Forget Adele’s 30. In 1997, The Woman Who Ms Adkins Says Should Be In The Bible became the first power ballad to send a divorce album to the top of the charts.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary this month (September 16), Butterfly was, of course, widely recorded during Mariah Carey’s acrimonious split from Tommy Mottola, the music mogul’s husband who also reportedly spent the previous seven years micro-managing his career to smothering effect.
Although it topped the Billboard 200, Carey’s sixth studio album might not have set America on fire like its predecessors: its 3.8 million sales were eclipsed by those of Music Box (7.3m) and Dream (7.7 million), while disputes between record labels unfortunately hampered his impressive string of singles. But with her gradual shift from adult contemporary R&B to nodding R&B, Mimi’s attempt to assert more control over her career has undoubtedly paid off: not only Butterfly take his Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit tally to a record 13 and land three Grammy nods, but it also essentially paved the way for the fuzzy hip-hop/pop sound of the genre that would become so ubiquitous around the corner. of the following century.
For many of his beloved lambs – and as the liner notes for the 2009 half-sequel reveal Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, to Carey herself — her alternative display of girl power remains the star’s magnum opus. From epic power ballads and sultry slow jams to sleek funk covers and even the odd surprise foray into house music, here’s our ranking of his 12 tracks.