I Believe I Can Fly

November 26, 1996

I Believe I Can Fly is a pop ballad by singer -songwriter R. Kelly, who also wrote the play and produced. The song was the theme song of the 1996 film Space Jam and was released in 1998 on Kelly's album R.. The title reached in many countries, topping the charts and is one of the most successful songs of the 1990s.

Commercial success

I Believe I Can Fly is the most successful and best-known song by R. Kelly. In the Billboard Hot 100 charts in the title reached number 2; in the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, Netherlands and Switzerland, he reached the top of the charts. In various other countries, the song was a top ten hit. He is listed among the hundred most successful Billboard Hot 100 Songs of the 1990s. In addition, the song won in eight countries of silver, gold or platinum records. In total he has sold almost ten million copies worldwide.


The title is used in several feature films, television series and sports. So the song was not only the theme song of the movie Space Jam, but is also cited in several other films. In the comedy Drumline the song is recited during the high school graduation ceremony of the school band. In the animated film Ice Age 2: The Meltdown the possum Eddie sings the title before it hits a tree. In the children's movie Good Boy Wilson is right, speaking of Donald Faison, the title, while he jumps in the pool. Jim Carrey sings the song in the movie Dick and Jane, while he is in the elevator. In addition, the song is also in the film Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore and in series one and one makes four taken. Even with many basketball games of the song is heard.

Cover versions

Not only in many talent shows the title has often been pointed out, but also covered by various artists. Patti Labelle in 1998 published their version on the live album Live! One Night Only. 1999 James Ingram published a cover version of the songs on his compilation Forever More ( Love Songs, Hits & Duets ). Two years later two cover versions of gospel singer Yolanda Adams on their live CD The Experience. The Chinese-American singer William Hung, known from American Idol, released his interpretation of the song on his debut album Inspiration. Also on Bianca Ryan's debut album will showcase the 2006 song. On its last album of jazz legend Etta James, the singer also covert the ballad. In 2009 they had a cover version on the album Songs for My Mother the Irish singer Ronan Keating.


The song belongs according to the Rolling Stone magazine among the 500 best songs of all time and won three Grammy Awards in 1998 for Best Original Song, the best R & B Song and Best Male Vocal Performance in R & B. The song received positive reviews and was praised by most critics as a good ballad.

Mike Allen of Sputnikmusic.com described the title as follows:

"A massive hit (...) Despite its cholesterol -raising lyrics, " I Believe I Can Fly " is a wonderful pop song did Utilizes R. Kelly's soaring vocals and the music 's floating ambience (...)"

" A massive hit (...) Despite the exuberant text I Believe I Can Fly is a wonderful song that benefited vocal by R. Kelly's flights of fancy and the musical flow. "

David Browne of Entertainment Weekly said about the piece:

"Kelly Contributes I Believe I Can Fly, Whose go-for -it lyrics and florid orchestration SEEM to have been written with a future Disney musical in at least "

"Kelly controls I Believe I Can Fly in, let the direct text and the orchestration flourishing suspect you have thought in the composition at a future Disney Musical "