Instead of dwelling on and arguing about who’s better or greater, let’s revisit the Number One hits of both Mariah Carey and Madonna. As we all know by now, Mariah is the female has the most number of Number One songs – 17. Madonna is at second (or third – if you consider Michael Jackson female) with 12 (see Part 2). I’m sure most of these songs will take you back in time. Definitely some of these Number One hits have touched our lives and given us inspiration.
1. Vision Of Love [4-25 August 1990] – First single, first Number One. Mariah was a breath of fresh air in the pop world at that time, and so was her first song ever. Everybody thought it was Whitney Houston – with a more powerful voice! And how pleased were everyone when they saw in the video that it was a nice-looking 19-year-old girl with big hair and a very wholesome image. This song was a cut above the rest, and will lead the way for more Mariah power ballads.
2. Love Takes Time [10-24 November 1990] – A powerful love song sang with great conviction and emotion. Again very Whitney!
3. Someday [9-16 March 1991] – One of the best break-up songs ever, strong beats with biting but empowering words. MC, in the MTV Unplugged sessions sang it for “everyone who’s ever been dumped.”
4. I Don’t Wanna Cry [25 May-1 June 1991] – The last and fourth #1 single from the debut CD. Not very memorable though.
5. Emotions [12-26 October 1991] – Lead-off and only #1 single from the sophomore CD of the same name. One of Mariah’s greatest and most powerful – I don’t think even Mariah herself can sing it now. The CD where it came from showed Mariah in her gospel best and established the fact that she’s here to stay.
6. I’ll Be There [20-27 June 1992] – This remake and duet with loyal lamb Trey Lorenz proved to the world that the Phenomenon CAN sing live. It’s one of the few live recordings to hit #1.
7. Dreamlover [11 September-30 October 1993] – The lead-off track from “Music Box,” one of the greatest CDs from the 90s. It has a very memorable video too. Remember those moves?
8. Hero [25 December 1993-15 January 1994] – If one song were to define and represent a singer, this song would be it. “Hero” summarizes what Mariah was all about then and now – a living inspiration. The video for this song, taken from one of her live performances, is most stunning: Mariah every inch a diva, beautiful and beautifully dressed in a simple gown, sings in front of an enthralled audience, whose facial expressions you should see. The greatest Mariah song and video ever!
9. Fantasy [30 September-18 November 1995] – First Mariah song to feature rappers (ODB). Plus she also directed the video. I remember Madonna saying in an interview at that time that Mariah was “very brave” (whatever she means) for doing that. She is indeed!
10. One Sweet Day [2 December 1995-16 March 1996] – This was a duet with the then-formidable Boyz II Men. It’s the one song that stayed the longest at #1 – still unmatched to this time. Sad yet inspiring lyrics.
11. Always Be My Baby [4-11 May 1996] – Last single from the great “Daydream” CD to hit #1. In its video, we also see the last of vintage Mariah – wholesome, simple and very lovable.
12. Honey [13-27 September 1997] – This was where “The Emancipation of Mimi” really began. Newly-emancipated from the almighty Tommy Mottola, Mariah began singing the type of music that she really loves, hip-hop and r&b. In the video for this song, we are introduced to the sexy Mariah – an image not everyone is very pleased or comfortable with.
13. My All [23 May 1998] – Worst Mariah #1 ever. Boring and forgetable. The first of the only two Mariah #1’s to stay at the top for just one week. I’m not surprised. The song kind of make us feel that an impending doom was about to happen to MC’s career.
14. Heartbreaker [9-16 October 1999] – All I can say is that it was cute, the song and the video. I was not so fond of Mariah during the “Butterfly” and “Rainbow” periods. Jay-Z, the cartoon portion and MC’s girlfriends in the video were delightful though. I hate Jerry Connelly.
15. Thank God I Found You [19 February 2000] – With 98 Degrees and Joe (whoever that is). Her duet with Westlife (“Against All Odds”) was much better (of course the Westlife guys [and gay] were much cuter than 98 Degrees!)! Who was to know that this was gonna be MC’s final #1 until….
16. We Belong Together [4-25 June, 9 July-10 September 2005] – Need we say more?
17. Don’t Forget About Us [31 January 2005-present] – All we can say is: WOW!