From The Vault: Whitney Houston & Mariah Carey Rock Oscars With ‘When You Believe’ Live

Published: Sunday 22nd Dec 2019 by Joe

From The Vault is back this week with a diva duo for the ages.

Today’s pick comes courtesy of the legendary Whitney Houston and the Queen of Christmas herself Mariah Carey: we give you their live rendition of ‘When You Believe’ at the 1999 Oscars.

After sending the world into a state of shock with the unexpected release of this ‘Prince Of Egypt’ duet, and steering it to #15 in the US and the Top 5 of several European countries, Nippy and Mimi had the honor of belting ‘Believe’ at the Academy Awards. The apex of the movie industry.

Dressed in white gowns and backed by a gospel choir, the divas gave a singing masterclass. Once again they proved that their otherworldly talent was not only confined to well-engineered recordings, but was elevated the more in the live environment. They blew the roof off the building with her melismatic showing.


If you are familiar with just how much the media pitted these two queens against each other, you’ll digest just how iconic and symbolic this collaboration remains ’til this day. It totally went against the pre-conceived idea that (with females in the music industry) there’s only room for one top talent. Because Mimi and Nippy reigned in union.

We sincerely hope 2020 brings with it some big collaborations akin to this one; and with female unity in music on an upswing (or so it would seem on Instagram), we may be in for a treat.

Which diva pairing would you most like to see happen?

[Interesting Fact: The film version of ‘Believe’ won the award that night, and although Babyface penned additional lyrics to the single version, his name was left off the nomination submission sheet, preventing him from taking home an Oscar. It went solely to songwriter Stephen Schwartz. Still, Carey and Houston performed Babyface’s version of the song, because they were more familiar with it than the one present in the film.]

Your thoughts?

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  1. Bardi #1 December 22, 2019

    Iconic. Not that it was ever a completion, but Whitney did have Mariah on this night. Fya.

    • The Truth December 22, 2019

      Can y’all just enjoy the dang performance and stop putting them against one another.

      The performance as a WHOLE was epic!

      THAT’S ALL that needs to be mentioned here!

      • Jamon_84 December 22, 2019

        That was a good performance and they both came together well and held their own.

      • I know December 22, 2019

        Sad that it is always black people pitting women against each other, and what’s worse is that it’s men doing it. This was not a competition. It was 2 legends together giving a great performance at the Oscars. Grow up clown!

    • Bluebird December 23, 2019

      They both Sounded Beautiful and Iconic.

  2. ? December 23, 2019

    Mariah did way better when they performed on Oprah .. I think Whitney got upset Mariah outshined her so she stole some of mariahs parts here at the Oscar performance , she was showing her insecurities

    Mariah > Whitney

    • Danny Bey December 23, 2019

      Whitney NEVER got upset about any woman shining. She was one of the most secure divas known to man. Kill that narrative already

  3. Rashad December 23, 2019

    The greatest singers (along with Auntie Aretha) of all time

  4. Truth Hurts December 25, 2019

    I remember when mariah had to keep re doing her parts in the studio because she couldn’t hang with whitney slaying hers in one take. Whitney outsang her on both live versions; Oscar’s and Oprah. Mariah was never a match for whitney on any stage

  5. Bluebird January 15, 2020

    You can NOT find a tone like mariah’s in ANY Gospel church. YOu can find a Whitney but NO Mariah. Mariah has a lovely voice

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