Mariah Carey and Jay-Z's 'Heartbreaker' Is Still 1 of the Most Expensive Music Videos Ever Made
In today’s streaming-first climate, music videos don’t hold the weight they once did. At the turn-of-the-century, having a flashy music video introduce the world to a song mattered a lot. It helped boost Mariah Carey and Jay-Z’s hit “Heartbreaker” to the top of the charts. But how much did it cost?
Mariah Carey released ‘Heartbreaker’ in 1999
Carey rose to prominence throughout the ’90s with multiple No. 1 hits, from “All I Want For Christmas Is You” to “We Belong Together.” In 1999, she dropped the first single off her seventh studio album, Rainbow. Titled “Heartbreaker,” it featured Jay-Z, who co-wrote the track with Carey.
“Jay-Z is someone I admire as a writer and as an artist,” Carey said for the 2003 book The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits (via her website). “He can freestyle a rhyme that would be incredible just off the top of his head,” she continued. “I equate that to a singer who can pick up the mic and riff and ad-lib over a song and take you to a totally new place.”
How much did the ‘Heartbreaker’ music video cost?
Ahead of the single’s September 1999 release, Carey filmed a music video for the song. Helmed by X-Men director Brett Ratner, the video featured Carey in multiple roles. She plays both herself, a woman whose boyfriend is cheating on her, and the woman he’s cheating with, Bianca.
In the original version of the video, Jay-Z doesn’t appear due to other contractual obligations. Instead, a cartoon plays on the movie screen during his verse. In a re-cut version released a couple of weeks later (above), the rapper gets his own scene. The video cost around 2.5 million to make, according to MSN Music.
Carey and Jay-Z reportedly got into an ‘explosive’ fight
More than 20 years later, rumors about Carey and Jay-Z circulated. The U.K. tabloid The Sun reported that the singer left the producer’s Roc Nation management company after what was described as “a blazing row between the two music superstars.”
“Mariah and Jay had an explosive meeting which did not go well at all,” the publication wrote. “She has made it clear she wants nothing more to do with him and has called it quits with Roc Nation.” The source said Carey would “formally depart” within weeks, adding, “this meeting couldn’t have gone much worse.”
Carey responds to media ‘lies’ with the music video
According to Carey, however, there isn’t any truth to these rumors. When addressing the issue, she mentioned “Heartbreaker.” “The only ‘explosive’ situation I’d ever ‘get into’ with Hov [Jay-Z’s nickname] is a creative tangent, such as our #1 song ‘Heartbreaker,” Carey tweeted on June 7, 2021.
Carey included a clip from the re-cut music video, showcasing Jay-Z’s verse and his scenes in a jacuzzi as shown on the movie theater screen. She added, “To the people who make up these lies I say “Poof! —Vamoose, sonofa*****”!” seemingly putting the rumors of a feud to rest.
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