Mariah Carey’s previous single, “Fantasy”, had debuted at #1. Boyz II Men had a track record of long-lasting #1 songs, with two monster hits (1992’s “End Of The Road” spent 13 weeks at the top, then “I’ll Make Love To You” tied the record of 14 weeks in 1994).
Add the fact that the song was designed to raise awareness of, and remember those lost to, the ongoing AIDS epidemic, and you had all the elements for a record-breaking single.
“One Sweet Day” didn’t disappoint. The song debuted at #1 on the Hot 100 on December 2, 1995 – and didn’t leave until after the March 16, 1996 issue of Billboard. That was, and remains, not only the best performance for a song that debuted on top, but the longest run at #1 for any single in the history of the magazine.
If you believe in fate, you could make a case that this song was fated to happen.
Carey had started writing a song to honor her friend and collaborator, David Cole. While working on the song, she deliberately left it unfinished because she wanted Boyz II Men involved not only performing, but writing the song. A short time later, when she played the demo for Boyz II Men, the reaction was surprise. It turns out that the Boyz’ Nathan Morris had been working on a song to commemorate his road manager – and the song was, in many ways, remarkably similar to Carey’s demo. It wasn’t terribly difficult, according to both Carey and the Boyz, to combine the two partially-finished projects into the song that smashed the record book.
Given the changes in the music industry, and in chart methodology, since 1995, this is one record that quite possibly will never be broken.
Tomorrow, a Miami producer’s very flexible band lineup takes a medley of two classic rock tracks to the top of the charts…
Other songs that reached #1 on December 2:
1957 – “You Send Me / Summertime (Part 1)” by Sam Cooke (his first, 4 weeks, Best Seller chart)
1967 – “Daydream Believer” by the Monkees (their third, 4 weeks)
1972 – “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone” by the Temptations (their fourth, 1 week)
1978 – “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” by Barbra (Streisand) & Neil (Diamond) (their first, 2 weeks)
2006 – “I Wanna Love You” by Akon feat. Snoop Dogg (his first, 2 weeks)