"Rather Die Young" is a song recorded by American singer Beyoncé Knowles for her fourth studio album, 4 (2011). Composed by Knowles, Jeff Bhasker, Luke Steele, the song's development was motivated by the fact that Knowles wanted a song that would help people through both their painful and happy moments. "Rather Die Young" is an R&B-soul power ballad that is instrumentally complete with synthesizers, a piano, a strummy guitar, and heavy drums, which were inspired by the work of the American band Earth, Wind & Fire. Lyrically, the song talks about the inability to fight what the heart wants. The female protagonist sings to an indifferent love interest, whom she likens to American actor James Dean and tells him that she prefers to die rather than live without him.
"Rather Die Young" was generally well received by contemporary music critics who described it as a dark, yet enchanting ballad. They highlighted Knowles' vocal power and the song's melody. Critics also noted that the ballad was heavily influenced by the 1980s R&B and soul music, adding that it has a Philadelphia soul vibe. However, some of them commented that it was barely distinguishable among the other songs on 4, criticizing its chorus which, according to them, forms the major part of the song. Following the release of 4, "Rather Die Young" charted at number 37 on the South Korea Gaon International Singles Chart, based on downloads alone. The song was part of Knowles' set list for her 4 Intimate Nights with Beyoncé revue, held at Roseland Ballroom, in New York City. File Hashes