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Throwback Thursday: 'Believe' by Cher, the song that brought you Auto-Tune [LISTEN]

by Carolyn Menyes   Mar 13, 2014 20:47 PM EDT

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Rock and roll legend Fats Domino dies

Who: Cher
What: "Believe"
When: Released Oct. 19, 1998; Hit No. 1 March 13, 1999

Auto-Tune. Whether or not you love it or think it's nothing but a big ol' crutch for an otherwise untalented singer, music fans cannot deny that it's inevitable on today's pop charts. Jason Derulo, T-Pain, Future... none of these musicians would have any business in the music industry if it weren't for one single... Cher's "Believe."

Long a trade secret in the music industry, the popularity of taking Auto-Tune and turning it up to 11 is largely credited to "Believe," which became a massive Billboard hit in 1999 - hitting No. 1 on this day 15 years ago and remaining there for four weeks straight.

With an infectiously catchy beat and that robotic use of Auto-Tune, "Believe" caught on massively with consumers, becoming one of the 20 best-selling physical singles of all time (11 million copies).

Other than its massive chart success and eventual influence on the music industry, "Believe" did something else: the dance-pop track marked a massive return to the pop charts for Cher.

Before this song, her last top 10 single was nine years before, with "Just Like Jesse James" hitting No. 8 in 1990. Her last No. 1 single? "Dark Lady" in 1974.

She was long thought to be a has-been, best known for her work in the '70s and '80s before bursting out with "Believe," which allowed her to easily competing with more modern '90s female pop acts like Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez and Mariah Carey.

Since 1999, the influence of "Believe" still lives on - just look at Kesha and Ellie Goulding, both of whom have top 20 hits right now. Or, even better, go to a dance club and turn this song on: you'll have everyone believing in life after love.

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