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We Belong Together

We Belong Together
Single information
NameWe Belong Together
ArtistMariah Carey
AlbumThe Emancipation of Mimi
ReleasedMarch 29, 2005
FormatCD single, digital download
RecordedRight Track Studios
(New York City, New York)
Southside Studios
(Atlanta, Georgia)
GenreR&B, pop
SongwriterMariah Carey, Jermaine Dupri, Manuel Seal, Johntá Austin, Kenneth Edmonds, Darnell Bristol, Bobby Womack, Patrick Moten, Sandra Sully
ProducerMariah Carey, Jermaine Dupri, Manuel Seal
Previous single"It's like That"
Next single"Shake It Off"

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"We Belong Together" is a song by American singer-songwriter Mariah Carey from her tenth studio album, The Emancipation of Mimi (2005). The song was released on March 29, 2005, through Island Records as the second single from the album. "We Belong Together" was written by Carey, Jermaine Dupri, Manuel Seal, and Johntá Austin, and produced by the former three. As the song samples lyrics from Bobby Womack's "If You Think You're Lonely Now" (1981) and The Deele's "Two Occasions" (1987), several others are credited as songwriters. Following the release of "It's Like That", the album's lead single, which features a strong beat and production, "We Belong Together" is built on a simple piano arrangement with an understated backbeat. According to Carey, this was done to highlight her vocals, instead of having them obscured by heavy instrumentation. The song's lyrics chronicle a woman's desperation for her former lover to return after their separation and her loneliness following his departure.

Following her decline in popularity between 2001 and 2005, critics dubbed the song her musical comeback, as many had considered her career over. They described it as Carey's "return to form" and referred to it as the "return of The Voice". "We Belong Together" broke several records in the United States and became Carey's sixteenth chart topper on the US Billboard Hot 100. After staying at number one for fourteen non-consecutive weeks, the song became the second longest running number one song in US chart history, behind Carey's 1996 collaboration with Boyz II Men, "One Sweet Day". Billboard listed it as the "song of the decade" and the ninth most popular song of all time. Besides its chart success, the song broke several airplay records, and according to Nielsen BDS, gathered both the largest one-day and one-week audiences in history. The song charted strongly outside the US, topping the singles charts in Australia and the Netherlands, and reaching the top two positions in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Due to its continued success, Carey performed the song on several live award shows and television appearances around the world. Following stateside performances at the 2005 MTV Movie Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, Macy's Fourth of July Parade, and The Oprah Winfrey Show, Carey performed it on several European events and programs such as the Live 8 charity concert in the United Kingdom, the Fashion Rocks in Monaco, and the German Bambi Awards. Most notably, Carey performed a medley of "We Belong Together" and "Fly Like a Bird", another single from the album, at the 48th annual Grammy Awards on February 8, 2006. The performance received rave reviews from critics, and induced the night's only standing ovation. Aside from its many televised appearances, Carey performed the song on both her Adventures of Mimi and Angels Advocate Tours. On the former tour, critics described it as one of the concert's finest and impressive moments, while on the latter, it was introduced by Carey as the "song of the decade" to the audience.

"We Belong Together" earned several music industry awards and nominations throughout 2005 06: two Grammy Awards, two Radio Music Awards, two Soul Train Music Awards, one Vibe Award, a World Music Award and a Teen Choice Award. The song's music video was filmed as a two-part story with "It's Like That", which features Carey at her bachelorette party. The video for "We Belong Together" is a continuation focusing on Carey's actual wedding to an older and powerful man. Furthering rumors of the video's connection to her 1993 marriage to Tommy Mottola, Carey donned her actual Vera Wang wedding dress for the shoot. The video ends with Carey escaping the wedding with her ex-lover, who appears at the main stairwell just as the pair are to be wed. Carey and her lover, (played by Wentworth Miller) run down the flowery walkway and get into his car, while Carey's 27-foot train flows behind them.

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