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This article is about the album. For its title track, see Butterfly (song).

Butterfly is the seventh album and sixth studio album by American singer Mariah Carey, released in the United States on September 16 1997 by Columbia Records. It was Carey's first album to be released following the ending of her marriage to Sony Music executive Tommy Mottola, and it includes contributions from producers such as The Trackmasters, Puff Daddy and Stevie J.

Carey had visualized the title track "Butterfly" as a house record; the legacy of which is in the David Morales produced "Fly Away (Butterfly Reprise)" (based on the Elton John song "Skyline Pigeon"). However, the song evolved instead into a ballad, which she co-wrote with Walter Afanasieff. She has said the album's closing track, "Outside", is "about being multi-racial and feeling like I was from another planet".

In a 2006 interview with MTV Overdrive, Carey referred to the album as "ahead of it's time" and said she considers "Babydoll", "Breakdown" and "The Roof (Back in Time)" as "still some of my favourites". [2]


Rolling Stone described Butterfly as "a transitional album" for Carey, who placed herself firmly in the "milieu of hip-hop inflected R&B" and give it three stars, while the All Music Guide gave it four.[1] Billboard magazine called it "a milestone record for one of the most successful and visible artist of the nineties". The 2005 book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die referred to Butterfly as "astonishing", "stunning", and "an album on which bitterness becomes beauty and glumness becomes gold".

Butterfly debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart with 236,000 copies sold in its first week; it remained there for one week, in the top twenty for twenty-one weeks and on the chart for fifty-five weeks (making one re-entry). The album sold more in both its fourteenth week and fifteenth week of release than in its opening week, peaking at 283,000 copies in its fifteenth (where it was at number eight). It has been certified five times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America(RIAA) and produced two number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100: "Honey" and "My All". "Honey" became the sixth single (and the third by Carey) to debut at number one on the Hot 100. The album also yielded the radio airplay hit "Butterfly", though "Breakdown", "The Roof (Back in Time)" and "Whenever You Call" were far less successful.

"Honey" was nominated for the 1998 Grammy Awards for Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song, while "Butterfly" was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. The album won International Pop Album of the Year at the Gold Disc Awards in Japan, and also won at the IFPI Platinum Europe Awards.

For Butterfly, Carey won the "Favorite Female Artist, Soul/R&B" award at the American Music Awards of 1998. The album also helped Carey win the BMI Pop Awards for "Songwriter of the Year" and the "Songwriter" awards for "Honey", "Butterfly" and "My All". Additionally, Carey won the Top Female Artist Blockbuster Entertainment Award.

Track listing[]

  1. "Honey" — 4:59
  2. "Butterfly" — 4:34
  3. "My All" — 3:52
  4. "The Roof (Back in Time)" — 5:14
  5. "Fourth of July" — 4:22
  6. "Breakdown" — 4:44
  7. "Babydoll" — 5:07
  8. "Close My Eyes" — 4:21
  9. "Whenever You Call" — 4:21
  10. "Fly Away (Butterfly Reprise)" — 3:49
  11. "The Beautiful Ones" — 6:59
  12. "Outside" — 4:45



September 16, 1997 • 57:19 • Columbia
Released ButterflyBreakdownBabydollFly Away (Butterfly Reprise)My AllThe Roof (Back in Time)Fourth of JulyClose My EyesWhenever You CallFly Away (Butterfly Reprise)The Beautiful OnesOutside
HoneyButterflyThe RoofBreakdownMy All
Mariah Carey
Butterfly World Tour