On this day in Black History, R&B superstar R. Kelly won three Grammy Awards for his timeless single, “I Believe I Can Fly.”
Written in 1996, this song was an original composition specifically for the cult classic film Space Jam. The song was originally released on November 26, 1996 on the Space Jam soundtrack and again in 1998 on R. Kelly’s R. album.
In 1997, I Believe I Can Fly reached he #2 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and although it never hit #1 it is still R. Kelly’s most successful single. At the 1998 Grammy Award, the single was nominated for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, Best R&B Song and Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television, or Other Visual Media. That night, R. Kelly walked away with the Grammys for Best R&B Song, Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, and Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television, or Other Visual Media.
This track has also been #1 all over the world. It has topped the music charts in Austria, Switzerland, New Zealand, Ireland, Italy, Poland, and the UK. The song topped the Eurochart Hot 100 singles which is compiled by Billboard. The track has gone platinum in the United States and the United Kingdom and has gone gold in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, and Switzerland.
The song’s video was directed by famed director Hype Williams along with Kelly. The song has been used over the years in a few other films and on television and has become a part of international pop culture.