'Daydream' is the fifth studio album by American singer-songwriter Mariah Carey. Released on October 3, 1995 by Columbia Records as the follow up to her internationally successful, Music Box (1993) and holiday album Merry Christmas (1994). Daydream is slightly different from Music Box and Merry Christmas as it leaned increasingly towards R&B and hip hop and features less of a pure pop sound. Throughout the project, Carey collaborated with Walter Afanasieff, with whom she wrote and produced most of her two previous albums. With Daydream, Carey took more control over the musical direction as well as the album's composition. Carey said she considered Daydream the beginning of her musical and vocal transformation, a change that became more obvious in her 1997 release, Butterfly. During the album's production, Carey endured many creative differences with her label, Columbia Records and husband, Tommy Mottola.
On Daydream, Carey collaborated with Jermaine Dupri for the first time, and co-wrote and produced a song with Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, with whom she had collaborated on Music Box. It was also the first time she had worked with Boyz II Men, an R&B group consisting of four male vocalists. Together, they wrote the concept and lyrics for "One Sweet Day", a song that Carey co-produced with Afanasieff. With his assistance and the addition of a few contemporary producers, she was able to make a subtle transition into the R&B market. Daydream was nominated for six Grammy Awards at the 38th annual ceremony, during which Carey performed live. Due to the album's critical and commercial success, critics believed Carey would be one of the nights big winners. However, to her dismay, she was completely shut out, causing the subject to become very public and controversial.
Six singles were released from the album. "Fantasy", the album's lead single, topped the Billboard Hot 100 for eight weeks, and became the second best-selling single of 1995 in the United States. The song topped the charts in Australia, Canada and New Zealand and became a top-five hit in Finland, France and the United Kingdom. "One Sweet Day" was the second single released from Daydream. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 for sixteen weeks and became the longest-running number one single in US history, a record it still holds. It also topped the charts in Canada and New Zealand and peaked within the top five in Australia, France, Ireland and The Netherlands. Jointly the singles from Daydream spent a combined six months at the top of the Hot 100. To promote Daydream, Carey embarked on the short but successful, Daydream World Tour, visiting Japan and Europe.
Daydream became Carey's highest reviewed album at the time. Critics universally praised her matured lyrics and songwriting, as well as her musical direction. Alongside very favorable ratings, the album became a large worldwide commercial success. Daydream debuted at number one in over nine different countries, and in the top five in almost every major music market. The album became Carey's second album to be certified ten-times platinum (diamond) by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), denoting shipments of over ten million copies in the United States. Aside from its success in the US, the album became the third best-selling album in Japan by a non-Asian artist, with over 2.1 million copies sold. Daydream remains one of the best-selling albums of all time, with sales of over 25 million copies worldwide.