R&B singer Miguel joins Mariah Carey as the duo harmonize sensual lyrics of praise to a lover. The throwback lead single from Carey's fourteenth studio album was written and produced by the two singers and released on May 6, 2013.
Carey told Ryan Seacrest why she wanted to hook up with Miguel on the song. "I'm a huge fan of his music and as I think everybody's just so blown away by him right now," she said. "We got together. He had started writing this song with just the guitar riff. He's the truth."
Miguel has been a fan of Carey since the 1990s. He said: "I mean I fell in love with Mariah Carey when she walked out of the pool in that 'Honey
' video; that was it. And I've had a huge crush on her ever since."
The song's music video was directed by Joseph Kahn who has previously directed promos for Nicole Scherzinger ("Poison
"), Ciara ("Got Me Good
"), Kylie Minogue ("All the Lovers
") and Maroon 5 ("Misery
"). "It's about... It's the antithesis of the person you see on American Idol
," Carey told Seacrest about the clip.
Miguel said to Billboard magazine of the collaboration with the songstress: "Mariah [Carey] is so fast. Her mind is extremely sharp. I didn't really know what to expect, how involved she would be creatively but ... she was really behind the vision of '#Beautiful' being a duet between her and I. The video went with all of that. She's a mastermind."
So why the hashtag in the title? Miguel explained to MTV News: "The hashtag in the title of this song is particularly fitting because the word that comes before 'beautiful' when I sing the chorus is an expletive that I can't say on air," he said referring to the F-word he utters on the song's hook. "But the hashtag is particularly fitting for that expletive, if you just kind of pay a little bit of attention."
Mariah Carey and Miguel recorded several remixes, including ones featuring A$AP Rocky and Jeezy, as well as a Spanglish version titled "Hermosa."
Miguel intended this for his own Kaleidoscope Dream album, but he couldn't put his finger on what was missing. "The chorus, verse, and music were pretty much done," he told Entertainment Weekly. "It was one of those songs where I was like, 'This is pretty much all the story I have. There's nothing else to this story. Maybe this is more of an interlude.' I didn't understand then, but I obviously understand now: I needed Mariah Carey. The song found her. And she finished it."
Although the album peaked at #3 in the US and received positive reviews by critics, it was the lowest-selling album of Carey's career up to that point, garnering just 127,000 sales by 2015.