No one is more familiar with the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart than Mariah Carey. The iconic diva has scored a record-breaking 19 No. 1 singles throughout her decades-long career. However, a discography as extensive as Mimi’s is bound to have some under-appreciated songs. In honor of her March 27 birthday (er, “anniversary”), here are nine underrated Mariah Carey songs that should’ve been No. 1.
1) “Can’t Let Go”
“Can’t Let Go” was the second single from Carey’s sophomore album, Emotions. It was the first of her singles to not hit No. 1 on the Hot 100 chart — though it came very close, peaking at the No. 2 spot. The track is one of her favorites from Emotions and we certainly share that sentiment, so it still feels wrong that it never hit the top of the charts.
2) “Make It Happen”
The third and final single from Emotions peaked at No. 5, despite being one of Mimi’s greatest feel-good hits. It’s an irresistibly upbeat and positive song that still raises our spirits to this day, so many listeners would be shocked to learn that it isn’t one of her 19 No. 1 singles.
3) “Without You”
Though originally performed by British rock group Badfinger in the 1970s, Carey breathed a new life into the touching “Without You” with her vocal prowess. Unfortunately, it only peaked at the No. 3 spot on the Hot 100, but we’ll never forget the hilarious “Ken Lee” meme that it spawned over a decade later.
4) “When You Believe” with Whitney Houston
The fact that a Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston collaboration peaked at No. 15 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 might sound like a mistake, especially given the media-driven “rivalry” between the divas in the late ’90s. Featuring two of the most iconic vocalists of all time, it’s needless to say that “When You Believe” deserved better.
5) “Through The Rain”
“Through The Rain” was the first single from Mariah’s Charmbracelet album and peaked at a mere No. 81 on the charts, but its lyrical content was widely overlooked. The song was shockingly personal, giving listeners an intimate look at the New York native’s personal struggles at the time while leaving a positive message in its wake.
6) “It’s Like That”
Who could forget the phenomenal comeback that was 2005’s The Emancipation of Mimi? The album’s second single, “We Belong Together” skyrocketed beyond anyone’s wildest expectations, but many tend to forget its lead single, “It’s Like That”. It served as a celebration of who Mariah had grown into as a person and an artist, and it certainly deserved better than its No. 16 peak.
7) “Shake It Off”
The Emancipation‘s third single will always be a stark reminder of the power that “We Belong Together” held in 2005. Its lengthy run at the top of the Hot 100 prevented “Shake It Off” from achieving the same title.
“Obsessed” is one of Mimi’s most talked-about singles, taking several blatant shots at Eminem in both the lyrics and the music video. Tabloids raved about the drama between the pair for months, so it seems bizarre that the track peaked at a mere No. 7.
9) “#Beautiful” featuring Miguel
2013’s “#Beautiful” is an absolute delight to listen to with its mid-tempo R&B influences and smooth vocals. Miguel held his own alongside the iconic diva and it should’ve propelled the track far beyond its No. 15 peak.
Featured Image: Instagram (@mariahcarey)