Most of the songs from her previous album were written with her former songwriting partner Ben Margulies. By the time work started on Emotions
, the pair ended their relationship due to a financial dispute over Margulies' cut of Mariah's royalties. The singer struck up a new partnership with Afanasieff, going on to write "Hero
," "One Sweet Day
," and "All I Want For Christmas Is You
" with him. Afanasieff explained their typical songwriting process in The Billboard Book Of #1 Hits
by Fred Bronson.
"Mariah stands next to me, I'm on the keyboard. I start playing a chord progression - or I'll start playing something on the keyboard - and she starts singing ideas, melodic ideas and lyrical ideas," he said. "We start feeding off each other: she starts singing to what I'm playing and I start playing to what she's singing... She'll either come up with a few lyrical ideas right there and then go home and write a complete lyric, or she’ll use the melody and write the lyric."