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"One Sweet Day" is a song recorded by American singer Mariah Carey and quartet Boyz II Men and written by Carey, Walter Afanasieff and Boyz II Men members Wanya Morris, Shawn Stockman, Nathan Morris, and Michael McCary, and was produced by Carey and Afanasieff for Carey's sixth album Daydream, and was released as the album's second single in 1995.

It holds the record for the longest run at number 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 (16 weeks total), and is one of the biggest American hits of both Carey's and Boyz II Men's careers.

The song ranked at number 29 on Billboard's Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs.

About the record

"One Sweet Day" was inspired by the death of producer and C+C Music Factory member David Cole, as well as Carey's "guitar legend," Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark, in 1991. While brainstorming with Boyz II Men on a possible collaboration, Carey discovered that the group had written a tribute to their manager who was murdered while they were on tour. Her song plus theirs became "One Sweet Day." David Cole worked with Mariah Carey on her two previous albums, including her MTV Unplugged EP. During this period, she had arranged to record a song with Boyz II Men. This is also one of the songs that Carey uses to showcase the power of her voice on her Daydream album.

In terms of Billboard magazine charts, the song is the most successful single for both Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men. The protagonists lament the deaths of friends, but say that they will be together again "one sweet day."


Commercial reception

The single became Carey's tenth number 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 and Boyz II Men's fourth, remaining at the peak for a record-breaking, consecutive sixteen weeks from November 26, 1995 to March 16, 1996. Boyz II Men had previously held this record twice, with "End of the Road" (1992) spending thirteen weeks at the top and "I'll Make Love to You" (1994) spending fourteen. (The former song shares this record with Brandy and Monica's "The Boy Is Mine", and the latter song shared its record with Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You". Mariah Carey's 2005's "We Belong Together" and Black Eyed Peas's 2009's "I Gotta Feeling" managed to stay at number 1 for fourteen weeks as well. "One Sweet Day" replaced "Exhale " by Whitney Houston at number 1, and was replaced by Celine Dion's "Because You Loved Me".

The single also debuted at number 1, making Carey the first artist to have more than one number 1 debut, and also the only artist ever to have two consecutive singles debut at number 1. The single spent twenty-six weeks in the top forty, was certified double platinum by the RIAA, and ranked number 2 on the Hot 100 1996 year-end charts.

The single was given to record stores for free so stores could sell the single for 49 to 99 cents to help the single reach number-one.

Despite its success in the United States, it was not as big a hit elsewhere as previous Carey singles such as "Fantasy", the first release from Daydream. It failed to top any chart outside the U.S. aside from New Zealand's, but was a top ten hit in the United Kingdom, France, Australia, and Canada. It had some success across Europe, but failed to match the success of "Fantasy". It was Boyz II Men's biggest success outside the U.S. since "End of the Road", and was later included on their greatest hits release Legacy: The Greatest Hits Collection (2001).

Critical response

The song became MTV Asia Hitlist's longest number 1 single, topping the charts for a record-breaking eleven weeks.

"One Sweet Day" was nominated for the 1996 Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals, losing both categories. As two of the top nominees at the 1996 Grammy Awards, Carey and Boyz II Men were invited to perform, and sang "One Sweet Day". Carey began the evening happily as she had been nominated for six Grammys that night. "One Sweet Day" was the current number 1 record on the Hot 100 at that time, and the following morning it was announced that it had just broken the record set by Whitney Houston, giving Carey a "consolation prize".

Remix and other versions

There are no major remixes of the song, but there is a Chuck Thompson-produced remix, "One Sweet Day" (Chucky's remix), which gives the song a slightly more R&B feel. An a cappella version of the song, known as the Sweet a cappella, features slightly different vocal arrangements and a new intro which also serves as a counter melody throughout the song.

During the Mariah Carey themed week of UK TV show X Factor, boyband JLS performed the song, receiving high praise from all 4 judges and Carey herself (during the masterclass).

Music video

The single's music video, directed by Larry Jordan, is made up of footage showing Carey and Boyz II Men writing and recording the song in the studio, as it was difficult for both Boyz II Men and Carey to schedule a time to film a video.

Television references

This song is referenced in an episode of the MTV show Daria, "The Misery Chick" (number 113). Principal Angela Li says, "can someone get him out of here so we can sing "One Sweet Day"?"

This song was performed by the top 7 contestants of American Idol season 7. It was the group performance on the elimination night.

This song was played by the Crittenden-Jones family at Mammie Crittenden's funeral in Jessup, Georgia. It was her favorite song.

Formats and track listings

Worldwide CD single
  1. "One Sweet Day" (Album Version)
  2. "One Sweet Day" (Live Version)

Japanese CD maxi-single
  1. "One Sweet Day" (Album Version)
  2. "One Sweet Day" (Live Version)
  3. "Open Arms"

UK CD maxi-single #1
  1. "One Sweet Day" (Album Version)
  2. "One Sweet Day" (Sweet A Cappella)
  3. "One Sweet Day" (A Cappella)
  4. "One Sweet Day" (Chucky's Remix)
  5. "One Sweet Day" (Live Version)

UK CD maxi-single #2
  1. "One Sweet Day" (Album Version)
  2. "Fantasy" (Def Drums Mix)
  3. "Joy to the World" (Celebration Mix)
  4. "Joy to the World" (Club Mix)

U.S. CD maxi-single
  1. "One Sweet Day" (Album Version)
  2. "One Sweet Day" (Sweet A Cappella)
  3. "One Sweet Day" (A Cappella)
  4. "One Sweet Day" (Chucky's Remix)
  5. "One Sweet Day" (Live Version)
  6. "Fantasy" (Def Drums Mix)


Chart (1995) Peak
Australian Singles Chart 2
Austrian Singles Chart 25
Belgian Flandres Singles Chart 8
Belgian Wallonia Singles Chart 8
Canadian Singles Chart 2
Dutch Singles Chart 2
European Singles Chart 6
Finnish Singles Chart 16
French Singles Chart 5
German Singles Chart 25
Irish Singles Chart 4
Japanese Singles Chart 87
New Zealand Singles Chart 1
Norwegian Singles Chart 6
Swedish Singles Chart 7
Swiss Singles Chart 12
UK Singles Chart 6
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 1
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs 2

Sales and certifications

See also


  1. [1]
  2. [2]
  5. Australian Singles Chart
  6. Austrian Singles Chart
  7. Belgian Flanders Singles Chart
  8. Belgian Wallonia Singles Chart
  9. Canadian Singles Chart
  10. Dutch Singles Chart
  11. European Singles Chart
  12. Finnish Singles Chart
  13. French Singles Chart
  14. German Singles Chart
  15. Irish Singles Chart
  16. Japanese Singles Chart
  17. New Zealand Singles Chart
  18. Norwegian Singles Chart
  19. Swedish Singles Chart
  20. Swiss Singles Chart
  21. UK Singles Chart
  22. Artist Chart History - Mariah Carey

Provider Sales Certification
Australia 75,000+ Platinum
Francemarker 200,000+ Silver
New Zealand 15,000+ Platinum
Norwaymarker 10,000+ Gold
United Kingdom 250,000+ Silver
United States 2,000,000+ 2x Platinum

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