I Believe I Can Fly

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"I Believe I Can Fly"
Single by R. Kelly
from the album R. and
Space Jam: Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture
Released November 26, 1996 (1996-11-26)
Recorded August 1996
Length 5:22 (album version)
4:42 (radio edit)
Writer(s) R. Kelly
Producer(s) R. Kelly
R. Kelly singles chronology
"I Can't Sleep Baby (If I)"
"I Believe I Can Fly"
"Gotham City"
Space Jam track listing
"Space Jam"
"I Believe I Can Fly"
Hit 'Em High (The Monstars' Anthem)
R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly" from R.

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"I Believe I Can Fly" is a 1996 song written, produced and performed by R&B singer R. Kelly from the soundtrack to the 1996 film Space Jam. It was originally released on November 26, 1996, but later appeared in Kelly's 1998 album R..

In early 1997, "I Believe I Can Fly" reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100; it was kept from the No. 1 spot by Toni Braxton's "Un-Break My Heart". Despite the fact that two of R. Kelly's songs did reach number one, "I Believe I Can Fly" remains the biggest hit of R. Kelly's career. The single was number one on the R&B Singles chart (for six nonconsecutive weeks), and also topped the charts in the United Kingdom. It has won three Grammy Awards, and was ranked No. 406 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time in 2004. The music video was directed by Hype Williams and R. Kelly himself.[1]


Cover versions[edit]

In film and television[edit]

Other than appearing on the soundtrack for the film Space Jam, "I Believe I Can Fly" was performed by the school band in the movie Drumline during the high school graduation ceremony of Devon Miles (Nick Cannon).

Notable other performances[edit]

R. Kelly performed the song at the 40th Annual Grammy Awards.

STS-122 crew heard this song on flight day 10 as a wake up call.[5]

Since its release, it has become commonly associated with the NBA, most notably with Michael Jordan. The song also played at the conclusion of NBC's broadcast of the 1997 NBA Finals.[6]

On December 21, 2011, R. Kelly performed it on X-Factor as a duet with Melanie Amaro.

A version of the song, recorded by the Halifax community choir, was used as the backing track to a 2012 UK TV advertisement for the Halifax Bank.[7]

On October 13, 2012, when the Space Shuttle Endeavour was being transferred from Los Angeles International Airport to the California Science Center through the streets of Los Angeles, the recording was played as the shuttle left The Forum, and the song was performed live by James Ingram later that day at Debbie Allen's live show celebrating the Endeavour's arrival at the corner of Crenshaw Blvd and Martin Luther King Blvd. (The shuttle was delayed over five hours in arriving there; to keep the crowd entertained, the performance went on only slightly delayed.)


In the 1999 episode "The Best of Both Worlds" of the animated TV series KaBlam!, in the Life with Loopy segment, the song was spoofed as "I (Don't) Believe I Can Fly."



  1. ^ http://www.mvdbase.com/video.php?id=15312
  2. ^ "Dressed to Chill overview". Allmusic.com. 
  3. ^ "Dressed to Chill Marion Meadows". JazzTimes.com. 
  4. ^ GLEE: The New Directions Perform Fly/I Believe I Can Fly on Perez TV
  5. ^ NASA (2008). "STS-122 Wakeup Calls". NASA. Retrieved February 16, 2008. 
  6. ^ 1997 NBA Finals Tribute on YouTube
  7. ^ "Halifax unveil home insurance ad with Adam and Eve". The Drum. Retrieved 2012-11-08. 
  8. ^ "Australian-charts.com – R. Kelly – I Believe I Can Fly". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  9. ^ "Austriancharts.at – R. Kelly – I Believe I Can Fly" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  10. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – R. Kelly search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  11. ^ "Lescharts.com – R. Kelly – I Believe I Can Fly" (in French). Les classement single.
  12. ^ "Chartverfulgong > R. Kelly > I Believe I Can Fly – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  13. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – R. Kelly – I Believe I Can Fly". Singles Top 60.
  14. ^ http://www.billboard.com/artist/277270/r-kelly/chart?f=1249
  15. ^ http://www.billboard.com/artist/277270/r-kelly/chart?f=1096
  16. ^ http://www.bpi.co.uk/certifiedawards/search.aspx
  17. ^ http://www.ultratop.be/xls/Awards%201997.htm
  18. ^ http://www.sverigetopplistan.se/
  19. ^ http://www.sverigetopplistan.se/
  20. ^ http://www.ifpi.at/?section=goldplatin
  21. ^ http://www.disqueenfrance.com/fr/pag-259165-CERTIFICATIONS.html?year=1997&type=6
  22. ^ http://hitparade.ch/awards.asp?year=1997
  23. ^ http://www.riaa.com/goldandplatinumdata.php?table=SEARCH_RESULTS&artist=R%20Kelly&format=SINGLE&go=Search&perPage=50
  24. ^ "UK Top 100 - 1997". Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  25. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1997". Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  26. ^ http://www.soulsystem.it/yend.asp?date=31/12/1997
  27. ^ Geoff Mayfield (December 25, 1999). 1999 The Year in Music Totally '90s: Diary of a Decade - The listing of Top Pop Albums of the '90s & Hot 100 Singles of the '90s. Billboard. Retrieved October 15, 2010. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Nobody" by Keith Sweat
Billboard's Hot R&B Singles & Tracks number one single
December 21, 1996
Succeeded by
"Don't Let Go (Love)" by En Vogue
Preceded by
"Don't Let Go (Love)" by En Vogue
Billboard's Hot R&B Singles & Tracks number one single (second run)
February 1, 1997
Succeeded by
"On & On" by Erykah Badu
Preceded by
"Block Rockin' Beats" by The Chemical Brothers
UK Singles Chart number-one single
April 6, 1997 – April 26, 1997
Succeeded by
"Blood on the Dance Floor" by Michael Jackson