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August 31st, 2010 - When “Love Like Crazy” was released to radio stations in August 2009, Lee Brice had no idea how long it would take for the song to hit its stride.

It’s now been on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for 53 weeks — that’s more than a year that it’s been in circulation, and it’s still on the move in the Top 5. That longevity is so rare that only one song has ever lasted longer on the country chart: Eddy Arnold’s “Bouquet Of Roses,” which began a 54-week run in 1948.

Still, because it’s been around so long, “Love Like Crazy” could have driven Lee crazy. Plenty of artists admit that they watch the charts obsessively, and his ascent — 56 chart positions in a 53-week period — was agonizingly slow. But Lee had a pretty good method for dealing with it.

“I try and not watch it,” he told The Tennessean. “I try and keep my head down and go play a couple shows.”

It’s not the only way Lee has been forced to wait in his career. He signed with Curb Records in 2007, but it took three years for his first album to make it into the marketplace. The label wanted him to have a Top 20 single before releasing the full CD, so it waited until June 2010 to finally put out Lee’s debut.

His patience might be thinning, though. Lee’s already itching to get to work on the next album.

“I’ve been living with that record for three years,” he said. “I’m ready to start making a new one, just artistically to be able to stay ahead of the ballgame. Artistically I’m nowhere near where I was three years ago when I made that record. I’ve grown as an artist.”

Not that he’s complaining about the wait. Lee does, after all, have a hit that’s on the verge of setting an all-time record. And “Love Like Crazy” is one of country’s 10 best-selling singles online.

“The label has its process,” Lee said. “The [positive] is that right now I have a big Top 5 song and I’m selling records.”

It’s also picked up an awards nomination. “Love Like Crazy” is in the running for Mainstream Inspirational Country Song of the Year in the 16th annual Inspirational Country Music Awards. Lee’s competition is “That’s God” by Jo Dee Messina, “Temporary Home” by Carrie Underwood, “The Man I Want To Be” by Chris Young and “This Ain’t Nothin’” by Craig Morgan.

Lee's debut album Love Like Crazy is in stores everywhere now.