On this day in 1999, Mariah Carey released the lead single from her ‘Rainbow’ album, ‘Heartbreaker’, featuring Jay-Z.
‘Heartbreaker’ was originally written with the soundtrack of Mariah’s film project in mind, which later became ‘Glitter’, however when production of the film was delayed, she decided to record a new studio album instead, and release ‘Heartbreaker’ as the lead single.
This capped off an amazing decade for Mariah, as ‘Heartbreaker’ solidified her record as the only artist in history to have a #1 hit for every single year in a decade on Billboard’s Hot 100. She also had a #1 in the year 2000, continuing her streak for eleven consecutive years, which is unmatched.
It was Mariah’s fourteenth #1 in the US, her tenth #1 in Canada, and her seventh #1 in New Zealand. It was Jay-Z’s first #1 single. The single was also a Top 10 hit in numerous countries including Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.
The song’s music video remains one of Mariah’s most memorable and iconic, and was responsible for launching a fashion craze of jeans cut off at the waist. Mariah showed her comedic side throughout the video, with an Andy Cheng-choreographed fight in the movie theatre bathrooms between her and her alter-ego Bianca played by herself, and humorous moments with a cheating boyfriend, played by Jerry O’Connell. The filming process was documented for MTV’s ‘Making The Video’.
There are two alternate versions of the video, as Jay-Z wasn’t able to appear in the original premiere due to a contractual agreement. The first video to air on MTV had a cartoon segment during Jay-Z’s rap, and a later version included Jay-Z in a recreated scene of the movie ‘Scarface’. The music video also incorporated a recreated scene of the movie ‘Grease’.
A music video was also filmed for the remix featuring Missy Elliott and Da Brat. It includes cameos from DJ Clue, who produced the remix, and Snoop Dogg, whose song ‘Ain’t No Fun (If The Homies Can’t Have None)’ is sampled in the track.
Mariah co-produced a dance remix for ‘Heartbreaker’ with Junior Vasquez, featuring re-sung vocals and sampling Val Young’s ‘If You Should Ever Be Lonely’. Mariah also blended ‘Heartbreaker’ with ‘Love Hangover’ by Diana Ross for a live performance at the VH1 Divas Live concert in 2000.
A 6-track digital EP for ‘Heartbreaker’ was released in 2020 with the remixes, and ‘Love Hangover / Heartbreaker (Live)’. The music videos have both also been remastered in HD.