"Hero" is a song by American singer-songwriter Mariah Carey. It was released on October 19, 1993 by Columbia Records as the second single from Carey's third studio album, Music Box (1993). Originally intended for Gloria Estefan, the song was written and produced by Carey and Walter Afanasieff. While writing the song, Carey did not connect to its style or sound, therefore forfeiting it over to the soundtrack of the film of the same name. However, after being convinced to keep it, she personalized it, giving it a more pop and R&B melody, as well as changing some of the lyrics to more precisely fit her personality. Lyrically, the song is regarded as one of Carey's most inspirational and personal ballads, with its protagonist declaring that even though we may feel discouraged or down at times, in reality we are "heroes" if we look inside ourselves and see our own inner strength; in time, it will help us "find the way".