Karen Clark Sheard - Anytime You Need a Friend - Mariah Carey Tribute BMI Trailblazers

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"Anytime You Need a Friend" is a song by American singer and songwriter Mariah Carey. The song was written and produced by Carey and Walter Afanasieff, for her third studio album, Music Box (1993). It was released on May 24, 1994, through Columbia Records, as the fifth and final single from the album. The song is influenced by pop, R&B and gospel genres. While the album focused heavily on pop oriented and radio friendly material, "Anytime You Need a Friend" deviated from the formula, finishing as the only gospel-infused song on Music Box. Lyrically, the song's protagonist tells her love interest that anytime he may need a friend, she will be there unconditionally for him. Throughout the song's bridge and climax, critics noted the lyrics altering from those of a friend, to those of a lover.

The song was well received by contemporary music critics, many of whom praised Carey's large spanning vocal range, as well as its gospel influence that they felt was missing on most of Music Box. Aside from its critical acceptance, the song achieved strong worldwide chart positions and peaked at number twelve on the US Billboard Hot 100, but became her first charting single to miss out the top-ten. Additionally, it peaked at number five in Canada and topped the singles charts in Finland. The song attained a top-twenty peak position in Australia, France, Ireland, New Zealand, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
In a review done by Digital Spy for Leona Lewis' debut album, Spirit, Nick Levine felt the song "Footprints in the Sand" borrowed heavily from Carey's track, writing "'Footprints In The Sand' seems hellbent on revisiting Mariah Carey's schlock-pop masterwork 'Anytime You Need A Friend.'"[42] "Anytime You Need a Friend" was covered on several occasions on a variety of reality and talent competitions. Some became heavily popularized by the media due to the nature of the performance or performer. On the fifth season of the British talent program The X Factor, contestant Eoghan Quigg performed a live cover of the song during a "Mariah Carey" themed week.[43] The song was chosen by Simon Cowell, who felt it would fit his younger vocals. Following the performance, he received acclaim from all three judges.[44] Following the show's end, Quigg embarked on a live tour throughout 2009 alongside the other finalists, performing the song at each show alongside fellow contestant, Diana Vickers.[citation needed] Similarly, on the fourth season of the reality talent show America's Got Talent, a trio of children named Michael, Avery and Nadia, together forming "The Voices of Glory," performed a live rendition of the song.[45] Their performance was well received by the judges, with David Hasselhoff exclaiming "Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful job.