"Believe" is a song recorded by American singer and actress Cher for her twenty-second album of the same name (1998), and was released as the lead single from the album on October 19, 1998 by Warner Bros. Records. It was written by Brian Higgins, Stuart McLennen, Paul Barry, Steven Torch, Matthew Gray and Timothy Powell, although Cher claimed later that she also wrote part, and was produced by Mark Taylor and Brian Rawling. A considerable departure from Cher's work at the time, "Believe" abandoned the singer's then pop rock-based repertoire in favor of being more club-friendly, in order to engage a younger audience.
"Believe" is an upbeat dance-pop song. The song is one of the first commercial recordings to feature the audio processor software Auto-Tune as a vocal effect, used to produce the prominent altered effect on Cher's vocals. This technique would eventually become known as the "Cher effect". Lyrically, the song is about the personal empowerment and self-sufficiency after a painful break-up. Critically, "Believe" has been met with appreciation ever since its release; reviewers have praised its production, catchiness and club-friendly nature, and listed it as one of the singer's career highlights. The song was also nominated for two Grammy Awards; for Record of the Year and Best Dance Recording, winning the latter.
Commercially, the song attained immense global success, reaching number one in almost every country it charted, including Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Germany, Italy and the United States. It earned Cher a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest female solo artist to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It also became the highest-selling single by a solo female artist in the United Kingdom. "Believe" remains one of the best-selling singles of all time with sales of over 11 million copies worldwide.
The music video for "Believe", directed by Nigel Dick, showed Cher in a nightclub performing the song in two different sequences: one in which she is seen performing the song on stage and the other as a supernatural being locked in a cage. Cher has performed the song in a number of live appearances, including in three of her concert tours, most recently the Dressed to Kill Tour in 2014. It has been covered by a number of artists, and has been featured in several elements of popular culture. Scholars and academics noted the way in which Cher was able to re-invent herself and remain fresh and contemporary amidst the more teen pop-based music of the period. They also credited "Believe" as the song which restored the singer's popularity and cemented her position as a pop culture icon.
Last Updated: May 29, 2018