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Make It Happen is the third and final single from Mariah's sophomore album Emotions. The song was released on September 17, 1991 through Columbia Records and is written and produced by Mariah and Clivillés & Cole.

Background Edit

"Make it Happen" talks about the personal struggles that Mariah had to endure at a very young age prior to her success.[1] After graduating high school in 1987, Mariah moved to New York in hopes of pursuing a career in the music industry.[2] During this time Mariah would work various jobs as a waitress and hostess.[3] Additionally, she experienced poverty; often sharing a box of macaroni and cheese with her five roommates and sleeping on a mattress on the floor of her living room.[4] In the late 1980s, Puerto Rican singer Brenda K. Starr gave Mariah's demo tape to Tommy Mottola; then CEO of Columbia Records. She would sign a contract with his company and release her debut album in June of 1990.[5] She then decided to write a song that models her life before her success.

Composition Edit

Not more than three short years ago

I was abandoned and alone Without a penny to my name So very young and so afraid No proper shoes upon my feet Sometimes I couldn't even eat I often cried myself to sleep

In the song, Mariah made some allusions to her life prior to her debut. She talked about how she struggled to eat and her lack of money. She then states that she prayed and kept her faith and eventually success came. [6] Carey is encouraging individuals that are listening to the song that anything is possible to achieve long as you believe in yourself and trust and have faith in God.[6] Author Chris Nickson talked about "Make it Happen" in his unauthorized biography about Mariah:
For “Make It Happen,” Mariah wrote a set of very autobiographical lyrics, deal-

ing with the struggles she went through before being signed by Columbia (even down to the fact that she could only afford that single pair of holey sneakers!), and what kept her going through it all; her faith. That wasn’t just a faith in herself and her talent, but also the ability to let herself go, to pray to God, and to trust in what would happen. These were, by far, her most inspiring words to date, letting others know that whatever they were doing, no matter how difficult things were, with help they could win through.

– Chris Nickson in Mariah Carey Revisited: The Unauthorized Biography [7]

"Make it Happen" is mainly a up-tempo dance track with elements of gospel, R&B and pop.

Chart performance Edit

Make it Happen peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. The song also had success in other countries: In Canada the song peaked at #7 on the Canada top singles chart and #16 on Canada's Record chart.

Music video Edit

The “Make It Happen” video was directed by Marcus Nispel, who saw the gospel element of the song and used it as the focal point, having Mariah perform her song at a benefit to “Save Our Church.[8]  The audience, as they filed into a dusty, deserted building, was made up of the widest cross section possible: old and young (with a strong emphasis on children), abled and disabled, all races and colors. Although they were there for a good cause, everyone was out to have fun. From the first beat, dancers were moving. There was a deliberately amateurish, spontaneous quality about things, from the old-fashioned square microphone (Mariah's prop in the ads for her first album, as well in the Vision of love video), to the small drum kit and beat-up piano. Cuts to faces in the growing crowd showed people enjoying themselves, as well as a contented look on the face of the black minister, holding a little girl. The numbers onstage grew, too, as Mariah was joined by children playing chellos and a group of black women singing backup. At the end, when the song finished, there were real cheers, not on the record, but dubbed in to give more of a real, live experience to the video.[4][8]

Live Performances Edit

The first live performance of this song was an acoustic version done for Mariah's MTV Unplugged performance in March of 1992.[1] She would perform the song again in July of 1993 for her NBC special titled "Here is Mariah." Other notable live performances include of this song are:

  • VH1 Divas 1998[9]
  • Good Morning America 2005[10]
  • Today Show Mall of America 2002[11]
  • Today Show 2009[12]
  • Rise up New York 2020[13]

Make it Happen is routinely a part of Mariah's tour set-list. In 1993, the song was part of The Music Box Tour set list. In her Daydream Tour (1996) she performed the song with the Chapel of Hope Choir accompanying her. [14] In 1998, the song was part of the Rainbow Tour. Other tours in which this song was part of the set-list are:

  • Charmbracelet World Tour
  • Angels Advocate Tour
  • The Butterfly Returns

Lyrics Edit

[Verse 1]

Not more than three short years ago
I was abandoned and alone
Without a penny to my name
So very young and so afraid
No proper shoes upon my feet
Sometimes I couldn't even eat
I often cried myself to sleep
[Pre-Chorus]
But still I had to keep on going
Never knowing if I could take it
If I would make it through the night
I held on to my faith, I struggled and I prayed
And now I've found my way
[Chorus]
If you believe in yourself enough
And know what you want
You're gonna make it happen, make it happen
And if you get down on your knees at night
And pray to the Lord
He's gonna make it happen, make it happen
You're gonna make it happen, oh, yeah
[Verse 2]
I know life can be so tough
And you feel like giving up
But you must be strong, baby, just hold on
You'll never find the answers
If you throw your life away
I used to feel the way you do [Pre-Chorus]
Still I had to keep on going
Never knowing if I could take it
If I would make it through the night
I held on to my faith
I struggled and I prayed
And now I've finally found my way [Chorus]
If you believe in yourself enough
And know what you want
You're gonna make it happen, make it happen
You're gonna make it happen
And if you get down on your knees at night
And pray to the Lord
He's gonna make it happen, make it happen
If you believe in yourself enough (If you believe)
And know what you want
You're gonna make it happen
And if you get down on your knees at night
And pray to the Lord (You just gotta hold on)
He's gonna make it happen, make it happen [Interlude]
Make it happen, yeah, make it
You're gonna make it, make it, oh, baby
Make it through the night
I held on to my faith, I struggled and I prayed
And now I've found my way
[Chorus]
If you believe in yourself enough
And know what you want
You're gonna make it happen, make it happen
And if you get down on your knees at night
And pray to the Lord
He's gonna make it happen, make it happen (Yes, he is)
If you believe in yourself enough
And know what you want
You're gonna make it happen, make it happen
And if you get down on your knees at night
And pray to the Lord
He's gonna make it happen, make it happen
[Bridge]
I once was lost, but now I'm found
I got my feet on solid ground
Thank you, Lord
If you believe within your soul
Just hold on tight and don't let go
You can make it, make it happen, yeah
You can make it, make it happen
You're gonna make it, you're gonna make it
You're gonna make it, you're gonna make it
[Chorus]
If you believe in yourself enough (You're gonna make it)
And know what you want
You're gonna make it happen, make it happen
And if you get down on your knees at night
And pray to the Lord
He's gonna make it happen, make it happen
If you believe in yourself enough
And know what you want
You're gonna make it happen, make it happen
And if you get down on your knees at night
And pray to the Lord

He's gonna make it happen, make it happen

Trivia Edit

  • This song peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts
  • Mariah actively performs this song live
  • Mariah performed sang this song with the Chapel of Hope Choir during The Daydream World Tour in 1996

See also Edit

Emotions
Songs"Emotions" · "And You Don't Remember" · "Can't Let Go" · "Make It Happen" · "If It's Over" · "You're So Cold" · "So Blessed" · "To Be Around You" · "Till the End of Time" · "The Wind"
Featured artistsN/A
ToursN/A

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Make It Happen - Wikipedia
  2. Yearbook - classmates.com - Class of 1987 Harborfields High School
  3. Mariah Carey on Jay Leno - 1990 Interview
  4. 4.0 4.1 Mariah Carey Revisited: The Unauthorized Biography By Chris Nickson
  5. Mariah Carey - Debut Album
  6. 6.0 6.1 Make it Happen - Genius Lyrics
  7. [1]
  8. 8.0 8.1 Make it Happen - MCArchives
  9. VH1 Divas Live 1998
  10. GMA - Make it Happen LIVE
  11. Make it Happen - 2002 Live video
  12. Today Show 2009 Make it Happen Live
  13. Rise up New York Medley - Through the Rain and Make it Happen May 11, 2020 via Youtube
  14. Daydream World Tour - Wikipedia article
[[Category:Emotions song
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