1991. Like the previous singles released from
Allmusic editor Ashely S. Battel highlighted this song on self-titled album. While comparing Carey's Emotions album to her debut album, Rob Tannenbaum of Rolling Stone wrote, "I Don't Wanna Cry" was the best track on Carey's debut because her downcast whispers animated the song's luxurious sorrow; at full speed her range is so superhuman that each excessive note erodes the believability of the lyric she is singing."
"I Don't Wanna Cry" became Carey's fourth number 1 hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, making her only the second act (and first female and first solo artist) after The Jackson 5 to have their first four singles reach number 1 on the Hot 100. It also made Mariah Carey a record-breaking album: every single released from it was a chart-topper in the U.S. "I Don't Wanna Cry" reached number 1 in its eighth week and spent two weeks at the top, from May 19 to June 1, 1991. It replaced "I Like the Way (The Kissing Game)" by Hi-Five, and was replaced by Extreme's "More Than Words." The single became Carey's third number 1 single on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart. It remained in the top 40 on the Hot 100 for 13 weeks and was one of four Carey singles on the chart's 1991 year-end chart, ranking 26. The song also hit number 7 in Canada and number 49 in Australia but failed to chart elsewhere.