Rainbow is the seventh studio album by American R&B singer Mariah Carey, released in the United States on November 2, 1999 by Columbia Records. Rainbow has been certified 3x platinum by the RIAA. Rainbow was Carey's last album released by Sony/Columbia Records.
Rainbow is a collaboration-heavy album on which Carey worked with a wide range of producers and artists that dominated the music scene of the late 1990s; Rolling Stone called the album "a sterling chronicle of accessible hip-hop balladeering at the close of 1999." Carey herself said of the album "I made it in three months, like "Get me off this label!" I couldn't take it." Guest artists included rappers Jay-Z, Da Brat, Missy Elliott, Snoop Dogg, Mystikal and Master P, singers Usher and Joe, and boy band 98 Degrees. The album was the first since Carey's debut not to be co-produced heavily by Walter Afanasieff, her long-time collaborator who co-produced most of her signature ballads. In his place, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis were enlisted. The album was promoted with several short clips shown on MTV showcasing Carey's feuds with her alter-ego from the "Heartbreaker" video, Bianca, played by Carey. This was one of Carey's first public attempts at acting, and many agree the humor of these videos showcase Carey's playful side and her true acting ability. Carey stated in the MTV Special highlighting her Rainbow World Tour that because there were leftover videos, they were integrated into her show. The album was nominated in the category Pop Album of the Year at 2000 Japan Gold Disc Awards.
Rainbow debuted at number 2 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart with 323,000 copies sold, the highest first-week sales of Carey's career at that time. In its debut week it was kept off the top spot by Rage Against the Machine's Battle of Los Angeles. The second week Rainbow stayed at number 2 selling another 228,000 copies, this time blocked by Faith Hill's Breathe. The album stayed in the top twenty for ten weeks and on the chart for thirty-five, making one re-entry. The album's weekly sales peaked at 369,000 copies in its eighth week (when it was at number 9). In total the album has sold 2,946,000 copies in the US and was eventually it was certified 3x Platinum by the RIAA. Although a commercial success, it was Carey's first studio album since Emotions (1991) not to reach number 1 in the U.S.
Rainbow produced two number 1 hits on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100: "Heartbreaker" and "Thank God I Found You". A cover version of the Phil Collins song "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)" featuring the Irish boy band Westlife was released in the UK and became Carey's second number 1 single there, but the double A-side "Can't Take That Away (Mariah's Theme)"/"Crybaby" became her first single to miss the U.S. top twenty.
Rainbow was certified platinum in Europe by the IFPI for sales in excess of 2 million copies. Estimated sales in France stand at 675,300, and estimated sales in Canada stand at 300,000.
In 2008, "How Much" appeared in Carey's compilation The Ballads, even though this song was never released as a single.