"Never Too Far/Hero Medley" is a Medley recorded by American singer Mariah Carey and released as a charity single in 2001 (see 2001 in music). It combines the first verse of Carey's song "Never Too Far" (2001) — co-written and co-produced by Carey, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis — with a re-recorded version of the second verse and bridge of "Hero" (1993) — co-written and co-produced by Carey and Walter Afanasieff, who did not receive producing credit on the medley (Randy Jackson, however, did). The single was meant to express a message of unity and love in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
The medley was only given a commercial release in the United States. Though "Hero" (a single from Carey's album Music Box) had gone to number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, "Never Too Far" (a single from Glitter) had failed to chart. "Never Too Far/Hero Medley" performed marginally better, peaking at eighty-one and remaining on the chart for three weeks, but it was still a commercial failure. It was released to help victims of the September 11 2001 attacks, and all proceeds from the sales of the single went towards the Heroes Fund, a charity benefit for victims of the attacks and their families, police officers' families, and relief workers' families.
VH1 and MTV broadcast videos of live performances that Carey had done of the medley on various occasions, such as the United We Stand concert. Carey also performed it live with Irish boyband Westlife on Top of the Pops Awards 2001, who had worked with her on the single "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)" (2000). Al B. Rich and Mike Rizzo created club remixes of the medley. "Never Too Far/Hero Medley" was popular on the Japanese radio station J-Wave (reaching the top five of the Tokyo Hot 100) and it was consequently included as a bonus track on Japanese versions of Carey's compilation album Greatest Hits later that year.
The single's B-side, "There for Me", gained more radio airplay than the medley. "There for Me" was written and produced by Carey and co-written by Diane Warren and co-produced by David Foster. Originally written for the album Rainbow (1999), it was added to the "Never Too Far/Hero Medley" CD single as a "gift" to Carey's fans and to help boost sales of the single.
Virgin did not expect "There for Me" to overtake the medley in radio airplay, but it did manage to gain more audience impressions. Several of the biggest radio stations in the United States (B96, Z100, Power92) gave the song a considerable amount of airplay, and it peaked within the top thirty of each playlist. Because it was not given substantial promotion, smaller stations did not pick it up, and airplay at the larger stations lasted only for a few weeks. Virgin did release a few one-track promos to radio stations in the U.S., Sweden, and the UK in an attempt to increase airplay but did so with little success.
|Chart (2001)||Peak |
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||81|
|U.S. R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks||66|
|Tokyo Hot 100||5|