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I Stay in Love

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"I Stay in Love"
I Stay in Love Mariah Carey.png
Single by Mariah Carey
from the album E=MC²
ReleasedOctober 28, 2008 (2008-10-28)
Recorded2007; Stone Groove Studios (Lake County, Illinois)
LabelIsland Def Jam
  • Carey
  • Cox
Mariah Carey singles chronology
"I'll Be Lovin' U Long Time"
"I Stay in Love"
"My Love"

"I Stay in Love" is a song by American singer-songwriter Mariah Carey, taken from her eleventh studio album, E=MC² (2008). It was written by Carey, Bryan-Michael Cox, Adonis Shropshire and Kendrick Dean, and produced by the former two. "I Stay in Love" was released through Island Records on October 28, 2008, as the fourth and final single from the album. Drawing influence from the R&B music genre, the song features a piano and keyboard-driven melody, and a strong accompanying drum-beat. Lyrically, the song finds Carey getting "her cry on with the connect-the-dots break-up track." She describes the old time she shared with her love interest. She narrates that even though they said let go, and that she is aware that there is nothing left in their relationship, she still "stays in love with him".

"I Stay in Love" received generally positive reviews from music critics, with many considering the song a strong ballad and a highlight from the album, while complimenting its production and piano-driven melody, despite criticizing the similarities to Carey's previous single, "We Belong Together" (2005). The song performed weak commercially, becoming Carey's first single from the album to not chart on the US Billboard Hot 100, although peaking at number eighty-one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and becoming Carey's fourteenth number one on the Hot Dance Club Play chart. In the United Kingdom, the song debuted and peaked at number ninety-five, and spent only one week on the UK Singles Chart.

Carey performed "I Stay in Love" live on two high-profile televised events. First, on November 8, 2008, she was featured as a guest judge and musical performer of the fifth season of the popular British talent competition, The X Factor. Additionally, Carey performed it live at the American Music Awards, held on November 23, 2008. The song's accompanying music video was filmed by Carey's husband, Nick Cannon, and features Carey as a dancer in a Las Vegas show at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino Resort. Additionally, during the show and its preparations, Carey realizes that her ex-lover has found love with one of her fellow dancers, leading her to blow up the car he gave her, as well as its accompaniments in the Mojave Desert.

Background and composition[edit]

"I Stay in Love" was written and produced by Mariah Carey and Bryan-Michael Cox, with additional songwriting from Adonis Shropshire and Kendrick Dean, for Carey's eleventh studio album, E=MC² (2008). Carey produced the track for Maroon Entertainment and by Cox for Blabby Inc. Copyright is held by Rye Songs which is administered by Songs of Universal (BMI)/W.B.M. Music Corp. O/D/O itself and Songs in the key of B Flat/Noontime South/EMI Foray Music O/B/O itself and Phoenix Ave. Publishing/Christian Combs Publishing (SESAC). The song was recorded by Brian Garten at Stone Groove Studios in New York, and mixed by Phil Tan for Riotproof Productions, Inc. All instrumentation was performed by Cox, while Carey sung all the lead and background vocals.[1] In an interview with Ed Lover for the radio station Power 105 in New York City, Carey revealed that the song was one of her favorites from the album and that she recorded her vocals within a day.[2] Following the commercial underperformance of the album's third single, "I'll Be Lovin' U Long Time", "I Stay in Love" was released as the fourth single from E=MC².[3] In the United States, it was serviced to mainstream, rhythmic and urban radio stations on October 28, 2008.[4][5][6] A four-track EP consisting of remixes by Jody den Broeder and Ralphi Rosario was released in the United States on December 16, 2008.[7]

"I Stay in Love" is a "beat-driven" and "piano-laced" ballad, that is influenced by pop and R&B music genres.[8] The song's instrumentation is derived from a piano melody, and is backed by a strong computerized drum-beat.[9] It is composed in the key of D major, with Carey's vocals spanning from the low note of D3 to the high note of G5.[10] The song moves at a slow tempo of 65 beats per minute in cut time, and it follows a chord progression of D–Bm7–G–A. The song features a "double voice" effect during its final chorus, where Carey's normal singing tone throughout the rest of the song is combined with her raised pitch.[11] She raises the pitch one octave, and layers it over her normal tone.[11] Lyrically, the song finds Carey getting "her cry on with the connect-the-dots break-up track."[12] She describes the old time she shared with her lover. She also admits that even though they did attempt to save their relationship, and that she knows that it is definitely over, she still "stays in love with him".[12]

