This ballad paired “some of the best R&B ballad singers of their generation” BBC emphasizing Carey’s “vocal gymnastics, artfully supported by the more restrained vocalizing of…Boyz II Men.” JA Done with “fitting and tender simplicity”, BBC “this passionate expression of loss” BBC was reportedly inspired by the death earlier that year of David Cole, half of the group C+C Music Factory and a friend of Carey’s. TB However, she says the song wasn’t inspired by just one specific person. BR1
Meanwhile, Boyz II Men were working on a tribute to Khalil Roundtree, their road manager who had been murdered. TB When Carey and the Boyz decided to pair up, they merged their efforts into what became not just the biggest pop hit of 1995, WHC but the biggest hit of the latter half of the 20th century.
In fact, from 1900 to 1999, the only song to log more weeks at number one (17) was the 1947 song “Near You” by Francis Craig and His Orchestra. Interestingly enough, it was the THIRD time that Boyz II Men could claim to have the biggest hit of the rock era – first with 1992’s “End of the Road” and again with 1994’s “I’ll Make Love to You.”
Collectively, Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men had already accumulated 69 weeks (36 and 33 weeks respectively) atop the charts BB100 in just the first half of the 1990s. Mariah Carey went on to hit the top spot another eight times after this, giving her a total of 79 weeks at #1 – only one week behind Elvis Presley’s record 80 weeks. Boyz II Men only scored one more #1 (1997’s “4 Seasons of Loneliness”) and one more top 10 (1997’s “A Song for Mama”), but their total of 50 weeks in the pole position ranks them fourth all-time behind Elvis, Mariah, and The Beatles (59 weeks).
- one of the top 1000 songs of all time
- Biggest #1 Pop Songs in U.S. Chart History
Cash Box’s Top 100 Songs, 1958-1996
- one of the RIAA’s top 365 songs of the 20th century
- one of the top 100 songs of the 1990s
- top 100 adult contemporary songs of all time
Resources and Related Links:
- the DMDB page for “One Sweet Day”
- Mariah Carey’s DMDB Encyclopedia entry
- Boyz II Men’s DMDB Encyclopedia entry
- BBC BBC Radio 2 (2004). “Sold on Song Top 100”.
- BB100 Billboard (9/08). “All-Time Hot 100”.
- BR1 Fred Bronson (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (5th edition). New York, NY: Billboard Books. Page 843.
- JA David A. Jasen. (2002). A Century of American Popular Music: 2000 Best-Loved and Remembered Songs (1899-1999). Routledge: Taylor & Francis, Inc. Page 153.
- TB Thunder Bay Press (2006). Singles: Six Decades of Hot Hits & Classic Cuts. Outline Press Ltd.: San Diego, CA. Page 269.
- WHC Joel Whitburn (1999). A Century of Pop Music. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. Page 126.