I Still Believe (Brenda K. Starr song)

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"I Still Believe"
Single by Brenda K. Starr
from the album Brenda K. Starr
ReleasedFebruary 17, 1988
FormatCD single
GenrePop, adult contemporary
Length3:50
LabelMCA
Writer(s)Antonina Armato, Giuseppe Cantarelli
ProducerEumir Deodato
Brenda K. Starr singles chronology
"Breakfast in Bed"
(1987)
"I Still Believe"
(1988)
"What You See Is What You Get"
(1988)
 
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"I Still Believe"
Single by Brenda K. Starr
from the album Brenda K. Starr
ReleasedFebruary 17, 1988
FormatCD single
GenrePop, adult contemporary
Length3:50
LabelMCA
Writer(s)Antonina Armato, Giuseppe Cantarelli
ProducerEumir Deodato
Brenda K. Starr singles chronology
"Breakfast in Bed"
(1987)
"I Still Believe"
(1988)
"What You See Is What You Get"
(1988)

"I Still Believe" is a pop-ballad song written by Antonina Armato and Giuseppe Cantarelli and originally recorded by pop singer Brenda K. Starr. It is a ballad in which the singer is confident she and her former boyfriend will never be together again, but still believes that some day it may happen. It was covered by American singer Mariah Carey (who was a backup singer on Starr's original) and cantopop singer Sandy Lam.

Brenda K. Starr version[edit]

Brenda K. Starr recorded the song for her second album Brenda K. Starr, and it was produced by Eumir Deodato and is considered her signature song. The song was based on a real life relationship of one of its songwriters, Antonia Armato: Armato's former boyfriend had proposed to her, but she felt that the timing was not right. He was not pleased, and pushed her into an ultimatium: to get married or break up. Even though Armato loved her boyfriend at the time, she stuck to her convictions and the couple broke up. To deal with her emotional pain, Armato wrote the song.

It was released as the second single from Starr's debut album in 1988 and peaked at number 13 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, becoming Starr's first and only top twenty single on the Hot 100. Its music video comprises scenes of Starr singing the song in a warehouse intercut with scenes of her walking past many romantic couples. The song was also recorded in Spanish as "Yo Creo En Ti" which was released as a single. In 1998, she recorded a salsa version of the song on her album, No Lo Voy a Olvidar as "I Still Believe/Creo en Ti". This version peaked at #20 on the Billboard Latin Tropical Airplay chart.[1] The original version of the song was ranked 7 on VH1's list of 40 Most Awesomely Bad Breakup Songs.

Charts[edit]

Chart (1988)Peak
position
US Billboard Hot 100[2]13
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[3]14
US Hot Latin Songs (Billboard)[4]
Spanish version: "Yo Creo En Ti"
10
Chart (1999)Peak
position
US Tropical Songs (Billboard)[5]
"I Still Believe/Creo en Ti"
20

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1988)Peak
position
US Top Pop Songs (Billboard)[6]93

Mariah Carey version[edit]

"I Still Believe"
Single by Mariah Carey
from the album #1's
ReleasedFebruary 8, 1999
FormatCD single, cassette single, 7" single
Recorded1998
GenrePop, R&B
Length3:54
LabelColumbia
Writer(s)Antonina Armato, Giuseppe Cantarelli
ProducerMariah Carey, Stevie J, Mike Mason
CertificationPlatinum (U.S.)
Mariah Carey singles chronology
"When You Believe"
(1998)
"I Still Believe"
(1999)
"Heartbreaker"
(1999)
Music sample
Sorry, your browser either has JavaScript disabled or does not have any supported player.
You can download the clip or download a player to play the clip in your browser.
30 second sample of Mariah Carey's
"I Still Believe"
Official Music Video
"I Still Believe" (original) at Yahoo! Music
Official Remix Music Video
"I Still Believe" (remix) at Yahoo! Music

Mariah Carey co-produced her cover of the song with Stevie J and Mike Mason for her eighth album, #1's, and it was released as the album's third single in 1998. She re-recorded the song as a tribute to Starr, as she had been Starr's backing singer in the late 1980s and Starr had helped jump start Carey's career by handing a demo tape to Sony Music Entertainment executive Tommy Mottola, who then signed Carey's first recording contract.