On the United States' Billboard Dance Club Songs chart, "I Stay in Love" became Carey's fourteenth number-one song on February 14, 2009.[13] The track peaked at thirty-seven on the Rhythmic chart,[14] number eighty-one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart,[15] and number ninety-five on the Pop 100 chart.[15] The track reached number ninety-five on the UK Singles Chart.[16]


Critical reception[edit]

"I Stay in Love" garnered generally positive reviews from music critics. Many complimented the song's piano-driven melody, as well as Carey's vocals, while some felt it was too similar to her previous single, "We Belong Together" (2005). In his review of E=MC², Kevin O'Hare of The Republican wrote that Carey "shines" on the song,[17] while Fox News' Roger Friedman described it as "a killer ballad."[18] People's Chuck Arnold named it the best ballad on the album, calling it "pretty".[8] The Houston Chronicle's writer Joey Guerra described the single as a "gently grooving ballad that Janet Jackson should be recording instead of wasting her time on tired sex clichés", while commenting, "It's doubtful, however, that Jackson could reach the notes Carey effortlessly hits at the end of the song".[19] Richard Cromelin from the Los Angeles Times highlighted Carey's raw form of singing on the track, writing, "its unadorned, and her voice is almost leathery in the lower notes. It's not flattering, but it rings true emotionally."[20] Nick Levine of Digital Spy called "I Stay in Love" a "fairly modern Mariah track" and that although he believed it was a "retread" of one of Carey's previous singles "We Belong Together" (2005), it is not an "unpleasant retread".[3]

Michael Slezak from Entertainment Weekly wrote that the song is "a slower, less addictive variation" of "We Belong Together".[21] Newsday critic, Glenn Gamboa, also called it a "We Belong Together-sh ballad".[22] In separate reviews of the song, both David Balls and Nick Levine of Digital Spy also compared the song to Carey's "We Belong Together"; the former rated "I Stay in Love" three out of five stars, and wrote, "It may not be the most original of songs, but Carey's emotion-packed vocals make this a pleasant treat after some vacuous recent offerings."[23][24] Freedom De Luc from The Washington Post described the song as an "emotive ballad",[25] while Nekesa Mumbi Moody from Foster's Daily Democrat noted "it could have been recorded in her early '90s heyday — except it's not as saccharine as some of her early work".[26] However, Evan Sawdey of PopMatters described it as one of the album's "worst songs".[27]

Music video play[edit]


Directed by Carey's then-husband Nick Cannon, the music video for "I Stay in Love" was filmed in Las Vegas, Nevada, using a story line that Cannon and Carey co-wrote.[28] Carey filmed the video on October 5, at The Bank Nightclub of The Bellagio Hotel and Casino Resort, and in the Mojave Desert on October 6, 2008.[29] In an interview with Ryan Seacrest, Cannon spoke about the video and said that there is a scene where Carey is in bed with a man (played by Andrew Karelis), and that "Mariah plays the showgirl and there's a guy who cheated and there's flashbacks......".[30] The music video for "I Stay In Love" was featured on BET's Access Granted for a behind-the-scenes look and a world premiere on October 27, 2008.[31] The entire video was shown every hour on BET until October 28, 2008.[31] "I Stay in Love" music video peaked at #16 on Billboard's Hot Videoclip Tracks chart.[32]


In the image, Carey is seen dressed in white garments and large feathers. She is featured as a dancer in Las Vegas, and is where she discovers her ex-lover has moved on.

The video, black-and-white, begins with Carey parking her antique automobile in desert. She gets out, with customized black boots with an 'M' on them, and as, she walks towards the camera, the vehicle explodes. As the music begins and the scene shifts to another where Carey applying her eye make-up and earrings. As a form of product placement, her fragrance is shown on a dresser in her Boudoir. As Carey finishes getting ready, scenery of Las Vegas is shown, before shifting to Carey, now dressed as a Vegas performer. As she walks down a runway dressed in white garments ad feathers, she catches the attention of a man. He turns out to be Carey's ex-lover, who in turn came to the show to meet with one of Carey's fellow dancers. As he caresses the female in the dressing room, Carey sees them, and walks by them, bumping into him purposely. Additional scenes are shown of Carey laying alone on the dark runway, apparently after the show has finished, as well as preparing herself for the show. During the second verse, the video then shows Carey driving down a highway in the desert, and as she drives, past memories of the pair are shown, holding each other intimately in a bed. She then pushes old gifts he had given her into the passengers seat, and pulls over the car, continuing the scene from the beginning of the video. After the car explodes, Carey tears off her necklace in despair, and begins to flail her arms in desperation. The video ends with Carey back at the show in Vegas during the finale, as glitter drops from the top of the stage. Carey, now back in the desert, looks for another ride, and gets into a black Cadillac Escalade driven by Nick Cannon.

