“Honey” is a hit song by American singer Mariah Carey from her sixth studio album, Butterfly. It was released as the lead single from the album on August 26, 1997. The song was written and produced by Carey, Puff Daddy, Q-Tip and Stevie J. It samples “Hey DJ” by the World’s Famous Supreme Team, and “The Body Rock” by the Treacherous Three. “Honey” was a re-defining song in Carey’s career, pushing her further into the hip-hop music world.
The song was acclaimed by music critics, who called Carey’s musical transition “genuine.” “Honey” was successful in the United States, becoming Carey’s third single to debut atop the Billboard Hot 100, a feat that has yet to be duplicated. The song stayed at number one for three weeks. “Honey” also reached number one in Canada, and hit the top ten in Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. “Honey” was nominated in two categories at the 1998 Grammy Awards, for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song. Carey included the song in the set-list of various live shows and future tours, where she would sing both the original and remix versions.
“Honey” is well known for its accompanying music video, which presented a more sexual and less conservative image of Carey than had been previously seen. The video features Carey being held hostage in a mansion, which she escapes in a James Bond-themed plot. Subsequent scenes see Carey escaping her assailants on a watercraft, dancing aboard a ship with sailors, and frolicking on a beautiful island with her lover. The video garnered much coverage, as many comparisons were made between the video and the rumors of Carey’s failing marriage. While Carey denied the comparisons were anything more than coincidence, many close friends including Walter Afanasieff, Carey’s writing partner, felt they were more than obvious.