Mariah Carey's record deal rebound includes personal label
Thursday 9 May 2002
Mariah Carey, who received a $28 million buyout after delivering one flop album for Virgin
Records, has signed a new deal with Island/Def Jam that includes her own label, it was announced
Wednesday. The multiplatinum star has been without a label since January, when EMI, Virgin's
parent company, dropped her contract after her only disc for the label, "Glitter", was a poor
Since the split, several companies were reportedly bidding to sign the Grammy-winning singer,
one of the most successful artists of all time, with hits such as "Vision of Love", "Hero",
"Fantasy" and "Emotions". "Despite offers from many of our competitors, we are delighted that
Mariah has chosen Island as the place to begin the next phase of her unprecedented career,"
said Lyor Cohen, president and CEO of Island/Def Jam.
The company is home to stars such as Jay-Z, Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams, Ja Rule and Ashanti. It
is part of Universal Music Group, which is owned by the conglomerate Vivendi Universal. Carey
has already begun recording her new disc, said Jerry Blair, a former executive at Columbia
Records who has worked with Carey since the inception of her career. "The record she's working
on is going to be a real wide-appeal record," Blair told The Associated Press. "There's no artist
who is as successful a global artist. There is no artist that has as wide range of commercial
Blair declined to put a financial figure on the new deal. Carey's spokeswoman said the singer
would not be available to comment. Carey, 32, was an immediate commercial success when she
made her self-titled debut for Columbia Records in 1990. The album went multiplatinum, as did
all her other albums on the label, a division of Sony. However, Carey became disenchanted with
Sony after her divorce from Sony Music President Tommy Mottola, who had guided her career
as president of Columbia.
She left Columbia last year and signed with Virgin in a much-hyped multialbum deal reported to
be worth as much as $100 million. Her first disc, "Glitter", was to be the soundtrack of her
film project of the same name, her first starring role. However, her career took a disastrous
turn: After displaying erratic behavior in public, Carey was hospitalized for an emotional
breakdown in August. She dropped out of the public eye, and both her disc and the movie were
In January, EMI, Virgin's parent company, paid $28 million to void her contract. Since she
had received $21 million when she was signed, Carey got $49 million for delivering one album.
Blair said Carey was in good spirits and "doing just incredibly well". He said she was not
concerned that her recent troubles would hurt her career. She has a new film with Oscar-winner
Mira Sorvino, titled "Wise Girls". The film debuted at the Sundance film festival, and will
be shown in the fall on HBO, Blair said.
He said Carey's new label, as yet unnamed, would focus on her, but would eventually include
other artists. Carey has also created a media company to handle publishing, film production
and other projects. "Setting up this company for her is really guaranteeing her legacy," Blair
(The Nando Times)
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