When You Believe

When You Believe

Infobox Single
Name = When You Believe

Artist = Whitney Houston & Mariah Carey
from Album = , My Love Is Your Love "and" #1's
Released = November 2, 1998 (UK)
Format = CD single, cassette single, 7" single
[ Recorded = ]
Genre = Pop, R&B
Length = 5:01 (Album Version)
4:34 (Single Version)
Label = DreamWorks
Writer = Stephen Schwartz, Babyface
Producer = Babyface
Misc = Extra chronology 2
Artist = Whitney Houston
Type = singles
Last single = "My Heart Is Calling"
This single = "When You Believe"
Next single = "Heartbreak Hotel"
Extra chronology
Artist = Mariah Carey singles
Type = singles
Last single = "Sweetheart"
This single = "When You Believe"
Next single = "I Still Believe"
Extra track listing
Album = The Prince of Egypt (OST)
Type = soundtrack
prev_track =
prev_no =
this_track = "When You Believe"
track_no = 1
next_track = "Deliver Us"
next_no = 2
Extra track listing
Album = My Love Is Your Love
Type = studio
prev_track = "My Love Is Your Love"
prev_no = 3
this_track = "When You Believe"
track_no = 4
next_track = "If I Told You That"
next_no = 5
Extra track listing
Album = #1's
Type = compilation
prev_track = "Sweetheart"
prev_no = 1
this_track = "When You Believe"
track_no = 2
next_track = "Whenever You Call"
next_no = 3
Extra track listing
Album = Greatest Hits (CD #2)
Type = compilation
prev_track = "Sweetheart"
prev_no = 8
this_track = "When You Believe"
track_no = 9
next_track = "I Still Believe"
next_no = 10
Extra album cover 2
Upper caption = Alternate cover
Type = single

Lower caption = Alternate cover for "When You Believe"

"When You Believe" is an Academy Award-winning song composed by Stephen Schwartz for the DreamWorks animated feature "The Prince of Egypt". A pop version of "When You Believe" was produced as a single with additional music by writer-producer Babyface for the film's soundtrack album. It was the main theme of the film and was released as a single by American singers Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey as the soundtrack's first single in 1998 (see 1998 in music); it was also the first single from Houston's album "My Love Is Your Love" and the second from Carey's compilation album "#1's". A 're-worked' version of "When You Believe" was the coronation song and debut single by the winner of the fourth series of "The X Factor", Leon Jackson, and the British Christmas Number One of 2007. The first 18 notes of the song are the same as those of the Chinese composition "Dance of the Yao People".

Production and recording

In the film, this song of inspiration is performed by the characters Tzipporah (Michelle Pfeiffer) and Miriam (sung by Sally Dworsky). The protagonists of this ballad recall tough times that have them questioning their faith: they have prayed for many nights to God but those prayers seem to remain unanswered, and they wonder if they are wasting their time. Nevertheless, they realize that although times may be difficult, "there can be miracles when you believe" in God.

For the commercial pop single, Babyface was enlisted as the song's producer to make it more friendly to pop markets. The major change was that the section of the song featuring a children's Hebrew choir was removed and replaced with a new bridge.

"When You Believe" won the 1999 Academy Award for "Best Original Song" and was nominated for a Golden Globes for "Best Original Song". It also received a Golden Satellite Award nomination for "Best Original Song in a Motion Picture". It was nominated for the 2000 Grammy Award for "Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals", losing to "I Still Have That Other Girl" by Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello. As Carey is part Latin, she and Houston were also nominated for "Outstanding Performance of a Song for a Feature Film" at the ALMA Awards.

The single's video was filmed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music [ [http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1426944/19981029/story.jhtml News - Articles - 1426944 - 19981029 ] ] and shows Houston and Carey in a dark studio accented by Egyptian settings, backdrops, and scenes inspired by "The Prince of Egypt". An audience is on hand to emulate a concert like setting. Occasionally, home video clips of Mariah and Whitney appear throughout the video. The video ends as the room is illuminated, and the two singers are joined by a large choir. A few variations of the song exist, including an extended version with a longer intro and bridge which can be found on "The Prince of Egypt" soundtrack, a television track, and an instrumental version.


Conflict arose between Stephen Schwartz and Babyface after Schwartz left Babyface's name off the submission sheet for the Academy Awards when the song had been nominated for "Best Original Song". Schwartz had argued that Babyface should not receive Oscar credit as his version of the song (with Houston and Carey) contained additional musical elements (such as the new bridge) which had not been part of the original as heard in the film. Houston and Carey performed Babyface's version of the song live at the Academy Awards ceremony in 1999; however, only Schwartz was awarded the Oscar.

Chart performance

Years of media speculation of a feud between Houston and Carey led to expectations that a duet would be a great hit and break many chart records, especially as they were successive record-holders for a single with the most weeks at number one. Although a hit, "When You Believe" didn't make the Top 10 as expected, peaking at #15 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. It fitted a trend of Carey singles during this period of high sales and low airplay, and most of Houston's singles before and after the release of "When You Believe" were far more successful. It remained on the Hot 100 for nineteen weeks and reached the top five on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart, and it was both Houston and Carey's first single to appear on the new Top 40 Tracks chart. It was certified gold by the RIAA, and did make the Hot 100 1999 year-end charts, coming in at number ninety-nine.

The single was even more successful outside the U.S., as it reached #1 in Spain, the top five in the United Kingdom and most of continental Europe, and like America, was a top twenty success in Australia.


American Idol Season 7

On American Idol's Season 7, David Archuleta performed his version on the show on 15 April 2008. A studio-recorded version is available.

I'd Do Anything

In Week 9 of I'd Do Anything, the song was performed by Manx entrant Samantha Barks.

Chloë Agnew version

Celtic Woman member, Chloë Agnew covered it for her self-titled album as she asked David Downes if she could record it.


External links

* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBMT72a4ZYs YouTube - Whitney & Mariah version]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSwHKVinxX0 YouTube - Leon Jackson version]

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