Mariah Carey has 15 staff including a cleavage assistant
Half-a-dozen humidifiers had been placed by her bed. They whirr through the night and the noise aggravates her insomnia, but she will not travel unless she is sure of her air quality. She also had "her people" check the décor of the suite before her arrival. Much to everyone's relief, it was pronounced white enough to fit her tastes and a re-vamp was avoided.
Assistants were dispatched to decorate Mariah's room with Hello Kitty tat - the cutesy Japanese cartoon brand beloved of eight-year-old girls - which the singer insists upon to help her feel at home. Quite what Nick Cannon, her 29-year-old husband, makes of waking up surrounded by twee images of a little white cat, one can only imagine, the paper reports. But then he also has to put up with Mariah wearing her favourite Bambi pyjamas, and Mariah being told "you are looking beautiful today" by her assistant, each and every day within a few minutes of her waking up.
The hotel refrigerator was stocked with white wine, green olives and almonds and absolutely nothing else - on pain of death - as Mariah is yet again on her "morsel" diet. This means that she permits herself only handfuls of nibbles from time to time, instead of actual meals. Mariah finds she can't lose weight and still drink alcohol any other way, and she will moan camply about how cruel it is that wine has so many calories in it.
Woe betide anyone who puts temptation in her way, as Miss Carey has set herself the goal of regaining the 22in waist she had in the 11th grade - that is, when she was 16 years old. She has just moved her personal trainer back in with her in her New York apartment to help achieve this.
Miss Carey is surely the planet's most preposterous pop star. The entourage, the diet, the clothes, the demands and the décor are all wildly extravagant. Even her dog has its own chauffeur-driven Mercedes. The 5ft 9in diva requisitioned pretty much an entire floor of the Cannes hotel. Her suite was the grandest on offer, with an enormous Jacuzzi on the balcony. It cost more than $9000 a night. Then, for an extra $22,000 a night, she hired another set of rooms, including a room to house her wardrobe - Alaia, Cavalli and Ralph Lauren dresses - and her collection of size four shoes.
Over three nights, accommodation costs alone were nearly $100,000. The bill for her staff was around $140,000. And Mariah, who is estimated to be worth around $285 million and can earn up to $2 million for an hour-long performance, has a lot of minions.
When she wafted into the white marbled halls of the Martinez Hotel, she brought with her a 15-strong entourage, including three personal assistants, a hairdresser, a stylist, a make-up artist, a masseuse, a chauffeur and a dietician. She has an assistant whose job it is to follow her with wet wipes to clean her hands after she has touched anything, and also to clean anything which she might potentially touch. Another prances in her wake with a glass of warm water and a straw. The water has to be kept at just a little above room temperature to help her voice - which is, indeed, astonishing. Her vocal range is so accomplished that many say she can produce sounds high enough to startle a bat.
In the evening, this assistant also has the task of monitoring her cleavage and reapplying modesty tape, if required. Working for Mariah requires you to be on duty 24 hours a day. Also in attendance, at all times, are five bodyguards. The bodyguards form a ring around her when she ventures out - as if she were the jam in the middle of a muscular doughnut - shouting "Miss Carey coming through!" and: "Make way for Mariah!"
One who has spent time with Miss Carey says that her world is exactly the one a 12-year-old girl would order if she had unlimited funds at her disposal. Everywhere you turn there is a lot of pink, a lot of glitter, and a lot of gold. Indeed, one of her bathrooms back home has a Marilyn Monroe theme and a gold ceiling, and she has a chaise longue in her kitchen because she likes to lie down when she eats.
Another concept Miss Carey does seem to struggle with is time. When she attended a party thrown by a movie company in her honour last Saturday night - and costing around $1.6 million - she was three hours late and stayed for just 20 minutes before setting off again for a private bash on the luxurious purple leopardskin-covered yacht owned by her dear friend Roberto Cavalli. Mariah is, actually, nearly always late. Quite often she will miss appointments by as much as five hours. "Time is such a problem to me," she once sighed to an interviewer.
This is partly because none of her employees - who she pays well and who all genuinely like her - is able to hurry her up. It is also partly because she suffers badly from insomnia and will often not sleep until dawn, and then does not rise until the afternoon.
It's all a shade Mariah Antoinette, especially as the movie which she hit Cannes to promote, Precious, is a gritty and emotionally wrenching tale of urban poverty. Mariah plays, of all things, a dowdy social worker who tries to help an overweight teenager. Her previous forays into acting have been disastrous: the film Glitter is widely regarded as one of the worst movies ever made. But word is that Precious is terrific, an Oscar contender, and that Mariah is not bad in it at all.
(News.com.au - Mariah Hero)
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