What Hurts the Most: Wikis


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"What Hurts the Most"
Single by Jo O'Meara
from the album Relentless
Released 26 September, 2005
Format CD single
Recorded 2005
Genre Pop
Length 3:29
Label Sanctuary
Writer(s) Jeffrey Steele, Steve Robson
Jo O'Meara singles chronology
"What Hurts the Most"
Music video
"What Hurts The Most" (Official video) at YouTube

"What Hurts the Most" is the title of a song written by American songwriters Jeffrey Steele and Steve Robson, and recorded by several artists. Initially recorded by country music artist Mark Wills in 2003 on his album And the Crowd Goes Wild, it was covered by Bellefire a year later. The first version to be released as a single was by pop singer Jo O'Meara in 2005, from the album Relentless. Later that year, country band Rascal Flatts covered the song as well, releasing it as the first single from the 2006 album Me and My Gang, topping the U.S country and adult contemporary charts with it. German band Cascada later had international chart success with the song in 2007. A cappella covers of this song have become popularized by Boston-based group, Overboard's rendition for their 2007 album, "Stranded". This song was covered on Season 8 of American Idol by Danny Gokey.



"What Hurts the Most" is a ballad in which the narrator explains what causes him/her the most emotional discomfort in his/her broken relationship: specifically, that he/she was unable to express his emotions:

What hurts the most
Is being so close
And havin' so much to say
And watching you walk away
And never knowing
What could have been
And not seeing that lovin' you
It's what I was trying to do

Jeffrey Steele co-wrote the song with Steve Robson, with whom he also co-wrote Rascal Flatts' 2002 single "These Days". Robson presented Steele with an unfinished track, and Steele decided to come up with lyrics to finish the track. Originally, he had wanted to write a song about the loss of his father, but instead went with a more universal theme of lost love.[1] After singing the lyrics, he decided that he liked how sad the song sounded, when Robson suggested that it be recorded in a higher key to sound more emotional.[1]

Mark Wills was the first artist to record the song,[1] doing so on his 2003 album And the Crowd Goes Wild. Jo O'Meara, a pop singer, released the song in 2005 and had chart success with it in the United Kingdom. Faith Hill had also intended to include the song on her 2005 album Fireflies, and although she had recorded the song, her version did not make the final cut.[1] Rascal Flatts then recorded the song as well, and per producer Dann Huff's suggestion, it made their album Me and My Gang.[1] Wills' rendition of the song, though never a single, peaked at #51 on the U.S. Hot Digital Songs charts in 2006 in the wake of Rascal Flatts' success with it.

Jo O'Meara version

Jo O'Meara released the song in 2005 as her first solo single, becoming the first artist to release it as a single. It was the lead single from her debut album Relentless. O'Meara's version peaked at number thirteen in the UK singles chart.

Chart Position
UK Singles Chart 13
Irish Singles Chart 26

Rascal Flatts version

"What Hurts the Most"
Single by Rascal Flatts
from the album Me and My Gang
Released 2006
Format CD single
Recorded 2005
Genre Country rock, ballad, soft rock
Length 3:33
Label Lyric Street
Producer Dann Huff
Certification Platinum (RIAA)
Rascal Flatts singles chronology
"Skin (Sarabeth)"
"What Hurts the Most"
"Me and My Gang"

In 2006, country music trio Rascal Flatts released the song as a single from its album Me and My Gang, and it became their fifth number-one single on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart. It also peaked at No. 6 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100, becoming the band's first Top 10 pop hit. In addition, the song reached #1 on the Adult Contemporary charts. Rascal Flatts also performed the song live with Kelly Clarkson at the Academy of Country Music Awards in 2006.

Rascal Flatts' recording earned two nominations for the 49th Annual Grammy Awards, in the categories of Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, and Best Country Song.



Chart (2006-2007) Peak
Canadian Country Singles Chart 1
Canadian Singles Chart 45
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 6
U.S. Billboard Pop 100 11
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs 1
UK Singles Chart 103
Preceded by
"Living in Fast Forward" by Kenny Chesney
Billboard Hot Country Songs number-one single
April 8 - April 29, 2006
Succeeded by
"Who Says You Can't Go Home" by Bon Jovi and Jennifer Nettles
Canadian Country Singles Chart number-one single
April 14 - April 21, 2006
Succeeded by
"The Lucky One" by Faith Hill

Cascada version

"What Hurts the Most"
Single by Cascada
from the album Perfect Day
Released November 21, 2007 (2007-11-21)
(see release history)
Format CD single, digital download
Recorded 2007
Genre Eurotrance, electropop[2]
Length 3:39
Label Zooland
Writer(s) Jeffrey Steele, Steve Robson
Producer Manuel Reuter, Yann Peifer
Cascada singles chronology
"Last Christmas"
"What Hurts the Most"
"What Do You Want from Me?"
Music video
"What Hurts The Most" (Official video) at YouTube

In 2007, the song was covered by the German dance group Cascada. It was released as the first single of their second album Perfect Day. The single was first released in Sweden and then released on December 4 in the United States, December 10 in the United Kingdom, and finally released January 4 2008 in Germany.