Reception and Luscious Pink commercial[edit]

Nick Levine from Digital Spy complimented the video, commenting that it managed "to be both ridiculous and a little bit moving - quite an achievement."[23] Entertainment Weekly writer Michael Slezak described Carey's boots as "hot", and considered the cinematography of the music video "gorgeous". He also complimented several aspects of the video, saying, "Mariah’s bod looks totally smokin’, even if her entire wardrobe should be donated to a charity benefiting teenage strumpets and/or truck-stop hookers. Also: That Wentworth Miller 2.0 ain’t hard on the eyes, either (in reference to the man who played her love interest in "We Belong Together").[21]

The commercial for Carey's Luscious Pink fragrance uses part of the "I Stay in Love" music video, with a clip of the song used as audio.[33] The short clip shows Carey getting ready for the Vegas show, by applying her make-up and lipstick, and also applying the fragrance on her neck and cleavage.[33] The release published on Carey's official website described the concept of the commercial as "a combination of Mariah's two passions - music and fragrance."[33]

Live performances[edit]

Due to promotion for E=MC² and the single, Carey was featured as a guest judge and musical act on the fifth series of the popular British talent competition, The X Factor.[34] During that week, all the contestants would have to sing songs from Carey's catalog.[34] Prior to her arrival, one of the show's judges Dannii Minogue said "Could it get any more nerve-wracking for the contestants?", due to the general strenuous nature of Carey's songs.[34] Before any of the performances by the finalists, Carey performed "I Stay in Love", accompanied by three background vocalists. She received a standing ovation from the audience and judges, and continued backstage for a taped session with the contestants. At the end of the program, she performed her classic "Hero" (1993), and was eventually joined by the finalists for the finale of the song.[35] "Hero" was re-recorded by the 2008 UK X Factor finalists and released as a single, becoming the second best-selling single of 2008 in the United Kingdom.[36] According to reports, the episode gained a large increase in viewers due to Carey's presence, and was able to surpass its long-time rival program, Strictly Come Dancing, in the ratings.[37] Carey also made an appearance at the American Music Awards of 2008 on November 23, at the Nokia Theatre.[38] Wearing a long black gown, she performed the song after receiving an honorary award for her achievements in music.[38] Chris Harris from MTV News described it as a "riveting performance".[38]


Remix EP[7]

  1. "I Stay In Love" (Jody den Broeger Radio Edit) – 4:08
  2. "I Stay In Love" (Ralph Rosario Melodic Radio Edit) – 3:50
  3. "I Stay In Love" (Jody Den Broeder House Mix) – 8:29
  4. "I Stay In Love" (Ralph Rosario Big Vocal) – 8:12


