Mariah RightToDream

Right to Dream is the first single extract from the soundtrack of Tennessee. The song was written by Mariah Carey and Willie Nelson.

Critical receptionEdit

LA Times names "Right to Dream" as a contender for " Best Song". According to its description "'Right to Dream' is restrained elegance, with some light, finger-picked guitar flourishes and a dash of late-night soul."[1] Forty-nine songs from eligible feature-length motion pictures are contending for nominations in the Original Song category for the 81st Academy Awards. "Right to Dream" is on the list.[2]


Deconstructing her songwriting process, Carey explains: "It was a different experience from an album project. I was very close to the story and in particular my character's struggle, so it made it easier for me as a writer. I just began channeling Krystal's pain and hope."

Between takes and guitar lessons on the set, Carey's humming and diary entries evolved into the Spanish-guitar-accented ballad that she sings during the film's competition scene. In the recorded version of the single, Carey leaned on Willie Nelson to play guitar.

"The song is basically a three-act play and chronicles the evolution of Krystal," says Carey.[3]

"I was humming different melodies while I was on the set and stuff," Carey says. "I was just thinking that Willie Nelson would be somebody fabulous to collaborate with. I reached out to him, and we met after one of his concerts."[4]

The song, says Carey, is from the perspective of her "Tennessee" character Krystal, an aspiring singer. "The song has its own arc," Carey said. "She begins by telling us where she started, like she lays in bed and wonders where she left herself. A lot of people go through that sort of thing. It's kind of about empowerment."[5]


The song went for adds at Adult Contemporary (AC) radio on Monday, October 20, 2008.[6] The song has already been released on the Canadian iTunes Store. It was digitally released in the U.S. on December 2, 2008.[7] A music video has been shot and released to promote the single and soundtrack itself.[8]

Music VideoEdit

The music video for "Right to Dream," the song Mariah co-wrote with Willie Nelson for her film, Tennessee premiered on December 8, 2008.[9]

The video features clips from the movie as well as shots of Mariah in the studio recording the song.

Chart performanceEdit

Chart (2008) Peak
Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks[10] 24

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