What better day than Easter Sunday to look back on the songs that resurrected the careers of some of our most beloved pop deities? All of these women are bigger and better than Jesus, and they don’t have those gross holes in their hands either. Today I celebrate THEM as is my religous freedom right. MAZEL TOV.
CHER – ‘BELIEVE’
Easily the greatest comeback on this list, Cher wasn’t doing too badly here in the UK but hadn’t had a US hit since the very beginning of the 90s. Then ‘Believe’ happened and it just dominated. It was #1 everywhere, sold over 10 million copies worldwide and stayed at the top of the UK charts for so long that Top Of The Pops pretty much stopped playing it at the end of the show. The success of ‘Believe’ paved the way for a complete Cher renaissance, which is incredible considering she was 52-years-old at the time.
MARIAH CAREY – ‘WE BELONG TOGETHER’
‘We Belong Together’ came after a dark period in Mariah’s personal and professional life. Her star feature movie Glitter had tanked at the box office and the accompanying soundtrack hadn’t fared too well either. Mariah herself, surrounded by bad people and working intensely inhuman hours, had been behaving incredibly erratically in the run up to release and subsequently hospitalized citing a physical and emotional breakdown. Her next studio album, Charmbracelet, was a hit by normal standards but a flop for Mariah and the critics were circling like vultures. Three years later, Mariah was in full comeback mode. ‘It’s Like That’, the first single from The Emancipation Of Mimi charted reasonably well, but when ‘We Belong Together’ followed a couple months later, everything blew up. It was #1 on Billboard for 14 weeks, completely smashed airplay records and won more awards than you can shake a stick at including 2 Grammys.
JENNIFER LOPEZ – ‘ON THE FLOOR’ feat. PITBULL
J.Lo’s star had been in decline for a few years – album Brave massively underperformed and she was unhappy with her record label. Her last hit had been in 2005, and her comeback had already had one false start after ‘Louboutins’ (unjustly) failed to ignite interest. ‘On The Floor’ followed the announcement of Jennifer as the new American Idol judge and became the most successful single of her 13 year music career thus far, allowing her to launch her first ever world tour. It was #1 almost everywhere except the US, where it peaked at #3, is certified triple platinum and has been listened to on YouTube over 820 million times.
MADONNA – ‘HUNG UP’
Despite there being only two years between American Life and Confessions On A Dancefloor, there’s no way to view ‘Hung Up’ as anything other than a comeback, due mostly to the viciousness of the press in the interim. Madonna had already had one revival – after a bit of a lull, Ray Of Light and Music were incredibly successful eras – but it seemed like the mis-steps of the American Life campaign had her on the ropes. On the heels of the lowest selling album of her career, and a weird English country wife and author of children’s books phase, ‘Hung Up’ was so mammoth it was almost ridiculous. It was #1 in 41 countries (a Guinness world record), selling 9 million copies, and helped her to secure the Best International Female BRIT award the following year.
KYLIE MINOGUE – ‘SPINNING AROUND’
I debated whether to include this over ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’, which could also make a strong case for major comeback single, but ‘Spinning Around’ came first and is also my favourite Kylie song, so here we are. ‘Spinning Around’ was Kylie’s first UK #1 for a decade, and her first single to place in the top 10 since 1994. Kylie’s career was completely relaunched with much more consistency than the other women on this list – she had 6 top 5 albums and 17 top 10 singles following ‘Spinning Around’, though none of the others global success.