Bye Bye

Album: E=MC2 (2008)
Charted: 30 19

Songfacts®:

  • This song is loosely based around Mariah Carey's loss of her own father, Alfred Roy, who died of cancer in 2002. In her 2020 memoir, The Meaning Of Mariah Carey, the singer recalled her complicated relationship with her father, a US Army veteran who had an extremely disciplined approach to life that he tried to pass on to his children ("I didn't get it, but you kept me alive," she sings). But after divorcing Mariah's mother, Alfred wasn't as disciplined when it came to seeing his youngest daughter. In the song, she remembers being sad when he stopped showing up for their Sunday dates and laments over all the things he's missing out on after his death. Father and daughter eventually drifted apart but reunited when Alfred was on his deathbed.
  • This was co-produced by Norwegian production team Stargate and co-written by Johnta Austin, one of the writers behind Carey's 2005 smash hit "We Belong Together."
  • Carey: "Sometimes when I'm writing a song like 'Bye Bye,' it does come from such a raw place that I'm like, I'm actually crying while writing it, or thinking about it. But sometimes I will hear it and go 'I feel like this is gonna touch a lot of people.' And that's why it's important, that no matter what's ever happened to me throughout my career, that I stay the course and continue to write and try and reach people who need it, because I know that I'm one of those people. When someone does that and they write something that touches me, I'm like indebted to them forever."
  • Nick Cannon co-directed the music video with Justin Francis on the island of Antigua in the Caribbean and played Mariah's love interest in the clip. The pair hit it off immediately and rumors of their romance swiftly hit the press. They married just two months in the Bahamas. Cannon told People magazine of their immediate spark: "From the first time we sat down to discuss the video at the Beverly Hills Hotel, we connected. We had so much in common spiritually, and we laugh at the same things. I didn't have to put on my Mac Daddy suave mode. I was able to be myself with her. We are both eternally 12 years old."
  • The video finds Mariah tearfully writing the lyrics to the song in between shots of her promoting the album throughout the UK at CD signings, fashion shows, and concerts, as well as spending romantic moments with Cannon. In the final scene, she performs the song in concert, where photos of her late friends and family are on display, including her past collaborators David Cole (of C+C Music Factory), Luther Vandross, Luciano Pavarotti, and her "Fantasy" remix partner Ol' Dirty Bastard.
  • Carey sang this live on American Idol when she was a mentor during "Mariah Carey Week" in season 7.
  • This was released as the second single from Carey's 11th studio album, E=MC2 - the follow-up to her smash comeback album, The Emancipation Of Mimi. It gave the singer her sixth #1 on the albums chart and her biggest first-week sales with 463,000 copies sold.

Comments: 10

  • Nene from Brazoria, TxI lost my aunt in 2012, 2 cousins Mark and Lewis and my mom in 2015 back to back and this song helps me get through the rough times because it's hard knowing they're not here.
  • Cierra from Oklahoma I lost my granddaddy in 2014, right after my cheer team just won first place.
  • Trevino from Valdosta, GaThis song reminds me of my sister who passed in the 1996. I really miss her sometimes.
  • Dannette from New York , NyI lost my grandma, so when I listen to this song I start crying. RIP Grandma Joyceana
  • Rafael from Nampa 208, Idi lost my bro and my grandma in the same year this song helped me though it
  • Kayla from St. Paul, MnThis song is the best.. I created a forward for people to pass on.
  • Reza from Shiraz, Iranshe is back on top again atta girl
  • Anna from Suffolk, Vaat the very beginning of this song, it sounds a bit like an ultrasound sort of noise playing. this is a very touching song because i myself miscarried in may 2007. good job, mariah.
  • Desiree from San Jacinto, Cathis means so much to me 4 reals (r.i.p)chirs mendoza 1978-2008i♥him so much
  • Nia from Townsville, Qld, Australiamariah carey is the bomb

    this song means so much it reminds me of my grandmas

    R.I.P
see more comments

Editor's Picks

George Clinton

George ClintonSongwriter Interviews

When you free your mind, your ass may follow, but you have to make sure someone else doesn't program it while it's wide open.

The Police

The PoliceFact or Fiction

Do their first three albums have French titles? Is "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" really meaningless? See if you can tell in this Fact or Fiction.

Gentle Giant

Gentle GiantSongwriter Interviews

If counterpoint and polyrhythms are your thing, you might love these guys. Even by Progressive Rock standards, they were one of the most intricate bands of the '70s. Then their lead singer gave us Bon Jovi.

Van Dyke Parks

Van Dyke ParksSongwriter Interviews

U2, Carly Simon, Joanna Newsom, Brian Wilson and Fiona Apple have all gone to Van Dyke Parks to make their songs exceptional.

The Untold Story Of Fiona Apple's Extraordinary Machine

The Untold Story Of Fiona Apple's Extraordinary MachineSong Writing

Fiona's highly-anticipated third album almost didn't make it. Here's how it finally came together after two years and a leak.

Gary Numan

Gary NumanSongwriter Interviews

An Electronic music pioneer with Asperger's Syndrome. This could be interesting.