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Carey, Mariah (2008). E=MC² (Liner Notes). Island Records (Compact Disc). Mariah Carey. New York City, New York.
  2. ^ Carey, Mariah (April 21, 2008). "Interview: Mariah Carey". The Ed Lover Show (Interview). Interviewed by Ed Lover. New York City. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  3. ^ a b Levine, Nick (November 9, 2008). "That New Mariah Carey Single". Digital Spy. Retrieved August 5, 2011.
  4. ^ "Going for Adds :: CHR/Top 40". Radio & Records. Retrieved September 23, 2015.
  5. ^ "Going for Adds :: Rhythmic". Radio & Records. Retrieved September 23, 2015.
  6. ^ "Going for Adds :: Urban". Radio & Records. Retrieved September 23, 2015.
  7. ^ a b "I Stay in Love - Remixes EP". iTunes Store. December 16, 2008. Retrieved September 23, 2015.
  8. ^ a b Arnold, Chuck (June 10, 2008). "Picks And Pans: Music". People. Time Warner. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
  9. ^ Ruggieri, Melissa (April 21, 2008). "Mariah Carey Rides a Wave". The News & Advance. Media General. Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
  10. ^ Mariah Carey (Composers and Lyricists) (2008). "I Stay in Love: Mariah Carey Digital Sheet Music" (Musicnotes). Alfred Music Publishing. MN0068511 (Product Number). Retrieved April 9, 2011.
  11. ^ a b Demone, Larry (March 4, 2008). "Discs". The Buffalo News. Berkshire Hathaway. Retrieved August 5, 2011.
  12. ^ a b Rodman, Sarah (April 12, 2008). "An Early Listen to Possible Hits". The Boston Globe. The New York Times Company. Retrieved August 4, 2011.
  13. ^ Trust, Gary (October 12, 2012). "Mariah Carey Scores Sweet 16th No. 1 On Dance/Club Play Songs". Billboard. Retrieved September 23, 2015.
  14. ^ "Mariah Carey Rhythmic Chart History". Billboard. December 27, 2008. Retrieved September 23, 2015.
  15. ^ a b c "Mariah Carey Awards". AllMusic. 2008. Retrieved September 23, 2015.
  16. ^ a b "Mariah Carey full official chart history". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 23, 2015.
  17. ^ O'Hare, Kevin (May 12, 2008). "Carey Gets Formula Right With 'E=MC2'". The Republican. Advance Publications. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
  18. ^ Friedman, Roger (April 3, 2008). "Mariah Carey's New Album: First Review". Fox News. News Corporation. Retrieved August 6, 2011.
  19. ^ Guerra, Joey (April 15, 2008). "Mariah Gets Equation Right With 'E=MC²'". Houston Chronicle. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
  20. ^ Richard, David (April 8, 2008). "CD: Mariah Carey's 'E=MC2'". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
  21. ^ a b Slezak, Michael (April 18, 2008). "Who Has the New Best Video: Mariah, Xtina or Hilary?". Entertainment Weekly. Time Warner. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
  22. ^ Gamboa, Glenn (March 1, 2008). "Mariah's New Album". Newsday. Cablevision. Retrieved August 6, 2011.
  23. ^ a b Levine, Nick (March 31, 2008). "That New Mariah Carey Single". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi Médias. Retrieved August 5, 2011.
  24. ^ Balls, David (March 31, 2008). "Mariah: 'I Stay in Love'". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi Médias. Retrieved August 5, 2011.
  25. ^ De Luc, Freedom (April 15, 2008). "Mariah Sticks to Known Equation". The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company. Retrieved August 5, 2011.
  26. ^ Moody, Nekesa Mumbi (April 9, 2008). "Music Review: Mariah Carey's 'E=MC2' Recaptures the Magic of Her Best-selling 'Emancipation'". Foster's Daily Democrat. Geo. J. Foster Company. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
  27. ^ Sawey, Evan (March 1, 2008). "Mariah Carey: E=MC² < Reviews". PopMatters. Retrieved August 6, 2011.
  28. ^ "Mariah Set to Shoot Video for New Single I Stay In Love". September 17, 2008. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
  29. ^ Clarke, Norm (October 6, 2008). "Bobbitt Trains for Boxing Bout in LV". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Stephens Media. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
  30. ^ Friedman, Roger (April 3, 2008). "Mariah Carey Spied Kissing New Man, And It's Not Her Husband". Fox News. News Corporation. Retrieved August 6, 2011.
  31. ^ a b "Mariah Shoots New Video in Las Vegas". September 17, 2008. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
  32. ^ "Hot Videoclip Tracks". Billboard. December 6, 2008. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  33. ^ a b c "Watch Mariah's New Luscious Pink Commercial". September 17, 2008. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
  34. ^ a b c Dingwall, John (November 7, 2008). "Mariah Carey Will Show The X Factor What a Diva is, Says Dannii Minogue". Daily Record. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
  35. ^ "Laura White is voted off X Factor". BBC News. BBC. November 8, 2008. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  36. ^ "Duffy and Burke top 2008 charts". BBC News. BBC. December 29, 2008. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  37. ^ "Mariah Appears on the X Factor". Daily News and Analysis. Diligent Media Corporation. November 8, 2008. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  38. ^ a b c Harris, Chris (April 9, 2008). "Kanye West Offers His Award To Lil Wayne, Chris Brown Named Artist Of The Year At American Music Awards". MTV News. Viacom. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
  39. ^ "Mariah Carey: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 5, 2017.
  40. ^ "Mariah Carey Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved June 5, 2017.
  41. ^ "Mariah Carey Chart History (Rhythmic)". Billboard. Retrieved June 5, 2017.
  42. ^ "Mariah Carey Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved June 5, 2017.
  43. ^ "Best of 2009 – Dance/Club Songs". Billboard. Retrieved September 22, 2016.

External links[edit]