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Retrieved from Wikipedia:
I Believe I Can Fly on Wikipedia
"I Believe I Can Fly"
Single by R. Kelly
from the album R. and Space Jam
ReleasedNovember 26, 1996 (1996-11-26)
  • CD
  • cassette
RecordedAugust 1996
  • R&B
  • soul
  • gospel
  • Atlantic
  • Jive
Writer(s)Robert Kelly
Producer(s)R. Kelly
R. Kelly singles chronology

"I Believe I Can Fly" is a 1996 song written, produced and performed by American singer R. Kelly from the soundtrack to the 1996 film Space Jam. It was originally released on November 26, 1996, and was later included on Kelly's 1998 album R..

In early 1997, "I Believe I Can Fly" reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100; it was kept from the number one spot by Toni Braxton's "Un-Break My Heart". Although Kelly has had two number one songs, "I Believe I Can Fly" is his most successful single. It also topped the charts in eight countries (including the United Kingdom), has won three Grammy Awards, and was ranked number 406 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time in 2004. The music video was directed by Kelly with Hype Williams.[1]


  • 1 Personnel
  • 2 Cover versions
  • 3 In film and television
  • 4 Other performances
  • 5 Parodies
  • 6 Charts and certifications
    • 6.1 Weekly charts
    • 6.2 Year-end charts
    • 6.3 Decade-end charts
    • 6.4 Certifications
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links


  • Produced and arranged by R. Kelly
  • Recorded by Stephen George at Battery Studios, Chicago
  • Assistant recording engineers: Chris Brickley and Rick Behrens
  • String Orchestra recorded by Carl Robinson at United Sound Systems – Studio A, Detroit
  • Mixed by R. Kelly and Stephen George at Chicago Recording Co.
  • Assistant mix engineer: Ron Lowe
  • Programmed by R. Kelly and Stephen George
  • Lead vocals: R. Kelly
  • Background vocals: The Luv Club Choir, directed by Percy Bady
  • Keyboard: Percy Bady
  • Strings: Paul Riser and The Motown Romance Orchestra, led by Hart Hollman
  • Executive producer: Barry Hankerson

Cover versions

  • In 2003, punk rock band Me First and the Gimme Gimmes covered the song for their album Take a Break.
  • American singer William Hung recorded this song for his 2004 album Inspiration.
  • Saxophonist Marion Meadows also covered the song from the album Dressed to Chill.[2][3]
  • American singer and actress Patti Labelle sang the chorus of the song on her 1998 live album Live One Night Only as an addition to her signature tune "Over the Rainbow".
  • American singer and actress Jessica Simpson sang the song on her DreamChaser Tour in 2001.
  • The song has also been covered by Etta James, Yolanda Adams (in a duet with Gerald Levert), Ruth Brown, James Ingram, Ronan Keating, Bianca Ryan, and formerly of Woe, Is Me Tyler Carter.
  • American Idol candidates Katharine McPhee, Anwar Robinson, Aaron Kelly, Curtis Finch Jr., and Jacob Lusk all performed the song in different seasons of the TV show.
  • Singer Yolanda Adams performed the song at the Ronald McDonald Concert for World Children's Day in 2003.
  • The song was covered by Tim Olstad on season 3 of the The X Factor.
  • The song was covered by Delvin Choice on season 6 of The Voice.
  • The song has been covered live by Faith No More in numerous tours, usually to segue into other songs.
  • The song has been covered live by James Carter's Organ Trio on Out of Nowhere.

In film and television

Other than appearing on the soundtrack for the film Space Jam, "I Believe I Can Fly" was performed by the school band in the movie Drumline during the high school graduation ceremony of Devon Miles (Nick Cannon).

  • In Ice Age: The Meltdown, Crash the possum sings the song before he crashes into a tree.
  • In the film Good Boy!, Wilson briefly sings the song while diving into a pool.
  • In Season 1, Episode 5 of the TV Series Da Ali G Show, Ali G performs the song during the opening skit.
  • In Fun with Dick and Jane, Jim Carrey sings along with the song as it is played in an elevator.
  • This song also appeared on the first American season of The X Factor, where R. Kelly performed "I Believe I Can Fly" for the first time as a duet with the eventual winner of the show Melanie Amaro.
  • This song was also performed on The Voice as the last solo song for the second season's winner Jermaine Paul.
  • American musical TV series Glee, performed a version of the song in episode fourteen of season three, "On My Way" (aired on February 21, 2012). It is a mash-up track with the song "Fly" by Nicki Minaj featuring Rihanna.[4]
  • In The Hangover Part III, Leslie Chow sings a 12-second portion of the song, while parachuting through Las Vegas.

