Honey

Album: Butterfly (1997)
Charted: 3 1

Songfacts®:

  • This sweet love song was co-written and produced by Sean Combs, who was known at the time as Puff Daddy. Carey wrote the lyric, which finds her infatuated with some lucky dude … later revealed to be Derek Jeter. Much of the Butterfly album was inspired by Mariah's blossoming affair with New York Yankees shortstop. The singer's strained marriage to Sony Music executive Tommy Mottola was near its breaking point and she found herself sneaking away to Puerto Rico to spend time with the ballplayer. The song's "Hey DJ" reference (taken from The World's Famous Supreme Team's 1984 hit of the same name) was actually a covert message to her new man. "Little did they know it was a secret shout-out to Derek Jeter," she wrote in her 2020 memoir, The Meaning Of Mariah Carey. "'Honey' was a song about jonesin' for that DJ feeling."
  • This samples "The Body Rock" by the Treacherous Three. Carey explained to VH1: "The original loop on 'Honey' was from 'Body Rock' by the Treacherous Three. That was Q-Tip's idea. It was my idea to throw in the 'Hey DJ' part, because that was always one of my favorite songs."
  • Carey told VH1 that she was already thinking about the song's video when she penned it. She said: "I wrote the lyrics to 'Honey' in Puerto Rico on this boat. I kept rewinding the track and watching people jet-ski, thinking, 'That would be cool for the video.' I never think about the video when I'm writing the song, usually, but the whole atmosphere seemed right."
  • The video showed a more sensual side of Carey than had previously been seen. The singer said to VH1: "People felt like my image changed because suddenly I could do what I wanted to. But 'Honey' is quite tame compared to some of the videos that are out now by quote/unquote Pop artists. Yes, I do strip down and all that stuff, but I'm not like stripping. There's a bikini. To me, it's all very playful and done in fun. It was totally up my alley because who else is going to swim with Gucci stilettos on? That's very me. For the first time, I got the chance to have fun making a video and be myself. Like the running on the beach with the dog? That's me. When you don't see me on TV, that's what I'm doing. [Laughs]"
  • The song debuted at #1 on the Hot 100 making Mariah Carey the first act to achieve three chart-topping starts. Her previous two songs to arrive at the top position were "Fantasy" and "One Sweet Day" both in 1995.
  • Mottola was angry when he first heard the song because he knew it wasn't about him. But, as Mariah explained in her book, none of her love songs were. Her previous romantic tunes like "Dreamlover" and "Fantasy" were about fictional romances, not about her relationship with her husband. "Before I met Derek, they were mostly imaginary characters," she explained. "I'm sure Tommy could sense that the songs written for Butterfly were no longer about far-off, fictional lovers - these songs, though certainly poetically embellished, were full of specific details and sensual realness."
  • This was used in the 2020 miniseries Little Fires Everywhere in the episode "The Spider Web."
  • This was nominated for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song at the 1998 Grammy Awards, but lost to Erykah Badu's "On And On" and R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly," respectively.

Comments: 3

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn September 7th 1997, "Honey' by Mariah Carey debut at #1 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart, it remained in the top spot for three weeks...
    In 1997 the song’s co-composer, Puffy Daddy, would also have a record debut at #1; “I’ll Be Missing You” with Faith Evans for 11 weeks…
    As stated above it was the third time Mariah Carey had a record debut at #1; "Fantasy" {for 8 weeks in 1995} and "One Sweet Day" with Boyz II Men {for a record 16 weeks in 1995}...
    There have been twenty-two records that have debut at #1 on the Top 100; the first was "You Are Not Alone" by Michael Jackson in August 1995 and the latest, "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift, just one week ago on August 31st, 2014.
  • Theresa from Murfreesboro, TnI kinda lost interest in Mariah after this song was released, she changed too much.
  • Seronica from Jefferson, GaHow is she swimming with high heels?
see more comments

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