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From Classics to Carey: Ranking Mariah’s 15 Best Cover Tracks

Dive into the magical world of Mariah Carey as she transforms timeless classics into refreshed brilliance. Explore ‘From Classics to Carey: Ranking Mariah’s 15 Best Cover Tracks.’ 🎶✨ #MariahCarey #MusicRanked

Mariah Carey covers

Embarking on a melodic journey through Mariah Carey’s illustrious career, “From Classics to Carey: Ranking Mariah’s 15 Best Cover Tracks” delves into the realm where the legend seamlessly transforms beloved classics into timeless masterpieces. Mariah’s ability to reimagine and rejuvenate familiar tunes has become a hallmark of her musical prowess, earning her recognition not only as a prolific songwriter but also as a maestro of reinterpretation. As we navigate through this exclusive list of Mariah’s most popular covers, it’s important to note that the rankings are not dictated by mere chart popularity; instead, we delve into the world of estimated sales, encompassing physical sales, streaming figures (converted at a ratio of 1:150), and publicly available digital downloads.

In this exploration of Mariah’s enchanting covers, we go beyond the conventional metrics, considering the holistic impact of each rendition. Platforms such as Apple and Tidal, which may not provide specific data, are factored into our analysis by extrapolating figures based on Spotify data and market share of each platform. This approach ensures a comprehensive evaluation, revealing the enduring appeal of Mariah’s covers across various platforms. So, as we unveil the top 15 covers we invite you to reassess the notion of success in the realm of Mariah Carey’s transformative musical magic. Are her chart-topping hits the ultimate measure (such as I’ll Be There), or does the cumulative impact of her reinterpretations paint a different, more nuanced picture of her success? Let’s take a look:

15. Bringin’ on The Heartbreak

“Bringin’ On the Heartbreak” secures its spot at number 15 on our ranking as Mariah Carey masterfully reinvents this 1981 classic originally by English heavy metal band Def Leppard. Featured on her ninth studio album “Charmbracelet” released in 2003, Carey adds her signature touch to the soft rock hit. The cover earned its place on the charts, achieving top-thirty status in Switzerland and garnering substantial online attention. With over 3 million views on YouTube and more than 2 million streams on Spotify, Carey’s rendition has resonated with both longtime fans and new audiences.

Carey’s version of “Bringin’ On the Heartbreak” brings a fresh perspective to the 80s classic. Her soft, silky vocals add a melismatic allure, showcasing her vocal prowess and the song’s timeless appeal. The inclusion of a physical single further contributed to its success, accumulating an estimated 590,000 copies in equivalent single sales to date. As one of Carey’s notable cover tracks, this rendition exemplifies her ability to breathe new life into iconic songs, making them her own while paying homage to the originals.

14. Jesus Oh! What a Wonderful Child

Securing the 14th position on our list is Mariah Carey’s rendition of the timeless Christmas classic, “Jesus Oh What a Wonderful Child.” Originating from the Black Gospel tradition, the song’s exact origins remain unknown, with some attributing it to Sister Margaret Allison of the Angelic Gospel Singers. Regardless of its origins, Carey beautifully captured the spirit of the song in her rendition, which was included in her multiplatinum holiday album, “Merry Christmas.”

While “Jesus Oh What a Wonderful Child” wasn’t released as a single, its enduring popularity is evident in the digital era. With over 15 million streams on Spotify alone, Carey’s rendition continues to captivate audiences during the festive season. The song’s inclusion in the album has contributed to its impressive equivalent single sale of 763,333 copies, a testament to Carey’s ability to infuse traditional holiday tunes with her unique style. As Christmas music resurfaces each year, the song is poised to continue its annual resurgence, adding to its already remarkable streaming figures.

13. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Securing the 13th spot on our list is Mariah Carey’s enchanting rendition of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” originally featured in her iconic performance on Good Morning America in 1991. This early Christmas song performance set the stage for its inclusion in Carey’s timeless “Merry Christmas” album. “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” itself is an English Christmas carol dating back to 1739, appearing in the collection “Hymns and Sacred Poems.”

While the song didn’t see a physical single release, its impact in the digital era is undeniable having earned the legend a Platinum certificate in the US. With an impressive tally of over 23 million streams on Spotify alone, Carey’s rendition continues to resonate with audiences, contributing to its noteworthy equivalent single sale of over 1 million copies. Additionally, the live performance at St John Cathedral has added to its allure, earning an extra 800 thousand streams. The enduring popularity of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” showcases Carey’s ability to infuse traditional Christmas carols with her signature style, creating a lasting impact that extends well beyond its initial performance on Good Morning America.

