“Heartbreaker” is a song by American singer and songwriter Mariah Carey. It was released on September 21, 1999 by Columbia Records as the lead single from Carey’s seventh studio album, Rainbow (1999). The song was written by Carey and Jay-Z and produced by the former and DJ Clue. Additional writers are credited, since the song’s hook is built around a sample from “Attack of the Name Game” by Stacy Lattisaw. “Heartbreaker” pushed Carey even further into the R&B and hip-hop market, becoming her first commercial single to feature a hip-hop artist. Lyrically, the song talks about a relationship from the female perspective, and how the protagonist incessantly returns to her lover, even though he continuously cheats on her and breaks her heart.
The song received mixed reviews from music critics, many of which felt it was not original or innovative in terms of a creative step forward. Additionally, it was compared heavily to Carey’s previous song “Fantasy” (1995), which also built its hook from a sampled beat. “Heartbreaker” topped the charts in Canada and US Billboard Hot 100, becoming Carey’s 14th chart topper there. Across Europe and Australia, the song topped the charts in New Zealand, and was a top five single in France and the United Kingdom.
Carey performed “Heartbreaker” live on several television and award show appearances around the world, as well as on her concert tours. The song’s music video, directed by Brett Ratner, is one of the most expensive ever made, costing over $2.5 million. The video features Carey and her friends visiting a film theater and catching her boyfriend (played by Jerry O’Connell) on a date with another woman. Carey played herself and a brunette villainess named Bianca, during a physical altercation scene in between the two women. Due to contractual agreements at the time of its filming, Jay-Z was unable to make an appearance in the video, instead being portrayed as an animated cartoon. The video was inspired by several films including Grease and Enter the Dragon.