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Mariah Carey's greatest hits, ranked: 'We Belong Together,' 'Always be my Baby,' more

“All I Want for Christmas Is You” is Carey’s biggest-selling single of all time. But is it her best? Not exactly.

After all, Carey has 18 No. 1 singles, more than any other solo artist and every other artist except The Beatles. Here’s a look at how Carey’s greatest hits stack up.


19. 'THANK GOD I FOUND YOU' (2000, No. 1, one week)

Credit: MariahCareyVEVO via YouTube

The weakest of Mariah’s chart-toppers by a country mile — not just because 98 Degrees and Joe can’t keep up with her, but because the song is so flimsy it can barely support all the adornments. It was actually the sound of the 20th Century Mariah Bubble bursting.

18. 'I’LL BE THERE' (1992, No. 1, two weeks)

I'LL BE THERE (1992, No. 1, two weeks)
Credit: MariahCareyVEVO via YouTube

Her remake of the Michael Jackson classic for her “MTV Unplugged” is cute, but surprisingly straightforward and ordinary.

17. 'TOUCH MY BODY' (2008, No. 1, two weeks)

TOUCH MY BODY (2008, No. 1, two weeks)
Credit: MariahCareyVEVO via YouTube

Maybe the biggest hit ever to fret about sex tapes being put on YouTube while also offering stage directions.

16. 'I DON’T WANNA CRY' (1991, No. 1, two weeks)

I DON’T WANNA CRY (1991, No. 1, two
Credit: MariahCareyVEVO via YouTube

Maybe the surest sign from her debut that Mariah’s powerful voice could turn an average song into a hit.

15. 'SOMEDAY' (1991, No. 1, two weeks)

SOMEDAY (1991, No. 1, two weeks) What saves
Credit: MariahCareyVEVO via YouTube

What saves this average song is the way Mariah delivers a Chaka Khan-esque breakdown to shake things up.

14. 'DREAMLOVER' (1993, No. 1, eight weeks)

DREAMLOVER (1993, No. 1, eight weeks) The midtempo
Credit: MariahCareyVEVO via YouTube

The midtempo sweetness of the love song is a bit on the bland side, but she saves it by starting to stretch the constraints of being Pop Mariah.

13. 'LOVE TAKES TIME' (1990, No. 1, three weeks)

LOVE TAKES TIME (1990, No. 1, three weeks)
Credit: MariahCareyVEVO via YouTube

The gorgeous ballad is one of Mariah’s most durable, even if it follows the Whitney Houston template a little too closely.

12. 'MY ALL' (1998, No. 1, one week)

MY ALL (1998, No. 1, one week) Built
Credit: MariahCareyVEVO via YouTube

Built around acoustic guitars, this big ballad showcases how much Mariah’s delivery improved over the years, though the massive dance remix may be even more effective.

11. 'EMOTIONS' (1991, No. 1, three weeks)

EMOTIONS (1991, No. 1, three weeks) After becoming
Credit: MariahCareyVEVO via YouTube

After becoming known for her ballad-heavy debut, this showed that Mariah could sorta get down. And of course the dog-whistle scream is in full effect.

10. 'VISION OF LOVE' (1990, No. 1, four weeks)

VISION OF LOVE (1990, No. 1, four weeks)
Credit: MariahCareyVEVO via YouTube

As dramatic a pop debut as any in music history, young Mariah proved immediately that she had the vocal power to take on all comers.

9. 'DON’T FORGET ABOUT US' (2005, No. 1, two weeks)

DON’T FORGET ABOUT US (2005, No. 1, two
Credit: MariahCareyVEVO via YouTube

A dreamy slice of smooth R&B that shows how Mariah has learned the power of restraining her vocals.

8. 'ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU' (1994, perennial No. 1 on holiday charts)

Credit: YouTube

The upbeat holiday classic modernizes the girl-group carols carefully crafted by Phil Spector and turns it into a dramatic good time.

7. 'HERO' (1993, No. 1, four weeks)

HERO (1993, No. 1, four weeks) The most
Credit: YouTube

The most traditional uplifting pop ballad in her entire catalog is also the one that feels the most timeless.

6. 'HONEY' (1997, No. 1, two weeks)

HONEY (1997, No. 1, two weeks) The birth
Credit: YouTube

The birth of Hip-Hop Mariah holds up very well, as do Puff Daddy’s rhymes, especially “Mariah, you on fire.”

5. 'HEARTBREAKER' (1999, No. 1, two weeks)

HEARTBREAKER (1999, No. 1, two weeks) Everything about
Credit: YouTube

Everything about this feels like late-’90s, moneyed optimism. There’s the way they leave Jay Z’s mic open throughout the song so we can hear all his “uh huh”s and ad-libs before he delivers a knockout verse about shopping, Jacuzzis and Benzes. And then there’s layers and layers of vocals so it sounds like an army of Mariahs demanding, “Gimme your love.”

4. 'ONE SWEET DAY' (1995, No. 1, 16 weeks)

ONE SWEET DAY (1995, No. 1, 16 weeks)
Credit: YouTube

The heart-wrenching ballad with Boyz II Men is the pinnacle of Pop Mariah, where melisma adorns nearly every note to wring out every bit of emotion from the tribute to so many friends we lost along the way-eee.

3. 'FANTASY' (1995, No. 1, eight weeks)

FANTASY (1995, No. 1, eight weeks) The adventurous
Credit: YouTube

The adventurous move into the dance-pop world was a bit shocking back in the day, as she built a whole new sound out of a smart sample of Tom Tom Club’s “Genius of Love.”

2. 'ALWAYS BE MY BABY' (1996, No. 1, four weeks)

ALWAYS BE MY BABY (1996, No. 1, four
Credit: YouTube

This carefree midtempo ballad showed how much fun Mariah could have when she felt like it. It still shows off her legendary range, but also shows that she can be chill and laid-back enough to make “doobedoo oh” work as a chorus.

1. 'WE BELONG TOGETHER' (2005, No. 1, 14 weeks)

WE BELONG TOGETHER (2005, No. 1, 14 weeks)
Credit: YouTube

This ballad takes the best of Hip-Hop Mariah and marries it with the best of Pop Mariah to create a style that really is all her own. To make it even more powerful, it was an undeniable comeback a few short years after the music industry was calling her washed-up. Oh babybaby, don’t ever count Mimi out.




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