207. Mariah Carey – ‘We Belong Together’ (2005)

“When you left I lost a part of me”

Taken from the album The Emancipation Of Mimi

US #1, AUS #1, UK #2

This is the most successful song by a female artist in American history. It totally deserves it, too – not as much as the multitude of other female artist songs that are higher on this list, but it is an unbelievably well-written single, vocally impeccable and full of emotion. It’s Mariah Carey at her very best, crushing all competition, proving to the world that she deserves her legendary status.

From that piano intro to the shiver-down-the-spine ad-libs towards the end, ‘We Belong Together’ is world-class R&B, reinstating Mariah as one of the ultimate divas and Jermaine Dupri as one of the best R&B producers around. Not a full-on ballad but nowhere near an uptempo, this song was seemingly engineered to appeal to the widest audience possible, fairly easy to sing along to but nowhere near simplistic, interesting enough to warrant the attention of the serious-music press (zzz) yet very commercial.

Mariah never lost her vocal genius completely, she just uses it in different ways – she did it on her last album with ‘Obsessed’ and ‘Up Out My Face’ and she did it here – you wouldn’t say ‘We Belong Together’ was technically the best vocals you’ve ever heard but you can hardly argue with the personality and emotion she puts into them. The song was number one for fourteen weeks in the US, which ties her for second place with five other songs (with number one being ‘One Sweet Day’ by Mariah herself). In the UK for a brief spell, number one was 2Pac and number two was Mariah Carey – two artists with careers most had assumed were over.

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