Recorded for Carey's seventh studio album, 1997's 'Butterfly,' this top Mariah Carey song marks the diva's transition from pop to more R&B -- possibly due to the track's beat sampling, borrowing both World's Famous Supreme Team's 'Hey DJ,' and Treacherous Three's 'The Body Rock.' The track earned two Grammy nominations in 1998 for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song.
'Shake It Off'
'Shake It Off' is a single off Carey's 10th album, 2005's 'The Emancipation of Mimi.' Released after 'We Belong Together,' it didn't live up to the critics expectations; however, commercially it was a major success -- it's paired music video even earning a MTV Video Music Award nomination for Best R&B Video.
'Vision of Love'
'Vision of Love' was the first song Carey wrote after Columbia Records executive Tommy Mottola signed Carey. The song's lyrics describe the singer as having a 'vision of love' and being grateful -- not to a lover but to God. According to Carey, the song is based on personal struggles she'd had as a child with her parents divorce, such frequent relocation and people's reactions to her ethnicity.
Off Carey's 12th studio effort, 'Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel,' this top Mariah Carey song featured rapper The-Dream on the song's intro. When the song was released in 2009, almost immediately critics began speculating that the song was targeted at rapper Eminem, in response to his song 'Bagpipes from Baghdad,' where he taunted Carey's husband, Nick Cannon, by saying that Carey belonged to the Detroit rapper.
'Fantasy' appears on Carey's fifth studio album 'Daydream.' Released in 1995, the song is based off a sample of Tom Tom Club's 1981 single 'Genius of Love.' This Mariah Carey song marked the sixth year in a row that Carey received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
'I Don't Wanna Cry'
A track from her debut album, 'I Don't Wanna Cry' was Carey's first single that she did not co-write with Ben Margulies. Originally she said she was excited because it sounded like something that would be played on the radio. The song was famously covered by 'American Idol' alum Jason Castro during his run on the television contest.
Originally inspired from the movie by the same name, Carey ended up keeping the song for her own album, 1993's 'Music Box.' It became one of her top concert numbers -- next to 'Visions of Love' -- and earned her a 1995 Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, but losing to Sheryl Crow's radio hit 'All I Wanna Do.'
'Always Be My Baby'
The Grammy-Award-Winning 'Always Be My Baby' was released in 1996 from Carey's fourth studio effort 'Daydream.' Even though the bittersweet song talks about a failed relationship, the singer assures herself that her former lover will come crawling back to her as soon as he realizes he misses her.
'All I Want for Christmas Is You'
Critics argue that this 1994 Carey tune is the only notable modern addition to the Christmas music canon. The song has been covered multiple times by the likes of John Mayer and Shania Twain, as well as alternative rock groups My Chemical Romance and Zebrahead. The Christmas track also appeared in numerous films, most notablly 2004's 'Love Actually.'
'We Belong Together'
By the time Mariah Carey's 10th studio album came out in 2005, the singer had been going through a rough streak of failures and disappointments. 'We Belong Together' -- off 'The Emancipation of Mimi' -- was a turning point in Carey's career. The R&B '80s-inspired track is built on simple piano chords and backbeats -- chronicling a woman's desire for her former lover to return to her, and winning two 2006 Grammy Awards.
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