retrieved 2013.
  3. ^ Conaway, Alanna (February 13, 2013). "Story Behind The Song: The Warren Brothers Discuss Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift's "Highway Don't Care"". Roughstock. Retrieved 2013.
  4. ^ Stromblad, Cory (February 8, 2013). "Tim McGraw Spills on Recording 'Highway Don't Care' 'With' Taylor Swift, Keith Urban". Taste of Country. Retrieved 2013.
  5. ^ Mark, Irwin,. "Tim McGraw "Highway Don't Care" Sheet Music in D Major (transposable) - Download & Print". Musicnotes.com.
  6. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Two Lanes of Freedom - Tim McGraw". Allmusic. Retrieved 2013.
  7. ^ Dauphin, Chuck (February 22, 2013). "The Weekly Single Recap: February 22, 2013: Tate Stevens, Tim McGraw & Taylor Swift, Jason Aldean & More". Roughstock. Archived from the original on March 1, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  8. ^ Dukes, Billy (February 25, 2013). "Tim McGraw (Feat. Taylor Swift and Keith Urban), 'Highway Don't Care' - Song Review". Taste of Country. Retrieved 2013.
  9. ^ Benjamin, Jeff (May 7, 2013). "Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift & Keith Urban Want You Home Safe in "Highway Don't Care" Video". Fuse.tv. Retrieved 2013.
  10. ^ Morris, Edward (February 16, 2013). "Tim McGraw's Two Lanes of Freedom Is Week's No. 1 Country Album". Country Music Television. Retrieved 2013.
  11. ^ Bjorke, Matt (February 13, 2013). "Country Chart News - The Top 30 Digital Singles: The Week of February 13, 2012: Tim McGraw & Taylor Swift #1; Lady Antebellum #2". Roughstock. Archived from the original on April 11, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  12. ^ a b Trust, Gary (November 26, 2017). "Ask Billboard: Taylor Swift's Career Album & Song Sales". Retrieved 2017.
  13. ^ "CMT : Videos : Tim McGraw : Highway Don't Care". Country Music Television. Retrieved 2013.
  14. ^ Wetzel, Jennifer. "Vanderbilt, country superstar Tim McGraw share important message regarding dangers of distracted driving". Vanderbilt University.
  15. ^ "American Country Awards: See the winners here!". CNN. December 11, 2013. Archived from the original on June 22, 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  16. ^ "CMA World -- International Awards -- CMA World". Country Music Association Awards. Archived from the original on February 1, 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  17. ^ "Taylor to be presented with CMA's Pinnacle Award!". Taylor Swift. Archived from the original on January 9, 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  18. ^ "2014 ACM Awards: Nominees & Winners". Nash Country Weekly. April 6, 2014. Archived from the original on June 22, 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  19. ^ "Vince Gill Recognized as BMI Icon at the 2014 BMI Country Awards". Broadcast Music, Inc. November 4, 2014. Archived from the original on January 8, 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  20. ^ "Miranda Lambert Leads 2014 CMT Music Awards Nominations". Nash Country Weekly. Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved 2015.
  21. ^ Blake, Emily (March 26, 2014). "Rihanna, Justin Timberlake Lead iHeartRadio Nominees: See The Full List". MTV. Archived from the original on June 22, 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  22. ^ "Grammys 2014: The complete list of nominees and winners". Los Angeles Times. January 26, 2014. Archived from the original on March 4, 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  23. ^ "Morgan Evans Is Fans' Choice in CMC Country Music Awards". Daily Mercury. News Corp Australia. 15 March 2014. Retrieved 2018.
  24. ^ "The ARIA Charts" (PDF). Pandora.nla.gov.au. Retrieved 2017.
  25. ^ "Tim McGraw Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard.
  26. ^ "Tim McGraw Chart History (Canada Country)". Billboard.
  27. ^ "Tim McGraw Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  28. ^ "Tim McGraw Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  29. ^ "Tim McGraw Chart History (Country Airplay)". Billboard.
  30. ^ "Best of 2013: Canadian Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  31. ^ "Best of 2013: Hot 100 Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  32. ^ "Best of 2013: Country Airplay". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  33. ^ "Best of 2013: Hot Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  34. ^ "American single certifications - Tim McGraw - Highway Don't Care". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2013.If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH.

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