Have You Ever?
|"Have You Ever?"|
|Single by Brandy|
|from the album Never Say Never|
|Released||September 29, 1998 (U.S.)|
|Format||CD single, 12", cassette|
|Brandy singles chronology|
"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
"Have You Ever?" was written by Diane Warren and was produced by David Foster. 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." 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.
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." 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?"
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." 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.
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. 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.
|1.||"Have You Ever?" (Radio Edit)||4:10|
|3.||"Have You Ever?" (LP Version)||4:31|
|New Zealand (RMNZ)||Gold||15,000*|
*sales figures based on certification alone
- In 2003, American Idol finalist Trenyce Cobbins performed this song on the Final 6 Diane Warren show. She eventually placed fifth in the competition.
- In 2006, Dutch singer Esmée Denters covered the song on YouTube, which led to her getting a record deal with Justin Timberlake's Tennman Records
- On Australian Idol season 4 in 2006, eventual runner-up Jessica Mauboy performed Have You Ever on the Final 7 performance show.
- In 2007, Irish boy band Westlife remade a version of the song on their album Back Home
- In 2008, Filipino pop singer Nina Girado released her rendition of the song for her album Nina Sings The Hits of Diane Warren
- In 2009, another Filipino pop singer Sarah Geronimo did a cover version of the song for latest album Music and Me
- In 2014, The X Factor UK contestant Stephanie Nala covered the song in the bottom two sing off.
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- Adult Contemporary peak
- 100 Hit Tracks peak
- Top Singles peak
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