Unlike the preceding single from #1's, "When You Believe", "I Still Believe" enjoyed more success within the United States than elsewhere, peaking at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Though it was Carey's first single to chart on radio airplay points alone, its airplay was relatively low while sales were much stronger. It was certified platinum by the RIAA, and was ranked 36 on the Hot 100 year-end charts for 1999. Outside the U.S. it settled in the middle of the charts, such as the United Kingdom where it reached the top twenty. It entered the Canadian top ten, but did not reach the top forty in Australia or Germany. According to Billboard, this song is a tribute to artist who gave her first break.

Music videos and remixes[edit]

Carey on the set of the music video for "I Still Believe"in 1998.

The single's music video, directed by Brett Ratner, was heavily inspired by Marilyn Monroe's 1953 visit to U.S. troops in Korea for a United Service Organizations show. It shows Carey (who emulates Monroe's make-up and hairstyles) visiting Edwards Air Force Base in California and singing for airmen and soldiers as Monroe had done during the Korean War.

A remix of the song was produced by Carey and Damizza titled "I Still Believe/Pure Imagination" (formally "I Still Believe" (Damizza Reemix) [sic]). It differs significantly from the original, as it retains none of the music and only minor lyrical elements. The melody is based heavily on interpolations of the song "Pure Imagination" from the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, and the song features rapped and sung parts by Krayzie Bone (of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony) and Da Brat.

An abbreviated version of "I Still Believe/Pure Imagination", without Da Brat and more from Krayzie Bone, can be found on Bone's album Thug Mentality 1999. A video for the remix was commissioned and directed by Carey herself, showing her as a peasant girl in a Mexican village as she tends to her goats and gathers water for her family. Bone is portrayed as a pariah of sorts in the town, in whom Carey may have a romantic interest. Da Brat takes on the role of the community gringo, as she arrives in a car with a lot of money.

Several other remixes of the song were created, and each was carefully overseen by Carey, who re-recorded her vocals for all of them. Stevie J, who co-produced the original song, enlisted the help of rappers Mocha and Amil to join Carey on a remix he was developing. Although it contains completely new musical elements (with no music derived from the original and only small lyrical elements), Carey, Stevie J and the rappers do not receive songwriting credit.

David Morales created several remixes of the song, including the "Classic Club" mix. It retains the song's original music and chord progressions with Carey's original vocals and considerable ad libs. Other remixes by Morales include The King's Mix and the Eve of Souls mix, which do not contain complete vocals of the song, and feature little more than ad libs over club beats.

Formats and track listings[edit]

Australian CD single

  1. "I Still Believe" (album version) – 3:55
  2. "I Still Believe" (David Morales Remix edit) – 3:53
  3. "I Still Believe" (The Eve of Souls Mix) – 10:54

European CD single

  1. "I Still Believe" (album version) – 3:54
  2. "I Still Believe" (Morales' Classic Club Mix edit) – 3:54

U.S. CD single

  1. "I Still Believe / Pure imagination" (Damizza Remix edit featuring Krayzie Bone & Da Brat) – 4:32
  2. "I Still Believe" (Morales' Classic Club Mix edit) – 3:53

Australian CD maxi-single

  1. "I Still Believe" (album version) – 3:55
  2. "I Still Believe" (David Morales Remix edit) – 3:53
  3. "I Still Believe" (The Eve of Souls Mix) – 10:54
  4. "I Still Believe / Pure imagination" (Damizza Remix featuring Krayzie Bone & Da Brat) – 4:34
  5. "I Still Believe" (Stevie J. Clean Remix featuring Mocha & Amil) – 5:06

European CD maxi-single #1

  1. "I Still Believe" (album version) – 3:54
  2. "I Still Believe" (Morales' Classic Club Mix edit) – 3:53
  3. "I Still Believe" (Morales' Classic Club Mix) – 9:02
  4. "I Still Believe" (The Eve of Souls Mix) – 10:54
  5. "I Still Believe" (The Kings Mix) – 8:04
  6. "I Still Believe" (The Kings Mix instrumental) – 8:06

