“Stay (I Missed You)” is a song by American singer-songwriter Lisa Loeb. It was released in May 1994 as the lead single from the original movie soundtrack Reality Bites (1994). The song was written and composed by Loeb herself, while production was handled by Juan Patiño and Loeb, who previously produced some of her songs back with Nine Stories. “Stay” was originally conceived in 1990 when she formed the band Nine Stories, who were then featured in the song (they were credited separated from Loeb). Loeb’s neighbor and friend, actor Ethan Hawke had found out about the song and submitted it to actor Ben Stiller’s directional film soundtrack Reality Bites which was then accepted. Musically, “Stay” is a pop rock song that has been influenced with folk music. Lyrically, the song deals with a relationship that is in trouble, but the singer tries to reconcile with her lover.
“Stay” received positive reviews from most music critics, who praised the lyrical and production side and likened the song’s commercial potential. Several critics had listed the song in some of the best song lists. “Stay” ultimately went on to become a number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, earning her the distinction of being the first artist to top the U.S. chart before being signed to any record label. The song was commercially successful in countries including New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom. The song’s music video was produced and directed by close friend Ethan Hawke who lived near her apartment in New York City. For their performance of the song Lisa Loeb and Nine Stories were nominated for a Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, but lost to All-4-One’s “I Swear”.