Prince ‘Did Not Believe In’ Mariah Carey’s ‘Beautiful Ones’ Cover
Prince was close friends with Mariah Carey, but that didn’t stop the Purple One from expressing his discomfort with the diva covering one of his songs.
Carey’s 1997 album Butterfly marked a transition for the singer, as she evolved from a pure pop sound to one that mixed in more R&B and hip-hop elements. The LP was a huge success, going five-times platinum in the U.S. The lone cover featured on the album was Carey’s rendition of “The Beautiful Ones,” a track Prince originally released on Purple Rain.
“He did not like [covers], nor did he believe in the concept,” Carey admitted in a recently published interview with Variety. “I only found this out years later, around the time I was doing [2001 film] Glitter, when he told me so. And I’m thinking, ‘Oh my God.’”
Though Carey was uncomfortable with Prince’s revelation, the legendary musician soon put her at ease.
“Then Prince told me how much he loved my song ‘Honey,’ and I was dying,” she recalled. “For him to have even known that song was major to me.”
Listen to Mariah Carey's Version of 'The Beautiful Ones'
The Purple One also championed Carey’s stylistic change on Butterfly, once again showcasing his famous support for fellow artists.
“He defended me to record executives who didn’t understand my decision to make an album like that,” Carey noted. “The execs didn’t understand me veering from a successful formula. But Prince understood.”
Carey has long proclaimed her undying respect and appreciation for Prince. In 2016, she told Complex about the influence he had on her career.
“Prince was one of the best people I’ve met,” the pop star explained. “He didn’t care about the big system. I was always like, at any time Prince could write a No. 1 song, because he’s that talented, but he chooses to do what he wants. I respect that. He actually helped me through a lot of situations with his knowledge.”