12. Joy to The World

Securing the 12th spot on our list, Mariah Carey’s rendition of “Joy to the World” takes on a unique twist, seamlessly blending two distinct songs into a harmonious holiday medley. Originally crafted by the English minister Isaac Watts in 1719, the carol’s lyrics draw inspiration from Psalm 98. Mariah’s creative genius shines as she intertwines Watts’ classic with the lively 1971 hit “Joy to the World” by Three Dog Night, showcasing her ability to seamlessly fuse traditional and contemporary elements.

This festive blend of two songs can be found within Mariah Carey’s iconic “Merry Christmas” album, where her innovative approach transforms the holiday soundscape. In the digital realm, “Joy to the World” has amassed an impressive 27 million streams on Spotify alone, further emphasizing the enduring appeal of Mariah’s unique interpretation. With an additional 10 thousand physical copies contributing to its success, the song has garnered over 1.2 million equivalent single sales. Adding to its digital prowess, if we factor in the numbers from additional versions and remixes, an extra 3 million streams contribute to the overall figure. Mariah Carey’s artful fusion of these musical classics not only pays homage to the rich history of Christmas carols but also exemplifies her prowess in creating timeless holiday tunes for generations to enjoy.

11. Open Arms

“Open Arms,” originally by the American rock band Journey, found a new rendition in Mariah Carey’s expressive vocals for her fifth album, Daydream (1995). Co-written by Journey members Steve Perry and Jonathan Cain, the song’s emotional depth was further heightened by Carey’s impeccable vocal delivery. Despite being released as a physical single, the song’s chart performance was modest. However, its enduring popularity is evident in streaming figures, accumulating over 25 million streams on Spotify alone. Mariah’s ability to infuse her own soulful touch into classic rock anthems is showcased in this rendition, making it a standout in her repertoire.

Mariah Carey’s cover of “Open Arms” not only pays homage to the original Journey classic but also serves as a testament to the symbiotic relationship between Carey and the members of Journey. With the band’s drummer, Steve Smith, contributing to many of Carey’s earlier singles and bassist Randy Jackson collaborating with her over the years, the connection runs deep. Despite the absence of an accompanying music video, the song’s enduring appeal is evident in its streaming success. Mariah’s rendition brings a fresh perspective to the timeless ballad, solidifying her prowess in reinterpreting iconic tracks across genres.

10. Silent Night

Claiming the 10th spot on our festive countdown, Mariah Carey’s rendition of “Silent Night” stands as a testament to her ability to infuse timeless classics with her signature style. Originating as a Christmas carol composed in 1818 by Franz Xaver Gruber and Joseph Mohr in Austria, “Silent Night” takes on new life in Mariah’s iconic “Merry Christmas” album. Serving as the opening track to this holiday masterpiece, Mariah’s rendition adds a touch of modern elegance to the traditional composition.

While “Silent Night” was never officially released as a single, its impact in the digital realm is anything but silent. Boasting an impressive 80 million streams on Spotify alone, the song has resonated with listeners around the globe, becoming a cherished addition to festive playlists. Without physical sales to contribute to its success, the song has achieved the equivalent of 1.2 million single sales worldwide, further highlighting Mariah’s enduring influence and the perennial popularity of Christmas classics reimagined by the Queen of Christmas herself.

9. I Want to Know What Love Is

Securing the 9th spot on our ranking of Mariah Carey’s best cover tracks is her rendition of Foreigner’s classic power ballad, “I Want to Know What Love Is.” Originally released by the British-American rock band in 1984, the song’s universal theme struck a chord with audiences worldwide. Mariah’s emotive interpretation, featured on her “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel” album, brought new life to this iconic ballad. The cover’s success is highlighted by its impressive sales, surpassing 10 thousand physical singles and reaching 500 thousand digital singles. With over 41 million streams on Spotify and a staggering 211 million views on YouTube, Mariah’s version captivates listeners with its timeless allure, earning it an equivalent single sale exceeding 2 million copies globally.

What sets Mariah’s cover apart is its enduring popularity in Brazil, where it dominated the charts for an extraordinary 27 consecutive weeks. Fueled by its inclusion as the soundtrack for the telenovela Viver a Vida, the song became a cultural phenomenon, emphasizing Mariah’s ability to transcend borders and resonate with diverse audiences. As we celebrate this captivating rendition, it’s evident that Mariah Carey’s interpretation of “I Want to Know What Love Is” not only pays homage to the original but also cements its place as a cherished gem in her expansive musical legacy.

8. Endless Love (with Luther Vandross)

Securing the 8th position on our ranking of Mariah Carey’s best cover tracks is the timeless duet “Endless Love,” originally written by Lionel Richie and performed as a duet with Diana Ross in 1981. Mariah Carey teamed up with the legendary Luther Vandross to deliver a soulful rendition of this classic, featured on Vandross’ album “Songs” released in 1994. The collaboration marked a significant moment for Mariah as it became her first high-profile duet, showcasing her vocal prowess alongside one of the industry’s most iconic voices.

