Have You Ever?

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"Have You Ever?"
Brandy-have you ever.jpg
Single by Brandy
from the album Never Say Never
Released September 29, 1998 (U.S.)
Format CD single, 12", cassette
Recorded 1997[1]
Length 4:26
Label Atlantic
Songwriter(s) Diane Warren
Producer(s) David Foster
Brandy singles chronology
"Top of the World"
"Have You Ever?"
"Angel in Disguise"
"Top of the World"
"Have You Ever?"
"Angel in Disguise"

"Have You Ever?" is a song by American recording artist Brandy Norwood. The ballad was written by Diane Warren, with production handled by David Foster, and was recorded by Norwood for her second studio album, Never Say Never (1998). It was released as the album's third single during the fall of 1998 and became Norwood's second song to reach the top position on the Billboard Hot 100 following the worldwide number-one success of "The Boy Is Mine". The song also reached number one in New Zealand, peaked within the top ten in Australia, and managed to reach the top 20 in Canada and the United Kingdom, and top 30 in Ireland.

The song's music video, directed by Kevin Bray, depicts Norwood looking after the empty house of her best friend, whom she is secretly in love with, waiting for his return while watching videos of the two of them. At the 1999 ceremony, the video was nominated an MTV Video Music Award for Best R&B Video but eventually lost to Lauryn Hill's "Doo Wop (That Thing)".

Development and recording[edit]

"Have You Ever?" was written by Diane Warren and was produced by David Foster.[2] While Norwood had worked with a wide range of different producers on previous tracks for her debut album Brandy (1994) and several soundtrack contributions, the recording of the song marked the first time she "had been in the studio with a producer like David Foster", Norwood stated in a 2005 interview. "My voice wasn't as developed as it is now and the song required what producers call ‘money notes' - the kind that get you a No. 1 on the charts! I was really nervous but it all worked just fine."[3] On September 5, 2012, Warren revealed in an interview that she considers the track "a classic song. She sang it amazingly. I’m still waiting for the country version.[4]

Critical reception[edit]

The song received generally mixed to positive reviews from music critics upon its release. In his single review for Billboard, journalist Chuck Taylor noted that it was hard "to imagine this single as anything but another jewel in the pop/R&B princess' crown." He called that the melody "instantly gratifying, with a harmony-soaked hook that's dedicted to memory after just a couple listens," and concluded that "Have You Ever?" was "a prime example of how, in the course of just a few short years, Brandy has proved to be one of the most versatile and promising stars on the fast real track to superstar royalty."[5] Richard Harrington of The Spokesman-Review called the song a "luxurious [...] inevitable Diane Warren-penned power ballad", which was "begging to be redone as a duet, perhaps with Usher?"[6]

Generally critical with the Never Say Never album itself, Angela Lewis of The Independent found that Norwood's "voice is pure honey, but she lacks real command of tracks like "Have You Ever?", showing she's better at playing by the rules than anything else."[7] Daryl Easlea of BBC Music wrote, that "working with session players the calibre of bassist Nathan East and David Foster on keyboards, Never Say Never was aimed at the widest audience possible. This was most evident on "Have You Ever?" [...] Written by Diane Warren, the ballad sounds a little too formulaic and off-the-peg, aimed for the summit of the hit parade.[8]

Music video[edit]

The accompanying music video for "Have You Ever?" was filmed by director Kevin Bray in Los Angeles, California in the week of October 31, 1998.[9] In the clip, Norwood looks after her best friend's empty house, waiting for his return while watching videos of the two of them in the bedroom.

Formats and track listings[edit]

These are the formats and track listings of major single-releases of "Have You Ever?."

CD maxi single
  1. "Have You Ever" (radio version) – 3:32
  2. "Happy" (album version) – 4:06
  3. "Have You Ever" (album version) – 4:26


Cover versions[edit]


  1. ^ "The arms of the one who loves you ; The day I stop loving you ; Feels like home ... [et al.] part 4 - song, music - Copyright Info". Faqs.org. Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  2. ^ Never Say Never (Media notes). Brandy. Atlantic Records. 1998. 
  3. ^ Nathan, David; Rizik, Chris. "The Best of Brandy". Soultracks.com. Retrieved 2007-07-10. 
  4. ^ "Interview: Diane Warren". YouKnowIGotSoul.com. 2012-09-05. Retrieved 2012-09-29. 
  5. ^ Taylor, Chuck (1998-10-10). "Single Reviews". Billboard. Google Books. Retrieved 2012-09-29. 
  6. ^ Harrington, Richard (1998-06-21). "Brandy's Talent Showcased On New Never Say Never". The Spokesman-Review. Google Books. Retrieved 2010-07-18. [dead link]
  7. ^ Lewis, Angela (1998-06-13). "Music: Album Reviews". The Independent. London. Retrieved 2010-08-18. 
  8. ^ Easlea, Daryl (2009-11-10). "The Epitome Of A Mixed Bag". BBC Music. BBC.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-07-16. 
  9. ^ "Production Notes". Billboard. Google Books. 1998-10-31. Retrieved 2012-09-29. 
  10. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Brandy – Have You Ever?". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 2011-05-23.
  11. ^ "Ultratop.be – Brandy – Have You Ever?" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved 2011-05-23.
  12. ^ "Brandy – Chart history" Canadian Hot 100 for Brandy. Retrieved 2011-05-23.
  13. ^ "Lescharts.com – Brandy – Have You Ever?" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 2011-05-23.
  14. ^ "Musicline.de – Brandy Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved 2011-05-23.
  15. ^ "Chart Track: Week 26, 1999". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 2011-05-23.
  16. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Brandy – Have You Ever?" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 2011-05-23.
  17. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Brandy – Have You Ever?". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 2011-05-23.
  18. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Brandy – Have You Ever?". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 2011-05-23.
  19. ^ "Brandy: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2011-05-23.
  20. ^ "Brandy – Chart history" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Brandy. Retrieved 2011-05-23.
  21. ^ "Brandy – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Brandy. Retrieved 2011-05-23.
  22. ^ "Brandy – Chart history" Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for Brandy. Retrieved 2011-05-23.
  23. ^ "Brandy – Chart history" Billboard Pop Songs for Brandy. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  24. ^ "Billboard Top 100–1999". Archived from the original on 2009-07-09. Retrieved 2010-08-28. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"I'm Your Angel" by R. Kelly and Celine Dion
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
January 16, 1999–January 23, 1999
Succeeded by
"...Baby One More Time" by Britney Spears
Preceded by
"Take Me There" by Blackstreet
RIANZ (New Zealand) number-one single
7 February 1999
Succeeded by
"Silly Love Songs" by Ardijah