Have You Ever? is the third single from Brandy's sophomore album "Never Say Never."

The single was released on September 29, 1998. The song was written by Diane Warren & produced by David Foster.

Song BackgroundEdit

In a 2005 interview, Brandy said the recording of "Have You Ever?" marked the first time she "had been in the studio with a producer like David Foster. My voice wasn't as developed as it is now and the song required what producers call ‘money notes' - the kind that get you a No. 1 on the charts! I was really nervous but it all worked just fine."

On September 5, 2012, Diane revealed in an interview that she considers the track "a classic song. She [Brandy] sang it amazingly. I’m still waiting for the country version."

Music VideoEdit

The music video was filmed by David Bray in Los Angeles, California in the week of October 31, 1998.

The video depicts Brandy looking after her best friend (whom she is in love with secretly)'s empty house, waiting for him to return while watching videos of the two of them in the bedroom.

Commercial PerformanceEdit

"Have You Ever?" became Brandy's second song to reach the top position on the Billboard Hot 100 following the worldwide number-one success of "The Boy Is Mine."

It also reached number one in New Zealand, peaked within the top ten in Australia, and managed to reach the top twenty in Canada and the United Kingdom and the top thirty in Ireland.

Critical ReceptionEdit

The song received generally mixed to positive reviews from music critics upon its release.

In his single review for Billboard, journalist Chuck Taylor noted that it was hard "to imagine this single as anything but another jewel in the pop/R&B princess' crown."

He called that the melody "instantly gratifying, with a harmony-soaked hook that's dedicted to memory after just a couple listens" and concluded that "Have You Ever?" was "a prime example of how, in the course of just a few short years, Brandy has proved to be one of the most versatile and promising stars on the fast real track to superstar royalty."

Richard Harrington of The Spokesman-Review called the song a "'luxurious [...] inevitable Diane Warren-penned power ballad" which was "begging to be redone as a duet, perhaps with Usher?"

Generally critical with the "Never Say Never" album itself, Angela Lewis of "The Independent" found that Brandy's "voice is pure honey, but she lacks real command of tracks like "Have You Ever?" showing she's better at playing by the rules than anything else."

Daryl Easlea of BBC Music wrote, that "working with session players the calibre of bassist Nathan East and David Foster on keyboards, Never Say Never was aimed at the widest audience possible. This was most evident on "Have You Ever?" [...] Written by Dianne Warren, the ballad sounds a little too formulaic and off-the-peg, aimed for the summit of the hit parade."

Cover VersionsEdit

  • In 2003, American Idol finalist Trenyce Cobbins performed this song on the Final 6 Diane Warren show. She eventually placed fifth in the competition.
  • In 2006, female Dutch singer Esmée Denters covered the song on YouTube which led to her getting a record deal with Justin Timberlake's Tennman Records.
  • On "Australian Idol" season 4 in 2006, eventual runner-up Jessica Mauboy performed Have You Ever on the Final 7 performance show.
  • In 2007, Irish boy band Westlife remade a version of the song on their album "Back Home."
  • In 2008, Filipino pop singer Nina Girado released her rendition of the song for her album "Nina Sings The Hits of Diane Warren."
  • In 2009, Filipino pop singer Sarah Geronimo did a cover version of the song for latest album "Music and Me."
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