Other performances

R. Kelly performed his song at the 40th Annual Grammy Awards.

STS-122 crew heard this song on flight day 10 as a wake up call.[5]

Since its release, it has become commonly associated with the NBA, most notably with Michael Jordan. The song also played at the conclusion of NBC's broadcast of the 1997 NBA Finals.[6]

In addition to the NBA, the song also found use at other sporting events, most notably at Major League Baseball's New York Yankees home games during their four consecutive World Series runs from 1998 to 2001, the first three of which they won.

On December 21, 2011, R. Kelly performed it on X-Factor as a duet with Melanie Amaro.

A version of the song, recorded by the Halifax community choir, was used as the backing track to a 2012 UK TV advertisement for the Halifax Bank.[7]

On October 13, 2012, when the Space Shuttle Endeavour was being transferred from Los Angeles International Airport to the California Science Center through the streets of Los Angeles, the recording was played as the shuttle left The Forum, and the song was performed live by James Ingram later that day at Debbie Allen's live show celebrating the Endeavour's arrival at the corner of Crenshaw Blvd and Martin Luther King Blvd. (The shuttle was delayed over five hours in arriving there; to keep the crowd entertained, the performance went on only slightly delayed.)


  • In the 1999 episode "The Best of Both Worlds" of the animated TV series KaBlam!, in the Life with Loopy segment, the song was spoofed as "I (Don't) Believe I Can Fly."
  • In 2013, the song was parodied by sports radio show Tim & Sid, spoofing the song as "I Believe in Masai", in reference to Toronto Raptors General Manager Masai Ujiri.


  1. ^ " - R. Kelly - "I believe I can fly"". 
  2. ^ "Dressed to Chill overview". 
  3. ^ "Dressed to Chill Marion Meadows". 
  4. ^ "GLEE: The New Directions Perform Fly/I Believe I Can Fly on Perez TV". 
  5. ^ NASA (2008). "STS-122 Wakeup Calls". NASA. Retrieved February 16, 2008. 
  6. ^ 1997 NBA Finals Tribute on YouTube
  7. ^ "Halifax unveil home insurance ad with Adam and Eve". The Drum. Retrieved 2012-11-08. 
  8. ^ " – R. Kelly – I Believe I Can Fly". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  9. ^ " – R. Kelly – I Believe I Can Fly" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  10. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – R. Kelly search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  11. ^ " – R. Kelly – I Believe I Can Fly" (in French). Les classement single.
  12. ^ " – R. Kelly Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  13. ^ " – R. Kelly – I Believe I Can Fly". Singles Top 100.
  14. ^ "R Kelly: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company.
  15. ^ "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts". GfK Entertainment (in German). Retrieved July 15, 2015. 
  16. ^ "UK Top 100 - 1997". Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  17. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1997". Archived from the original on 2009-06-11. Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  18. ^ "R&B Rap Hip-Hop Year-End Charts - 1997 - Soul System". 
  19. ^ Geoff Mayfield (December 25, 1999). 1999 The Year in Music Totally '90s: Diary of a Decade - The listing of Top Pop Albums of the '90s & Hot 100 Singles of the '90s. Billboard. Retrieved October 15, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Austrian single certifications – Kelly R. – I Believe I Can Fly" (in German). IFPI Austria.  Enter Kelly R. in the field Interpret. Enter I Believe I Can Fly in the field Titel. Select single in the field Format. Click Suchen
  21. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – 1997". Ultratop & Hung Medien / 
  22. ^ "French single certifications – R. Kelly – I Believe I Can Fly" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. 
  23. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (R. Kelly; 'I Believe I Can Fly')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  24. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – R. Kelly – I Believe I Can Fly". Recorded Music NZ. 
  25. ^ "Norwegian single certifications – R. Kelly – I Believe I Can Fly" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway. 
  26. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (R. Kelly; 'I Believe I Can Fly')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. 
  27. ^ "British single certifications – R. Kelly – I Believe I Can Fly". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter I Believe I Can Fly in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  28. ^ "American single certifications – Kelly, R. – I Believe I Can Fly". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  29. ^ "Best-Selling Records of 1996". Billboard. BPI Communications Inc. 109 (3): 61. January 18, 1997. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 9, 2015. 
  30. ^ "Best-Selling Records of 1997". Billboard. BPI Communications Inc. 110 (5): 76. January 31, 1998. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 9, 2015. 

External links

  • Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics

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