Metro Weekly

The Powerful Story Behind David Archuleta’s ‘Hell Together’

David Archuleta's new single "Hell Together" was inspired by something his mother did after he came out as gay.

David Archuleta (Nick Spanos)
David Archuleta – Photo: Nick Spanos

David Archuleta has been through a lot in the past several years.

He came out as gay and left the Mormon church, which had been a huge part of his life. As an artist, he’s now looking to mine his past experiences – and even his trauma – to make something beautiful out of an experience that must have been incredibly difficult. That’s exactly what he’s managed to do with “Hell Together,” his latest single.

The former American Idol star dropped “Hell Together” last week after teasing new music was coming. The track is a gospel-tinged affair, a nod to his past and the story he tells in the song.

“Hell Together” is powerful and meaningful – qualities that are not always guaranteed when it comes to pop music. It shows a much more mature side of Archuleta, who is not the young boy who appeared on everyone’s TV screens so many years ago. He’s a grown man, and one who is using his voice to expel his demons and help others with theirs.

In the song, Archuleta sings of a love so strong and deep that it’s worth forgoing an eternity in heaven just to remain with that special someone. Many who listen may identify with the cut and connect it to a romantic partner, and that’s a great way to interpret the single. For the man behind the tune, though, it’s about family.

In a press release announcing “Hell Together,” Archuleta explained the meaning behind the song, which comes with a title that may raise some eyebrows.

The singer states that the tune “is inspired by what my mom said to me after I left my Mormon faith and religion altogether.” He referred to that decision as “scary,” but admitted that it was “something I knew I needed to do as I felt a new sense and purpose for life.”

Archuleta went on to share more about the story behind “Hell Together.”

“A few days after I publicly announced leaving the Mormon church, my mom texted me saying she had decided to leave too. I was shocked as she was so devout. I asked what made her feel she needed to leave because she didn’t need to follow my example. She said, ‘If you go to Hell, we’re all going to Hell with you. We’re a family and we’ll always be there for each other, in good or in bad!’”

Clearly, Archuleta’s parents are the kind that many others should see as role models. If every LGBTQ child had a family like his, perhaps the process of coming out – and the days, weeks, and months afterward – wouldn’t be as tough for many.

Archuleta has been on a new music releasing spree for the past several years. He’s doled out at least a song or two every year for the past decade. In 2023, he dropped the catchy cuts “Up,” “I’m Yours,” and “Afraid to Love.”

After coming in second on the seventh season of American Idol in 2008, Archuleta went on to launch a successful music career. His self-titled debut album peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200.

It was largely bolstered by the single “Crush,” which also stalled one rung shy of owning the Hot 100. He eventually put his job on hold to complete a Mormon mission, which took him to Chile for two years. He came out in June of 2021.

Listen to “Hell Together” below:

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