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I Believe I Can Fly

by

R. Kelly



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Kelly wrote this for Space Jam, which was a kid's movie starring Michael Jordan in a world of cartoons (including Bugs Bunny). The song was much more popular than the movie and became an inspirational anthem often played at weddings and used in video tributes.
Kelly got an early copy of the movie to view for inspiration. According to Rolling Stone magazine, Kelly said: "I studied it and I prayed over it because I wanted the best thing to come out of it."
This won 1997 Grammy for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, Best R&B Song, and Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television. (thanks, Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England, for all above)
Kelly may claim that he believes he can fly in this song, but in reality the R&B superstar has a chronic fear of air travel. Kelly is so scared of planes that he even takes boats when he tours Europe.
Speaking to The Boombox, Kelly revealed his creative process for this song: "When I met Michael Jordan on a basketball court at an athletic club — we hooped together in Chicago — he came to me and asked me if I wanted to do a song for his upcoming movie. I was like, 'Yeah!' I didn't even ask what it was. [Eventually] he let me know what it was, we went to a screening to watch it and that's when I ended up coming up with 'I Believe I Can Fly.' I knew from the first melody that was gonna be the song that was gonna take me out of R&B and into another genre of music."

Kelly added that the Notorious B.I.G. came around while he was writing the song and immediately saw its hit potential. "I was in a hotel in a deep sleep, so I kinda dreamt that melody," he recalled. "I went down to the lobby and had the security unlock the piano because it was locked. I started messing around with three-finger chords to give myself a guide with the melody. And I started hearing… [hums the melody of 'I Believe I Can Fly']. I had a lot of 'duh duh duhs' before I actually wrote what it is. But after spending two hours at that piano, watching a whole 'lotta women and men coming in back and forth, I was over in that corner on that piano. By the time Biggie came in [the hotel] it was like two hours later, I had [begins singing] 'I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky, I think about it every night and day, spread my wings and fly away' — I had about that much. He was like, 'Oh, B, that's a big hit, son.' And it ended up being exactly that."
R. Kelly
More R. Kelly songs
More songs that won Grammys
More songs often played at weddings
More songs used in movies
More songs about confidence or courage
More songs covered by the Glee cast

Comments (16):

oh man i love this sooooo much it is perfect...
- lenin, aleyh, Lebanon
To Ben from Adelaide, Australia -

This is interesting information - would you please tell me the name of the song that R. Kelly ripped off from the Lighthouse family?

Thanks.
- Helen, Milwaukee, WI
I love this song,I also love the video,too.
- Jennifer Harris, Grand Blanc, MI
I have the William Hung version of this song, it's just terrible, Hung totally destroyed this song!
- Austin Read, Vancouver, WA
I really like this song and its one my favourite because its very inspiring and it gives you confidence that nothing is impossible!! Its a really beautiful song!! I hope who ever listens to it will enjoy it as much as I did!!!

~~Angel~~
- Angel, Toronto, Canada
We are going to use this song for our grade six graduation!!!!
- Angel, Toronto, Canada
I love this song!!!
It's really nice song and its beautiful and makes have confidence in yourself!! This song really helped me in my life!!
Thanks!:D:D


Angel,Canada
- Angel, Toronto, Canada
This was a good song before R. Kelly decide he'd be weird. In my opion anyways.
- Sara, Traverse City, MI
This song was used for my 7 year old sisters kindergarden graduation.
- Jody, Santa Fe, TX
"I Believe I Can Fly" is a great song, but because people tend to overplay it, it has become dreadful to the ears.
- Corryncia, houston, TX
It's about recognizing you can do anything if you put your mind to it. (at least thats what it seems to mean to me)
- Justin, Springfield, MO
Why is this the only R.Kelly Song?

There are at least 10 more that should be listed
- David, Guelph, Canada
this song was ripped off by a song by the Lighthouse family which done it orignally and was placed on the spacejam soundtrack, R.kelly just ripped it off and added some lyrics, theres a subliminal message in it aswell if played extremly loud.. "i wanna piss on you" by chappelle show absoloutly beats this guy hands down in rip-offism..lol
- ben, adelaide, Australia
Regardless of whatever you are going through in life, this song should give you the inpspiration to press on even in adversity. I should know.
- John-Martin, Silver Creek, MS
hmmmm well this song is ok if you take it seriously and don't actually think about the fact that it is impossible for r.kelly to fly as he is not a bird. but i do realize that that is not what the song is about
- sharon, auckland
This song is so beautiful, and so inspirational. Good work.
- Matthew, East Brunswick, NJ
You have to to post comments.
Danny KortchmarDanny Kortchmar
Danny played guitar on Sweet Baby James, Tapestry, and Running On Empty. He also co-wrote many hit songs, including "Dirty Laundry," "Sunset Grill" and "Tender Is The Night."
Chris Robinson of The Black CrowesChris Robinson of The Black Crowes
"Great songwriters don't necessarily have hit songs," says Chris. He's written a bunch, but his fans are more interested in the intricate jams.
Mike Watt - "History Lesson, Pt. 2"Mike Watt - "History Lesson, Pt. 2"
Mike Watt of the Minutemen tells the story of the song that became an Indie Rock touchstone. It's also the story of what Mike calls "The Movement."
Matt SorumMatt Sorum
When he joined Guns N' Roses in 1990, Matt helped them craft an orchestral sound. His mezzo fortes and pianissimos are all over "November Rain."