European CD maxi-single #2

  1. "I Still Believe" (album version) – 3:55
  2. "I Still Believe / Pure imagination" (Damizza Remix featuring Krayzie Bone & Da Brat) – 4:32
  3. "I Still Believe" (Stevie J. Remix featuring Mocha & Amil) – 5:05
  4. "I Still Believe" (Stevie J. Clean Remix featuring Mocha & Amil) – 5:06
  5. "I Still Believe / Pure imagination" (Damizza Remix a cappella featuring Krayzie Bone & Da Brat) – 4:32

Japanese CD maxi-single US CD maxi-single

  1. "I Still Believe" (album version) – 3:55
  2. "I Still Believe" (Stevie J. Clean Remix featuring Mocha & Amil) – 5:06
  3. "I Still Believe" (Morales' Classic Club Mix) – 9:02
  4. "I Still Believe / Pure imagination" (Damizza Remix featuring Krayzie Bone & Da Brat) – 4:32
  5. "I Still Believe" (The Kings Mix) – 8:04

UK CD maxi-single #1

  1. "I Still Believe" (Morales' Classic Club Mix)
  2. "I Still Believe" (Morales' Classic Club Mix UK edit)
  3. "I Still Believe" (The Eve of Souls Mix UK edit)

UK CD maxi-single #2

  1. "I Still Believe" (album version) – 3:55
  2. "I Still Believe" (Stevie J. Remix featuring Mocha & Amil) – 5:05
  3. "I Still Believe / Pure imagination" (Damizza Remix featuring Krayzie Bone & Da Brat) – 4:32

US 2x12" vinyl single

Side A
  1. "I Still Believe" (Stevie J. Remix featuring Mocha & Amil) – 5:06
  2. "I Still Believe" (Stevie J. Clean Remix featuring Mocha & Amil) – 5:05
  3. "I Still Believe" (Stevie J. Remix Instrumental) – 5:00
Side B
  1. "I Still Believe / Pure imagination" (Damizza Remix featuring Krayzie Bone & Da Brat) – 4:32
  2. "I Still Believe / Pure imagination" (Damizza Remix instrumental) – 4:20
  3. "I Still Believe / Pure imagination" (Damizza Remix a cappella featuring Krayzie Bone & Da Brat) – 4:32
  4. "I Still Believe" (Stevie J. Remix A Cappella featuring Mocha & Amil) – 5:04
Side C
  1. "I Still Believe" (Morales' Classic Club Mix) – 9:02
  2. "I Still Believe" (The Eve of Souls Mix) – 10:54
Side D
  1. "I Still Believe" (The Kings Mix) – 8:04
  2. "I Still Believe" (The Kings Mix Instrumental) – 8:06

Charts[edit]

Peak positions[edit]

Chart (1999)Peak
position
Australian Singles Chart[7]54
Belgian Singles Chart (Flanders)[8]48
Belgian Singles Chart (Wallonia)[9]25
Canadian Singles Chart[10]9
Dutch Singles Chart[11]51
European Singles Chart[12]30
French Singles Chart[13]33
German Singles Chart[14]58
New Zealand Singles Chart[15]24
Spanish Singles Chart[16]7
Swiss Singles Chart[17]31
UK Singles Chart[18]16
US Billboard Hot 100[19]4
US Billboard Pop Songs[19]21
US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs[19]31
US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay[19]331
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs[19]1
US Billboard Adult Contemporary[19]8

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1999)Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[20]36

Certifications[edit]

RegionCertificationSales/shipments
United States (RIAA)[21]Platinum1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone


1 "I Still Believe / Pure Imagination"

Preceded by
"Heartbreak Hotel" by Whitney Houston featuring Faith Evans and Kelly Price
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single (Mariah Carey version)
February 8, 1999
Succeeded by
"Baby Wants to Ride" by Hani

Other versions[edit]

In 1988, popular Disco singer Amii Stewart covered the song for her album Time For Fantasy.

In 1989, Hong Kong singer Sandy Lam covered this song in Cantonese, with the title 依然 ("Still"). She also covered the English version of the song in 1990.

Jamaican dancehall artist Beenie Man sampled most of the lyrics under the song "Crazy Notion" from his Art and Life album, released in 2000.

Jane Lynch and Darren Criss covered it in Glee in a mashup with Nicki Minaj's Super Bass

References[edit]