Mariah Carey’s “Vision Of Love” Turns 30

Mike Wass | May 15, 2020 2:41 pm
Mariah's Underrated 'E=MC²'
We reflect on the underrated genius of Mariah Carey's 'E=MC².'

30 years have passed since Mariah Cary unleashed “Vision Of Love” upon the world. Which seems impossible given that the song, like its glamorous singer, hasn’t aged a day. Widely misclassified as a love song, “Vision Of Love” is actually about overcoming hurdles and following your dreams. “Prayed through the nights, felt so alone,” Mimi sings in the second verse. “Suffered from alienation, carried the weight on my own.” Imagine launching a career with a power ballad about faith, alienation and hardship in 2020.

Mariah opened up about the seminal hit in a 1991 interview with Ebony and revealed that the song was inspired by growing up mixed race. “It’s been difficult for me, moving around so much, having to grow up by myself, basically on my own, my parents divorced,” the Lamb Whisper shared. “And I always felt kind of different from everyone else in my neighborhoods. I was a different person – ethnically.” That sense of frustration really comes across in the iconic chorus: “I had a vision of love and it was all that you’ve given to me.”

While the song tackles serious issues, it is ultimately celebratory. “Now I know I’ve succeeded,” Mariah belts triumphantly in a latter verse, “in finding the place I conceived.” She manifested her own destiny and was rewarded with one of the biggest hits of the 1990s. “Vision Of Love” reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and won Mimi her first Grammy. It also lives on as the gold standard for vocals. Artists as diverse as Kelly Clarkson, Rihanna and Beyoncé have spoken about the song’s influence on their singing styles.

Celebrate the fact that Mariah has been that girl for three decades by revisiting “Vision Of Love” below.

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