"If You Leave Me Now" is the title of a popular hit ballad by the American rock group Chicago, from their album Chicago X. It was written and sung by bass guitar player Peter Cetera and released as a single in July 1976.

It is also the title of a compilation album released by Columbia Records (Columbia 38590) in 1983.

The single topped the US charts on October 23, 1976, and stayed there for two weeks, making it the first number one hit for the group as well as hitting number one on the Easy Listeningcharts.[2] It also reached number one in the UK on November 13, 1976, maintaining the position for three weeks.[3]

"If You Leave Me Now" was also Chicago's biggest hit worldwide, topping the charts in other countries such as Australia. It won Grammy Awards for Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) and Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus. In addition, by August 1978 it had sold 1.4 million copies in the United States alone.[4]

The song had been featured in some several television series and movies such as in 2005 romantic film A Lot like Love starring Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet and it is also included on the film's soundtrack.

For the past several years Chicago has teamed with the American Cancer Society and offered the opportunity to bid on the chance to sing their hit, "If You Leave Me Now" with them on stage live at their concerts. Proceeds go to the American Cancer Society to fight breast cancer.


 [hide*1 Charts


Chart (1976) Peak


Belgian Singles Chart (Flanders)[5] 2
Canadian Singles Chart[6] 1
Dutch Singles Chart[7] 1
German Singles Chart[8] 3
New Zealand Singles Chart[9] 2
UK Singles Chart[3] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[2] 1
US Adult Contemporary[2] 1
Chart (1977) Peak


Austrian Singles Chart[10] 3
Norwegian Singles Chart[11] 4
Swedish Singles Chart[12] 2
Swiss Singles Chart[13] 3
Preceded by

"Disco Duck (part one)" by Rick Dees & His Cast of Idiots

Billboard Hot 100 number-one single

October 23-November 5, 1976

Succeeded by

"Rock 'N Me" by Steve Miller Band

Preceded by

"Mississippi" by Pussycat

UK singles chart number-one single

November 13-December 12, 1976

Succeeded by

"Under the Moon of Love" by Showaddywaddy


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[14] Gold 5,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[15] Gold 500,000^
United States (RIAA)[16] Platinum 2,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Cover versions[edit]Edit

There have been over 100 versions of "If You Leave Me Now" recorded by artists throughout the world, among them:

Live cover performances[edit]Edit


  • A sample of the song is used by British electronica duo Lemon Jelly on the "Nice Weather For Ducks" B-side "Soft" (2003).
  • The song was sampled as a instrumental of the song "You're My Only Shorty" by Demi Lovato featuring Iyaz, from her third album Unbroken (2011).


  • The song appears in the 2013 video game Grand Theft Auto V on the in-game radio station, Los Santos Rock Radio. It notably plays during the end of a mission in which protagonist Trevor Philips is forced to return his kidnapped hostage Patricia Madrazo back to her kingpin husband Martin.