You Belong with Me is a country pop song performed by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. The song was co-written by Swift and Liz Rose and produced by Nathan Chapman with Swift's aid. It was released on April 18, 2009, by Big Machine Records as the third single from Swift's second studio album, Fearless (2008). Swift was inspired to write "You Belong with Me" after overhearing a male friend of hers arguing with his girlfriend through a phone call; she continued to develop a story line afterward. The song contains many pop music elements and its lyrics have Swift desiring an out-of-reach love interest.
Critical reception for "You Belong with Me" was mixed to positive. The song won Favorite song at 2010 Kids' Choice Awards, and received nominations for the Grammy Awards for Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. "You Belong with Me" enjoyed commercial success as well; it became a top ten hit in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States. In the United States, the song became Swift's highest-charting single on the Billboard Hot 100 at the time and has become Swift's third best-selling single. It managed to gain the largest crossover radio audience since Faith Hill's "Breathe" did in 2000. The single was certified 6× Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The song is one the best-selling singles worldwide, with worldwide sales of more than 5.1 millions of units (according to the IFPI).
The song's accompanying music video was directed by Roman White. The video featured Swift portraying two characters, a nerd (the protagonist and narrator) and a popular girl (the antagonist and girlfriend), while American actor Lucas Till portrayed the male lead. The video's plot centers on the protagonist secretively loving the male lead, although he has a girlfriend. The video won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Video at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, but during Swift's acceptance speech, rapper Kanye West interrupted, protesting in support of Beyoncé. The incident caused a reaction in the media, with most people coming to Swift's defense. The song was performed live at numerous venues, including the 2009–10 Fearless Tour, where it was the opening number. It was covered by various artists, including Butch Walker and Selena Gomez & the Scene, and parodied by "Weird Al" Yankovic.
Awards and nominations
At the 52nd Grammy Awards, "You Belong with Me" received nominations for three awards. The song received a nomination for the Grammy Award for Song of the Year but lost to Beyoncé Knowles' "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" (2008), for the Grammy Award for Record of the Year but lost to Kings of Leon's "Use Somebody" (2008), and for the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance but lost to Knowles' "Halo" (2009). "You Belong with Me" won Favorite Song at the 2010 Kids Choice Awards and was nominated for Song of the Year at the 45th Academy of Country Music Awards, but lost to Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" (2009).
North America Upon its release as a promotional single, on the week ending November 22, 2008, "You Belong with Me" debuted at number twelve on the Billboard Hot 100 due to sales of 172,000 digital downloads, tying her with the Jonas Brothers for most top twenty debuts in 2008, a record which she later beat; the song fell from the Billboard Hot 100 in the following week. Following its single release, the song re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number eighty-seven on the week ending May 16, 2009. "You Belong with Me" moved to number three on the Billboard Hot 100 on the week ending August 15, 2009, thus making the song Swift's second highest-charting effort, surpassing her previous second best-charting effort "Love Story", which peaked at number four in January 2009. Driven by non-country radio airplay, the song established the largest crossover radio audience since Faith Hill's "Breathe" (2000). The following week, it peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, being blocked at the top spot by The Black Eyed Peas's "I Gotta Feeling". The song is one of thirteen songs from Fearless charted within the top forty of the Billboard Hot 100, breaking the record for the most top forty entries from a single album. The single was certified quadruple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for shipments exceeding four million copies. As of November 2014, "You Belong with Me" has sold 4.5 million copies in the United States.
"You Belong With Me" became Swift's first song to reach Billboard Radio Songs summit with 117 million all-format audience impressions. It also became the first country crossover single to rule Radio Songs since Billboard began incorporating Nielsen BDS-monitored data in 1990. It stayed at number one for two consecutive weeks. On Billboard Hot Country Songs, the single debuted at number thirty-two. On the week-ending June 13, 2009, it jumped from number thirteen to ten in the chart, scoring Swift's eight consecutive top ten hit. "You Belong With Me" became Swift's fourth number one song on Billboard Hot Country Songs after it reached the summit on the week-ending August 22, 2009. It stayed on the top for two weeks and fell at number six afterwards. The single charted in Billboard Hot Country Songs for a total of twenty weeks. On Billboard Pop Songs, it debuted at number forty. It jumped at number twenty six of the following week and on its fifth week, on the week-ending July 25, 2009, it entered the top ten at number ten. It reached its peak at number two of the week-ending September 5, 2009 and held from the top spot by Black Eyed Peas's I Gotta Feeling for five weeks. It also reach the top spot on Adult Contemporary for fourteen weeks while reaching number two in Billboard Adult Pop Songs.
In Canada, "You Belong with Me" entered at number eighty-four. It jumped at the top ten at number nine and peaked at number three for three non-consecutive weeks. It charted in Canada for forty-five weeks. It also reached number one on Canadian Country Radio after only eleven weeks at radio. It was also certified double platinum by Music Canada for sales of 160,000 digital downloads.
Europe and Oceania "You Belong with Me" debuted at number ninety-nine on the week ending July 18, 2009, in United Kingdom. It reached its peak in United Kingdom at number thirty on the week ending September 26, 2009. In Ireland, it peaked at number twelve and spent a total of six weeks on the chart. In mainland Europe, "You Belong with Me" peaked at number sixty-one on the Eurochart Hot 100 Singles Chart, number eleven in Belgium (Flanders), and number thirty-two in Denmark. "You Belong with Me" experienced similar commercial outcomes throughout the rest of Europe; it became a top forty hit in Belgium (Wallonia) and a top fifty hit in Sweden.
"You Belong with Me" was a success in Australia and New Zealand. On the week ending May 24, 2009, the song entered in Australia at number fifty. On the week ending July 5, 2009, the song reached its peak at number five, a position it maintained on for three non-consecutive weeks. "You Belong with Me" was placed at number eighty-eight on the decade-end Austrian Singles Chart. It was certified double platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association for shipments exceeding 140,000 copies. On the week ending May 25, 2009, "You Belong with Me" debuted at number twenty-eight in New Zealand and, after two weeks of ascended positions, it peaked at number five. The single was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand for shipments exceeding 15,000 copies.