Acemaax Special Throw Back [Week 12] Takes us way back to 1993 with “Hero” by American singer and songwriter Mariah Carey. It was released on October 19, 1993, via Columbia Records as the second single from Carey’s third studio album, Music Box (1993). Originally intended for Gloria Estefan, the song was written and produced by Mariah and Walter Afanasieff.
The song received mixed reviews from contemporary music critics for its lyrical content, while Carey’s vocal performance was praised. Aside from its lyrics, “Hero” derived its hook and sound from several musical instruments such as the guitar, piano, and organ. The song experienced strong success in several international markets, and also became Carey’s eighth chart topper on the Billboard Hot 100. Additionally, it was ranked number 53 on the Decade-End Chart. Outside the United States, “Hero” enjoyed strong charting, reaching the top five in Canada, France, Ireland, New Zealand and Norway and the top ten in Australia and the United Kingdom.
Due to fan requests and letters, as well as their connection to its personal meaning and content, the song remains one of Carey’s most performed songs. Deemed by many as her signature song, the song was originally performed on The Arsenio Hall Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and Hey Hey It’s Saturday during its original chart run.
Additionally, Carey performed it on several live telethons and specials, such as Pavarotti and Friends and Michael Jackson & Friends in 1999, America: A Tribute to Heroes in 2001, Live 8 in 2005, and the inaugural ball for Barack Obama in 2009.
Additionally, the song was featured on the set-lists of all of Carey’s tours, usually serving as the encore or closing number, and making its debut during the album’s accompanying set of concerts, the Music Box Tour.
The song was included on several of Carey’s compilation albums, #1’s (1998), Greatest Hits (2001), The Ballads (2008), and #1 to Infinity (2015)