Life was good for Aerosmith in 1998. The band's most recent album, 1997's Nine Lives, peaked at #1 and produced the hits "Falling in Love (Is Hard on the Knees)" and "Pink." The record was supported by a massive world tour, which would keep Aerosmith on the road off and on from May 1997 through mid-July 1998--thanks in large part to "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing."
"We were just about to go off the road and that song came around," drummer Joey Kramer told Classic Rock in 2017 about "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing." "We continued to tour off that song for another year. That was welcomed by the band. At that time, that was what we did: we would be on the road for twelve or eighteen months, and the only time we came off the road was to make another record."
Released on August 18, 1998, "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" debuted at #1 on the Hot 100 for the week of September 5, 1998. Propelling the song to the top of the charts was its prime positioning in the summer blockbuster movie, Armageddon. A movie, coincidentally, featuring singer Steven Tyler's daughter, Liv Tyler, in a starring role. The song held the top spot for four weeks in a row, the entire month of September 1998. It was finally toppled on October 2 by Monica's "The First Night." It still stands as Aerosmith's only #1 song on the Hot 100.
"At the time, we just didn't have the time to settle down and do it," guitarist Joe Perry told Classic Rock in 2002 about making the track. "We were out on the road, so they brought us in to see the movie and said 'here's the song, this is where it fits into the movie, you can do it if you want.' So we were in the studio within the next three days cutting it. And yeah, we do wish that we'd had a little more time, so that we could have had a shot at writing it, but it was perfect timing. The song was great, people loved it, and I don't think people care that much who wrote it."
"I remember being at the Sunset Marquis Hotel, and sitting at the piano with him and teaching him the song and just having chills all over my body as I heard the song come to life with his voice and knowing what it was going to be," the song's writer, Diane Warren, revealed to Performing Songwriter about working with Steven Tyler on the tune. "It was an amazing experience. I'd written with Aerosmith before, and they'd never done the songs we wrote."
The song was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song, but lost to "When You Believe" from The Prince of Egypt.
FUN FACT: The reason Steven Tyler is seen mostly in close-ups and not flailing about the stage in his customary abandon in the song's music video was due to the singer hurting himself on tour. Some dates had to be canceled after Tyler suffered a serious knee injury during "Mama Kin" on April 29, 1998 at show in Anchorage, Alaska.