Song: “We Belong Together” by Mariah Carey
Reached #1: June 4, 2005 (her sixteenth, 14 weeks)
“We Belong Together” marked the start of the second phase of Mariah Carey’s career.
The first phase had been rather huge – from her discovery at age 18 by Tommy Mottola, who went on to marry her, through 1998, she scored 13 #1 hits from 8 albums. She also sang the only classic Christmas song to be released in the last two decades.
Unfortunately, all good things do end. In 1997, the marriage to Mottola unraveled. Pretty much everything else unraveled by 2001 – her contract with Mottola’s Columbia Records ended, her first EMI/Virgin album was connected to the complete disaster that was Glitter, and – finally – she broke down physically and emotionally.
If you believe in omens, keep in mind that the Glitter soundtrack album reached stores on September 11, 2001.
It took a while for her to get back on her feet – a small-venue concert tour (“Charmbracelet”) brought her back to her roots… while she worked on The Emancipation of Mimi. “We Belong Together” was the lead single off Mimi, and it was clearly something the American public was waiting for. The only song to spend more weeks at #1 was also hers (the collaboration with Boys II Men, “One Sweet Day” – hold that thought, we’ll come back to it eventually)… “We Belong Together” is currently one of six songs that spent 14 weeks at the top. Had it not been for Carrie Underwood’s “Inside Your Heaven” wedging into the #1 spot for a week in July, Mariah might’ve had the top two #1s ever.
She’s added two more #1 hits since “We Belong Together” – and has also added a family, marrying Nick Cannon and having twins (but not before getting so large during the pregnancy that even she had to lampoon herself more than once). Right now, there’s no word on future music or acting plans – but if she decides to focus on her family for a while, nobody could argue that she hasn’t earned the time…
Tomorrow, the #1 song before the one everyone thinks was the first #1 for a singer whose image hid behind horn-rimmed glasses…
No other songs reached #1 on June 4.