On August 4, 1990, Mariah Carey’s debut single, “Vision of Love,” topped the Billboard Hot 100 where it remained for a full month. The ballad was ranked sixth on the Hot 100 year-end chart and catapulted Carey into superstardom, setting Mimi on a path to earn 17 more—enough to make a full album and tour setlist.
To celebrate the anniversary of the elusive chanteuse’s achievement, we’ve ranked our favorite performances of the Magna Carta of melisma that made melismatic singing a requirement for pop singers.
Live at The View (1998)
Eight years after the song’s release, Carey’s voice is mature, rich, and even more soulful.
Live at Madison Square Garden (1995)
The run at the 2:39 mark though! Is she even human?
Live at The Arsenio Hall Show (1990)
That whistle note was majestic!
Live at The Grammy Awards (1991)
KNOWING THE ONE THAT I NEEEEDAAAAAAHHD! (2:57 mark)
Live at Saturday Night Live (1990)
Warning: Make sure your wig is super glued down before you get to the 2:45 mark.