Mariah Carey reflects on “Hero”: “It’s not my favorite … but I’m most proud of where it’s gone”

Sony Legacy

Mariah Carey has been looking back on her album Music Box, which just celebrated its 30th anniversary on  August 31. On Instagram, she posted a clip of herself reflecting on the impact and legacy of “Hero,” one of her most enduring hits from that album.

“‘Hero’ was such a big record … that kind of took on its own life after 9/11 and we [were] all doing our best, I feel, as entertainers, trying to make people feel better,” Mariah says. 

After the terror attacks in 2001, she sang “Hero” on the America: A Tribute to Heroes telethon; that October, she released a new version of it, recorded as a medley with her song “Never Too Far,” as a charity single.

“It’s not my favorite,” she goes on to admit. “And I say that only because I think I’ve written songs that are more, like, heart-wrenching and miserable, whereas ‘Heroes’ is more like trying to be uplifting, which is great.”

She adds, “Typically, I guess I might like the miserable ones. I don’t know!”

Mariah is, however, “most proud of where it’s kind of gone in the world and what people have sung it.”

“I mean, Aretha Franklin actually sang that song. Luciano Pavarotti … having him singing in Italian and I’m singing in English,” she says.

“I pretty much always kind of have to do [the song live]…I’ve done it so many different times,” she concludes. “So now we just do it differently and zhuzh it a little bit here and there and add new parts.” 

The 30th anniversary edition of Music Box is available now.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.