"Home" is the debut single and coronation song for singer-songwriter and season 11 American Idol winner Phillip Phillips. Written by Drew Pearson and Greg Holden and produced by Pearson, Phillips debuted the song on Idol's final performance show on May 22, 2012. The song was released after his victory on May 23, 2012. The song has reached number 1 on iTunes, debuted at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has received universal praise due to the song not sounding like the usual Idol coronation songs, which tend to be very cheesy and corny both in terms of arrangement and lyrics.
The song has gone on to become the biggest selling Idol coronation song ever.
Idol in-house mentor and Universal Music Group chairman Jimmy Iovine choose the song for Phillips to release as a single if he won. According to Drew Pearson, it was originally intended for Greg Holden, who had performed it live on several occasions, but was submitted to Idol as a possible finale number by Pearson's publishing company, Pulse Publishing. Pearson cites Mumford and Sons, Arcade Fire and a few other Irish bands as influences for the song.
The song has received universal praise. Phillips' performance of the song earned him a standing ovation from the judges-the only one of the night. Judge Randy Jackson called it "perfect" while fellow judge Jennifer Lopez called it "a Phillip song and there is nothing like that on the radio." Steven Tyler chipped in with "By virtue of your vunerability and style, you made the world your home." Several critics credit the song with securing Phillips' victory.
Professional music critics have even praised the song as well, calling it one of the best Idol coronation songs ever. Some critics even likened the song's sound to Mumford and Sons and Arcade Fire among other bands.
Despite the song receiving praise and him giving songwriters Holden and Pearson credit for writing a good song, Phillips, at his post-Idol press conference after he had won, called it "too pop" and claimed that it wasn't really his first single, saying that "I have my own stories to tell." Phillips also said that the kind of songs he tends to write are more in "the jazz and alternative rock sound; not really rock-rock." However, in a later interview, Phillips admitted to liking the song, and that there would be a couple of songs like it on his upcoming album.
His criticism of the song, however, got him in trouble with various critcs such as Lyndsey Parker and Matt Wittfield, both fans of Phillips.
"Home" has proven to be successful, selling 278,000 downloads since its release resulting in the song debuting at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, making Phillips the first Idol winner in four years to have his first single debut in the top 10. The song was also nominated for a Teen Choice Award.
The use of the song by NBC during its Olympic coverage helped the song re-enter the Billboard Hot 100 at number 84 and then hitting the top 10 again, this time peaking at number 9.
The song has gone 4x platinum with sales of over 4,000,000 copies.
In popular culture
This song was sampled during the 2012 United States Olympic Trials. Phillips even performed it on July 4, 2012 at the 36th Annual Capitol Fourth concert in Washington, D.C. and at the 83rd MLB All-Star Game in Kansas City, Missouri on July 10, 2012. It was even used in the trailer for the Clint Eastwood/Justin Timberlake movie Trouble with The Curve. The song is also being used in radio spots for American Family Insurance.
Use in the Olympics
The song was frequently used by NBC during its coverage of the 2012 London Olympics, especially during a segment on the gold medal-winning US women's gymnastics team. As a result, the song sold an additional 105,000 copies in two days as of August 3, 2012 and went to number 1 on iTunes again. Phillips said of the song's resurgence, "It's an honor for them to use that song, and I'm so proud of it and how well it has done." Phillips even performed the song twice for the "Fab Five" in Boston and New York after the Olympics.
Due to the song being used during the Olympics, many radio stations have started playing their own versions of the song, which are remixes intersped with highlights from the Olympics.
The music video for the song, directed by Joseph Toman, premiered on Phillips' Vevo channel on August 2, 2012. The video weaves together black-and-white imagery of American landscapes with footage of Phillips jamming on the tour bus. Equally vital, according to Toman, was to give a sense of journey, both for the viewer and the star. "The idea of feeling home, at peace, even when you actually can't be 'home'."