The song peaked at number five on the Swedish singles chart and entered the United Kingdom's singles chart at number 16 before peaking at number ten. In the United States, the song peaked at number 52 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and was certified gold for sales of 500,000 almost 23 months after its release on October 28, 2009.[3] At the end of 2008, Billboard ranked the song at number 69 for its year-end Hot Singles Sales chart.[4]

Billboard's Chuck Taylor wrote a positive review of the song saying "wouldn't it be wondrous if American programmers renewed their vow in 2008 to put variety on the airwaves—or do we really need a fifth entry in the top 10 from T-Pain[?]".[5]

Music structure

"What Hurts the Most", covered by Cascada, is an uptempo eurodrance song that starts off with guitar plucking and Horler's electropop vocals,[6] then transitions into trance music. It has a moderate trance tempo groove and it is composed in the key of F-sharp minor with a tempo of 142 beats per minute.[7]

Track listing

  1. Yanou's Candlelight Mix (Ballad) - 3:56
  2. Radio edit – 3:41
  3. Topmodelz Radio Edit - 3:47
  4. Spencer & Hill Radio Edit - 3:30
  5. Original Extended - 5:17
  6. Extended Club Mix - 5:07
  7. Spencer & Hill Club Remix - 7:00
  8. "Last Christmas" (G. Michael) - 3:53


  • "What Hurts the Most" (Radio Edit) – 3:41
  • "What Hurts the Most" (Fugitives Megura Radio Edit) – 3:51
  • "What Hurts the Most" (Spencer & Hill Radio Edit) – 3:31
  • "What Hurts the Most" (Topmodelz Radio Edit) – 3:47
  • "What Hurts the Most" (Yanou's Candlelight Mix) – 3:56
  • "What Hurts the Most" (Extended Mix) – 5:18
  • "What Hurts the Most" (Spencer Hill Remix) – 7:00
  • "What Hurts the Most" (K-Klass Remix) – 6:05
  • "What Hurts the Most" (Top Modelz Remix) – 5:35
  • "What Hurts the Most" (Fugitives Megura Remix) – 5:58
  • "What Hurts the Most" (Ultrabeat Remix) – 5:52
  • "What Hurts the Most" (Darren Styles Remix) – 6:16
  • "What Hurts the Most" (Riff & Rays Remix) – 8:30
  • "What Hurts the Most" (Flip & Fill Remix) – 5:50
  • "What Hurts the Most" (Club Mix) – 5:07
  • "What Hurts the Most" (Spencer & Hill Dub Mix) – 6:00
  • "What Hurts the Most" (2-4 Grooves Remix) – 6:47
  • "What Hurts the Most" (Club Radio Edit) – 3:30
  • "What Hurts the Most" (DJ Uto Remix) – 3:26
  • "What Hurts the Most" (AL Storm Remix) [only on a compilation CD Ultimate Hardcore Volume 3]

Release history

Country Date Format Label
Germany January 3, 2008 CD single, digital download Zooland
Sweden November 21, 2007 CD single, digital download Bonnier
United Kingdom December 4, 2007 Digital download All Around the World
December 10, 2007 CD single
United States November 27, 2007 Digital download Robbins
December 4, 2007 CD single

Charts, peaks and certifications


Chart (2007/2008) Peak
Austrian Singles Chart[8] 3
Canadian Hot 100[9] 54
Czech Airplay Chart[10] 25
Dutch Single Top 100[11] 35
Dutch Top 40[12] 23
Eurochart Hot 100 Singles[13] 8
Finland Singles Top 20[14] 18
France Singles Chart[15] 2
German Singles Chart 9
Global Dance Tracks[16] 4
Hungary Dance Top 40[17] 40
Irish Singles Chart[18] 6
Slovakia Singles Chart[19] 85
Swedish Singles Chart[20] 5
UK Singles Chart [21] 10
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[22] 52
U.S. Billboard Pop 100[23] 28

Sales and certifications

Provider Sales Certification
United States 500,000+[24] Gold[3]
Preceded by
"Calabria 2007" by Enur featuring Natasja
Billboard Hot Dance Airplay number-one single
February 2, 2008
Succeeded by
"Let Me Think About It" by Ida Corr vs Fedde le Grand


  1. ^ a b c d e "Jeffrey Steele Reveals the Story Behind "What Hurts the Most"". Great American Country. http://www.gactv.com/gac/nw_feature/article/0,3038,GAC_26499_5691646_,00.html. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  2. ^ http://allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:fbftxz9hld6e#
  3. ^ a b RIAA What Hurts the Most Certification. RIAA. Retrieved November 12, 2009.
  4. ^ Cascada What Hurts The Most Hot Singles End Of Year Chart
  5. ^ Billboard's Chuck Taylor Review of What Hurts the Most
  6. ^ http://allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:fbftxz9hld6e#
  7. ^ "Digital sheet music - Cascada - What Hurts the Most". Musicnotes. Alfred Publishing. http://www.musicnotes.com/sheetmusic/mtd.asp?ppn=MN0064328. Retrieved 2009-09-28. 
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ Canadian Hot 100 Cascada What Hurts the Most History
  10. ^ Czech Airplay Chart
  11. ^ http://dutchcharts.nl/showitem.asp?interpret=Cascada&titel=What+Hurts+The+Most&cat=s Cascada "Because The Night" Dutch Single Top 100
  12. ^ http://www.radio538.nl/top40.html Cascada "Because The Night" Dutch "Radio 538" Top 40
  13. ^ Billboard European Hot 100
  14. ^ Cascada "What Hurts The Most" Finland Singles Top 20
  15. ^ Cascada "What Hurts The Most" France Singles Chart
  16. ^ Cascada What Hurts the Most Global Dance Tracks
  17. ^ Hongrie Dance Top 40
  18. ^ Top Irish Singles
  19. ^ Sns Ifpi
  20. ^ Swedishcharts.com
  21. ^ UK Singles Chart
  22. ^ Cascada What Hurts The Most Billboard's Hot 100
  23. ^ Cascada What Hurts the Most Billboard's Pop 100
  24. ^ "RIAA - Recording Industry Association of America". Recording Industry Association of America. http://www.riaa.com/goldandplatinum.php?content_selector=criteria. Retrieved 2009-11-08. 


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