"I Was Here" is a song by American singer Beyoncé Knowles, taken from her fourth studio album, 4 (2011). It was written by Diane Warren, while production was handled by Ryan Tedder, Brent Kutzle, and Kuk Harrell; Knowles is credited on the vocal production. "I Was Here" is a reflective ballad, in which Knowles vulnerably reviews her past, wanting to leave an impact on the world before her life comes to an end. The song's development was motivated by the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.
"I Was Here" garnered both positive and negative reviews from music critics, most of whom criticized the song's inclusion on the track-listing of the album and expressed discomfort about Knowles worrying about her legacy and wanting to leave an impact on the world, given that she was still below thirty years of age when she recorded this "career song", as described by Warren. Critics, nevertheless, favored Knowles' vocal performance on the song, which is complemented by piano keys and heavy drum beats.
Following the release of 4, "I Was Here" charted at number 131 on the UK Singles Chart, at number 74 on the Swiss Singles Chart, and at number 44 on the South Korea Gaon International Singles Chart in early July 2011. Later during the same month, the song was included on the soundtrack for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Final. "I Was Here" was also part of Knowles' set list for her 4 Intimate Nights with Beyoncé, held in Roseland Ballroom, New York City in August 2011.
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