Debuting on the US Billboard Hot 100 on September 10, 1994, at number 31, “Endless Love” climbed the charts to reach an impressive peak at number two. The cover has earned worldwide certification for sales totaling 1,530,000, including Platinum status in the US, affirming its enduring popularity. Mariah Carey’s vocal synergy with Luther Vandross, coupled with Walter Afanasieff’s production, breathes new life into this classic love ballad. The cover’s resonance extends to the digital realm, boasting over 98 million streams on Spotify and amassing a substantial 181 million views on YouTube. With calculations extracting streaming and physical sales already incorporated in the certifications, equivalent single sales for “Endless Love” are in excess of 2.5 million, solidifying its status as a chart-topping classic in Mariah Carey’s illustrious catalog.

7. I Still Believe

Mariah Carey’s rendition of “I Still Believe” holds a special significance as a tribute to Brenda K. Starr, the original singer of the song. Originally written by Antonina Armato and Giuseppe Cantarelli, the track was recorded by Starr for her 1987 album. Carey, who had been a background singer for the original version, decided to cover the song for her compilation album #1’s (1998) as a nod to her roots and the support she received from Starr in her early career. Released as a single on February 8, 1999, the accompanying music video, directed by Brett Ratner, drew inspiration from Marilyn Monroe’s historic visit to U.S. troops in Korea in 1953. With a compelling blend of nostalgia and homage, Carey’s rendition gained popularity.

“I Still Believe” showcases Mariah Carey’s ability to bring her unique touch to cover songs while maintaining respect for the original material. The song’s success is evident in its streaming numbers, amassing over 30 million streams on Spotify and more than 87 million views on YouTube. The platinum certification in the US further underlines its impact, and estimated equivalent single sales of over 2.4 million reflect the enduring appeal of Carey’s rendition of this heartfelt ballad. Notably, various remixed versions contribute to a total of 3 million streams, adding another layer to the song’s widespread popularity and continuous resonance with audiences worldwide.

6. Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town

Mariah Carey’s rendition of “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” adds her signature style and holiday cheer to the timeless Christmas classic originally written by J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie. First recorded by Harry Reser and His Band, the song has taken on new life in Carey’s rendition. With over 91 million streams on platforms like Spotify, Carey’s version has become a staple during the festive season, delighting fans and capturing the joyful spirit of Christmas.

The song’s popularity is not only reflected in its streaming numbers but also in its estimated single sales, totaling approximately 2.7 million worldwide. Achieving a Gold certification in the US in 2022 further solidifies the enduring appeal of Mariah Carey’s take on “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town.” The song’s success is a testament to Carey’s ability to infuse holiday classics with her unique charm, creating renditions that resonate with audiences year after year.

5. O Holy Night

Mariah Carey’s rendition of “O Holy Night” stands as a testament to her unparalleled vocal prowess and the ability to breathe new life into timeless classics. Originally based on a French-language poem written by poet Placide Cappeau in 1843, the song took on a sacred and ethereal quality in Carey’s interpretation. Featured on her first studio holiday album, “Merry Christmas” in 1994, the track reached No. 70 on the US Billboard Holiday 100 chart. Over the years, it has continued to capture the hearts of listeners worldwide.

The enduring popularity of Mariah Carey’s “O Holy Night” is evident in its impressive streaming figures. With over 130 million streams on Spotify and 120 million views on YouTube, the song has become a cherished part of holiday playlists around the globe. The RIAA certification of Platinum in the United States for selling over 1 million units, along with Gold certifications in Canada and Italy, further cements the song’s status as a holiday classic. The cumulative impact of these achievements places “O Holy Night” among Carey’s top-performing covers, with an estimated 3 million equivalent single sales.

4. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

Mariah Carey’s rendition of “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” has become a cherished holiday classic that seamlessly blends her vocal prowess with the nostalgic charm of the original. Originally sung by Darlene Love and included in the 1963 seasonal compilation album, A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector, the song holds a special place in the hearts of music enthusiasts. Written by Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry, and Phil Spector, it exudes the festive spirit and longing for loved ones during the holiday season.

Carey’s 1994 version of “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” has solidified its place as a holiday anthem, reaching number 20 on the US Holiday 100 chart. The song’s enduring popularity is evident in its remarkable streaming success, amassing over 293 million streams on Spotify alone. Achieving Platinum certification in the United States and worldwide recognition with 1,315,000 certified sales, the song’s estimated single sales stand at an impressive 2.9 million equivalent units. Mariah Carey’s interpretation has not only paid homage to the original but has also added her own signature touch, making it an essential part of festive playlists for years to come.

3. Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)

Mariah Carey’s rendition of “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)” stands as a testament to her ability to infuse new life into classic hits. Originally a song by Phil Collins for the 1984 film of the same name, Carey co-produced her version for the Rainbow album in 1999. This powerful ballad took on two forms, with a solo version and another featuring the Irish group Westlife. The collaborative version achieved chart-topping success in Ireland, Scotland, and the UK, showcasing the global appeal of Carey’s musical prowess.

Certified gold in the mentioned countries, with a total of 419,000 equivalent copies sold, the song’s success extends to both physical and digital formats, accumulating almost 1 million copies as of 2017. The streaming numbers on Spotify further attest to its enduring popularity, with 15 million streams for the solo version and an impressive 73 million for the Westlife collaboration. YouTube views also contribute significantly, amassing 42 million views. When considering multiple formats and accounting for various versions, the estimated equivalent single sales for “Against All Odds” surpass 5 million worldwide. Mariah Carey’s rendition not only pays homage to the original but enhances its legacy with her distinctive touch.

2. I’ll Be There (feat. Trey Lorenz)

Mariah Carey’s rendition of “I’ll Be There” featuring Trey Lorenz not only pays homage to The Jackson 5’s original classic but also stands as a remarkable achievement in her illustrious career. Originally released as the first single from The Jackson 5’s Third Album, the song was a collaborative effort by Berry Gordy, Hal Davis, Bob West, and Willie Hutch. Carey’s decision to include “I’ll Be There” as a last-minute addition to her MTV Unplugged setlist proved to be a stroke of genius. The unplugged performance resonated with audiences, propelling the track to become her sixth number-one hit on the US Billboard Hot 100.

Certified for 920 thousand copies, including a Gold certification in the US, the song’s success extends to both physical and digital sales, accumulating a total of 1.2 million copies. Furthermore, the track’s popularity endures in the digital realm, with Spotify streaming figures exceeding 92 million for the existing versions, showcasing the timeless appeal of Carey’s rendition. Additionally, the YouTube views contribute significantly, amassing an impressive 48 million views. Mariah Carey’s “I’ll Be There” stands as a testament to her ability to breathe new life into cherished classics while maintaining their essence.

1. Without You

Mariah Carey’s rendition of “Without You” not only became a defining moment in her career but also solidified her status as a global music icon. Originally written by Pete Ham and Tom Evans of the British rock group Badfinger, the power ballad found new life in Carey’s hands, contributing significantly to the success of her 1993 album, Music Box. The cover marked a turning point in Mariah’s career, propelling her into international stardom and showcasing her vocal prowess. The impact of “Without You” on the charts was undeniable, reaching number three on the US Billboard Hot 100, maintaining a position in the top 40 for 21 weeks, and spending a total of 23 weeks on the chart. However, this became Mariah’s first number one song in multiple countries across the world.

The song’s enduring popularity is reflected in its certifications, with 2.6 million copies certified worldwide, including platinum status in the US. The reported physical and digital sales exceed 3.4 million copies, further attesting to the widespread appeal of Carey’s interpretation. The digital era has only amplified the song’s reach, with impressive Spotify streaming numbers totaling 237 million streams and YouTube views surpassing 420 million. Mariah Carey’s “Without You” stands as a timeless classic exceeding 10 million equivalent single sales worldwide, transcending generations and solidifying its place as one of her most iconic and successful covers.

In conclusion, Mariah Carey’s journey through the world of cover songs has been nothing short of extraordinary, as showcased in the ranking of her 15 best cover tracks. From the chart-topping success of “Without You” to the soul-stirring rendition of “I’ll Be There,” Mariah has consistently demonstrated her ability to breathe new life into classic tunes and make them uniquely hers. The impact of these covers extends beyond their chart performance, resonating with audiences worldwide and becoming integral parts of her illustrious career.

It’s important to note that while this ranking highlights some of the most exceptional covers in Mariah’s repertoire, there are many more gems that didn’t make the list but remain beloved by fans. Tracks like George Michael’s “One More Try” and Indeep’s “Last Night a DJ Saved My Life” showcase Mariah’s diverse musical influences and her unparalleled talent for infusing songs with her signature brilliance. The mass consensus among fans and critics alike is that when Mariah takes on a cover, she transforms it into a uniquely Mariah experience, creating a musical tapestry that captivates and endures. While her self-penned super hits are undeniably iconic, Mariah Carey’s covers hold a special place in our hearts, serving as a testament to her versatility, creativity, and enduring impact on the world of music.

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