“I Hope You Dance,” Lee Ann Womack’s empowering country-pop single that became a top 20 hit on the Hot 100 upon its 2000 release, has newfound cultural cache thanks to the feverish devotion of one dating reality show contestant.
On the latest season of the smash Netflix series Love is Blind, one of the couples who signed up to get engaged before ever meeting in person are brought together in part by “I Hope You Dance.” Now, viewers are both discovering and revisiting the turn-of-the-century tearjerker, and “Dance” is waltzing to sizable bumps on streaming services.
Zack Goytowski, a criminal defense attorney who gets engaged to senior program manager Bliss Poureetezadi on the just-wrapped season 4 of Love Is Blind, loves “I Hope You Dance” — his late mother had dedicated the song’s carpe diem sentiment to him when he was a teenager — and felt sure about his connection with Bliss pre-engagement due in part to her shared appreciation of the song. “Dance” is brought up multiple times throughout season four, and is prominently featured during Zack and Bliss’ will-they-or-won’t-they segment during the Apr. 14 season finale, as well as during the live reunion, which aired on Netflix two days later.
Both the finale and reunion resulted in notable streaming gains for “Dance.” On the day that the season 4fourfinale was unveiled on Netflix, “Dance” experienced a 24% gain in daily U.S. on-demand streams, up from 115,000 daily streams on last Thursday to 142,000 streams on last Friday, according to Luminate. Saturday was an even bigger day for “Dance,” rising to 154,000 daily streams, and after dipping back down to 131,000 streams on Sunday, the Sunday night live reunion helped the song pick back up on Monday, to 146,000 streams.
“Dance” reached No. 14 on the Hot 100 following its 2000 release, and went on to win the Grammy for best country song in 2001. Womack has gone on to release nine studio albums, with 2017’s The Lonely, the Lonesome & the Gone as her most recent project.
Although Womack must be enjoying that streaming surge, it came at a price: during season 4, Zack calls the artist of his favorite song “Lee Ann Wombat.” Fortunately, the singer-songwriter was good-humored about the misnomer, posting, “Just call me Lee Ann Wombat from now on,” on Tuesday (Apr. 18).