Heartbreaker

Album: Rainbow (1999)
Charted: 5 1
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Songfacts®:

  • The music in this song is based on "Attack Of The Name Game," which was recorded in 1982 by Stacy Lattisaw. "Attack Of The Name Game" is an Electronica version of the 1964 song "The Name Game" ("Shirley - Shirley, Shirley bo Birley Bonana fanna fo Firley...). "Heartbreaker" doesn't sound anything like "The Name Game," but through the transitive property of songwriting royalties, Shirley Ellis and Lincoln Chase received composer credit because they wrote "The Name Game."
  • Lyrically, this is far removed from a song about rhyming names - Mariah sings about a guy who broke her heart. Rainbow was the first album she released after her divorce from music executive Tommy Mottola, and while the lyrics may be personal for Carey, this is more of a fun song and doesn't convey the emotion of heartbreak found in her songs like "My All" and "We Belong Together." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Donovan Berry - El Dorado, AR, for above 2
  • Jay-Z helped write this and does a rap on it. The other writers were Narada Michael Walden and his songwriting partner Jeffrey Cohen. DJ Clue produced the track with Carey.
  • Directed by Brett Ratner (Rush Hour, Horrible Bosses), the video was shot in Los Angeles, California, on the 30th and 31st of July 1999. In the clip, the reluctant singer's friends drag her to a movie theater to confront her cheating boyfriend (played by actor Jerry O'Connell). Mariah plays herself and her evil, man-stealing twin, Bianca Storm. Kung-Fu master Jackie Chan's team taught Mariah some fight moves for the bathroom brawl with her nemesis. The video was one of the most expensive ever made, costing over $2.5 million.

    An alternate clip also featured Jay-Z rapping in a hot tub, mimicking a scene from the 1983 gangster movie Scarface. Carey, made-up to look like Michelle Pfeiffer's long-suffering character from the film, stands disapprovingly in the background. The rap segment was supposed to be in the original video, but Jay-Z had already released a clip for his song "Girl's Best Friend" and his contract stipulated a two-week waiting period between video appearances. The scene is replaced by an animated segment in the first version. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Candice - Vancouver, Canada
  • In The Billboard Book Of #1 Hits by Fred Bronson, Carey explained the song's meaning: "It was from the standpoint of girls that keep going back to that same guy and they can't help themselves. They know they are going to continually get hurt, and the situation won't change or improve for them as long as they continue with the guy. I've been one of those girls, so I know there's a lot of them out there, and they need to gather strength and move on and past it."
  • Carey also dished about collaborating with Jay-Z. She told Bronson: "It's fun when you can find someone that you can relate to and that you respect. Jay-Z is someone I admire as a writer and as an artist. We could be sitting in the studio, and he can freestyle a rhyme that would be incredible just off the top of his head. He doesn't need a pen and paper. I equate that to a singer who can pick up the mike and riff and ad-lib over a song and take you to a totally new place."
  • The Desert Storm remix, produced by rapper DJ Clue, features guest rappers Missy Elliott and Da Brat (who also featured on Carey's "Always Be My Baby" remix) and samples Snoop Dogg's "Ain't No Fun (If the Homies Can't Have None)." In 2016, DJ Clue told Billboard how the remix came together:

    "With the remix, I was just trying to think of a record that everyone liked, across the country - whether they were East Coast or West Coast. Obviously it was a West Coast sample, so to give it more of an East Coast feel, I added the little intro. It was more like a hip-hop beat intro, a little more hardcore. I just wanted to give it that vibe. Then I switched it over to the Snoop sample. Da Brat did her part in the studio with us, Missy wasn't there.

    Mariah was so busy at the time, that every moment we got to do the actual music - it would take a bunch of sessions to do one song, she wanted to make sure everything was perfect. She takes her work very seriously - there's so many records we've done that we've scrapped because she wanted to make sure everything [she released] was up to par, to that superior level."
  • This was originally intended for the soundtrack to Carey's 2001 film, Glitter, but the singer thought "it felt fresh and current" and didn't want to wait to release it.
  • Rainbow debuted at #2 on the albums chart - held off from the top spot by Faith Hill's Breathe. It did, however, give Carey her highest first-week sales up to that point with 323,000 copies sold. Within a month of its release, it sold nearly 3 million copies in the US, earning a triple-Platinum certification.

Comments: 3

  • Crystal from OklahomaI love the video for this, so fun and Jerry O Connell,was so cute,
  • Olivia from Columbia, Sc"won't take long,just watch & see how the fella's lay their money down"
  • Jordan from Shokan, Ny"hey fellas, have you heard the news, ya know annie's back in town..."
see more comments

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