"When You Believe" is a song by American recording artists Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. The song was written and composed by Stephen Schwartz for the 1998 DreamWorks animated feature The Prince of Egypt. A version of "When You Believe" was produced as a single with additional music by writer-producer Babyface for the film's soundtrack album. Additionally, the song was featured on Houston's fourth studio album, My Love Is Your Love and Carey's first compilation album, Number 1's. The song was described as a big ballad, with meaningful and inspirational lyrics, describing the ability each person has to achieve miracles when they reach out to God and believe. The original version of the song featured in the narrative portion of the film is sung by Sally Dworsky and Michelle Pfeiffer; Carey and Houston's version is played during the end credits.
The song received generally mixed reviews from contemporary music critics. "When You Believe" experienced moderate success on the US Billboard charts, peaking at only number fifteen on the Hot 100, despite heavy media attention and live promotion. The song however, achieved strong charting throughout Europe and other worldwide regions, peaking within the top five in Belgium, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Due to strong single sales in Europe and the US, the song was received various certification awards throughout many major music markets.
"When You Believe" was awarded the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 71st annual ceremony on March 21, 1999. Prior to their performance of the song that night, Schwartz left Babyface's name off the nomination submission sheet. He felt that because the additions Babyface added to the song were not featured in the actual film version, he did not deserve writing credits. However, while Babyface did not receive the Oscar, Carey and Houston performed his version of the song, because they were more familiar with it than the one in the film. Prior to their performance at the Academy Awards, they sang it on November 26, 1998 on The Oprah Winfrey Show, promoting the song, as well as both their albums.
The song featured two music videos. The first and most commonly seen video was filmed at Brooklyn Academy of Music performing arts center. The video features both singers, and begins with Houston and Carey performing in a large auditorium, giving the illusion of a concert. Towards the end of the video, clips of the film are projected onto a large screen at the concert, while they belt out the final verse. The alternate video features a similar synopsis, with both singers performing on a large stage of an old Egyptian pyramid. The main difference however, is the fact that no film clips are played in the video and there is no audience present.
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