THIS DAY IN MUSIC………………………………on March 13th of 1999 it had been nearly fifteen years since Cher led the US hit parade with “Dark Lady”, but she was back on top with her fourth solo number one, “Believe”. It was also #1 in the UK. Many great songs were written and recorded very quickly in short bursts of inspiration. This wasn’t one of them. About six years in the making, this song was the result of the painstaking efforts of six songwriters and at least three producers attempting to create a massive hit for Cher. The song began life as a demo created by four songwriters at Cher’s record label, Warner Brothers. From there, it went to some top producers, including Nick Van Eede of Cutting Crew, who said in his Songfacts interview: “Kevin MacMichael and I produced the original demo with Mark Scott and Brian Higgins in 1992 I think. That shows how long the song sat around. We tweaked the melody and chords in the famous chorus… listen to the first two chords to “I’ve Been in Love Before” and the first two chords to ‘Believe’ and you’ll hear the similarity. We got paid a bottle of whisky between us for the session!”All of the songwriters and producers involved with this track were men, but they crafted the song so it would appeal to a female audience. The lyrics are about moving on with confidence after a failed relationship. When this hit #1 in the US, it marked the longest period between Hot 100 chart-toppers for any act. Cher’s last #1 on the chart was “Dark Lady” in 1974. At 25 years, this broke the record previously held by The Beach Boys, who went 22 years between “Good Vibrations” and “Kokomo.” Cher was 52 when she topped the UK charts, making her the oldest female artist to have a #1 hit in the UK. This was the biggest-selling single in US in 1999 and in UK in 1998. It was also the biggest UK hit by a solo female artist, selling 1,672,108 copies.