Mariah Carey co-produced her cover of the song with Stevie J and Mike Mason for her eighth album, #1's, and it was released as the album's third single in 1998. She re-recorded the song as a tribute to Starr, as she had been Starr's backing singer in the late 1980s and Starr had helped jump-start Carey's career by handing a demo tape to Sony Music Entertainmentexecutive Tommy Mottola, who had then signed Carey to her first recording contract.
Unlike the preceding single from #1's, "When You Believe," "I Still Believe" enjoyed more success within the United States than elsewhere, peaking at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Though it was Carey's first single to chart on radio airplay points alone, its airplay was relatively low while sales were much stronger. It was certified platinum by the RIAA, and was ranked 36 on the Hot 100 year-end charts for 1999. Outside the U.S. it settled in the middle of the charts, such as the United Kingdom where it reached the top twenty. It entered the Canadian top ten, but did not reach the top forty in Australia or Germany. According to Billboard, this song is a tribute to the artist who gave Carey her first big break.