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Rainbow 25th Anniversary Edition: Mariah Carey’s Day-After Streaming Insights

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It’s been 24 hours since the release of Rainbow’s 25th Anniversary Edition – we saw remastered tracks, live versions, new songs, acapella versions, remixes. All the things we were hungry for, along with a rainbow double disc vinyl which will be a collector item soon to remember.

Mariah Carey’s iconic album ‘Rainbow’ has reached a significant milestone with the release of its 25th Anniversary Edition, timed perfectly for Pride Month. Originally released in 1999, ‘Rainbow’ has been a cornerstone of Mariah’s illustrious career, featuring a mix of pop and R&B hits that have resonated with fans worldwide. The album was declared as her stepping stone to exit SONY and all that was unravelling since her divorce with then CEO, Tommy Mottola.

The album has sold an estimated 7,535,000 physical copies globally, including 3,475,000 in the US, earning it a triple platinum certification. It has also seen substantial sales in Asia (1,492,500 copies) and Europe (1,717,500 copies).

With the advent of digital downloads and streaming, ‘Rainbow’ has continued to captivate audiences, amassing an estimated equivalent of 9,913,000 sales worldwide. This impressive figure reflects Mariah Carey’s enduring appeal and the album’s lasting impact on the music industry. While not a Music Box or Daydream 30+ million blockbuster, the album is well on its way to the 10 million mark.

Celebrating Heartbreaker’s Success

To commemorate this special anniversary, the lead single “Heartbreaker” was certified double platinum by the RIAA. This certification, while probably overdue, is a testament to the single’s enduring popularity, having surpassed 4 million equivalent sales worldwide (2 million physical copies, 640,000 digital downloads, and 1.5 million streaming equivalent sales). 

Streaming Analysis: Original vs. 25th Anniversary Edition

As expected, the release of the 25th Anniversary Edition has significantly impacted the streaming numbers for the tracks on “Rainbow.” While averaging daily streams of 135,535, the album experienced a surge to 689,104 streams on its release date. This number alone moved an equivalent album count of 460 in one day. But let’s dig deeper into what caught the listeners’ attention.

New and Previously Unavailable Tracks

The 25th Anniversary Edition introduced several new and previously unavailable tracks to Spotify, which further contributed to the overall streaming surge. Fans eagerly streamed these new additions, reflecting their continued enthusiasm for Mariah Carey’s unreleased  music and their excitement for the expanded content.

Expectedly, “Rainbow’s End” performed well, with 91,273 streams. Although co-produced by David Morales and highly anticipated, it didn’t top the list of the most listened-to unreleased tracks.

That was, surprisingly, the newly remixed “How Much (feat. Usher) – So So Def Remix” which garnered 154,622 streams. This track was clearly the one most lambs were eager to hear… and repeat.

On the other end of the spectrum, “There For Me – Acapella” drew 9,085 streams. While it’s somewhat disappointing that a track received fewer than 10,000 streams on its first day, it’s important to remember that the album was released with 28 tracks to explore, including the nuances of the newly remastered original album tracks.

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Biggest and Least Increases in Daily Streams

Biggest Increases

  • Stemming from a daily average of 99 streams, “Love Hangover / Heartbreaker – Live at VH1 Divas 2000” soared to 11,759 streams in a single day, representing an astonishing 11,800% increase for the track.
  • However, the track that garnered the most streams among those previously available on Spotify was undoubtedly “Heartbreaker (feat. Jay-Z),” nearly doubling to 82,732 streams.

Least Increases

  • The original album cut “Thank God I Found You (feat. Joe & 98°)” saw the lowest increase in streams, rising only 40% from a daily 24,939 streams to 35,111 – a modest bump in comparison. This isn’t much of a surprise, as it’s one of her least streamed number one hits, which is a shame because it’s a truly beautiful track.
  • Despite boasting the largest jump from 15 daily streams to 4,498 streams in a single day, it was “Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now) – Pound Boys Main Mix” that garnered the lowest total number of streams.


The release of the Rainbow 25th Anniversary Edition has not only celebrated Mariah Carey’s enduring legacy but also revitalized interest in the Rainbow album. The album’s rich history, coupled with modern streaming dynamics, underscores its timeless appeal and Mariah’s unparalleled influence in the music industry. While these are likely peak numbers for now, streaming numbers historically tend to sustain higher levels than before the release, indicating continued interest throughout the year.

And with these reinvigorated numbers for the Rainbow album, the 10 million worldwide sales milestone is closer than ever. The rainbow vinyl has undoubtedly captured the interest of many fans and will likely soon be unavailable for purchase, just like most of her previous colored vinyl releases. But most importantly, we’re blessed with the music: we have “There For Me,” previously released only as a B-side, newly unheard versions of “How Much (feat. Usher)” and “Thank God I Found You (Mariah Only).” And if that wasn’t enough, there are also two versions of her new Morales collaboration, “Rainbow’s End.”

More than ever, how great is it to be a fan of the legend – the gift that keeps on giving? While we listen to Rainbow Expanded on repeat, don’t get too comfortable. Mariah knows exactly how to keep us on our toes. In an interview with Vogue about Rainbow’s 25th Anniversary, Mariah revealed: “I’m even more eager to give [a new album] to [the lambs]! I’ve actually been working this whole week in the studio with someone who shall remain nameless, but I’m so excited about that. The next album is happening and coming soon, so be patient.

And since we wait and follow Mariah’s words religiously, “just be patient and listen to Rainbow for the time being!

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