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).