Friday 5 April 2002

Tommy and J.Lo sabotage Mariah's "Glitter"

Last year during Mariah Carey's much publicized "physical and emotional breakdown", it was reported that Mariah's paranoia had led to her hiring a private detective to investigate ex-husband, and Sony Music head honcho, Tommy Mottola. It now seems Mariah may not have been paranoid at all. Whether she hired a detective is unclear, however according to Fox News, Tommy was behind the sabotage of Mariah's failed album, "Glitter".

"Firecracker", by the Yellow Magic Orchestra was used by Mariah on "Loverboy". Once Tommy Mottola got a hold of it, it ended up on Lopez's album version of "I'm Real". Prior to this, no one had ever sampled the song before. According to the publishers of the original, "Mariah Carey called us to license a sample from "Firecracker" first. Then, within a month, Jennifer Lopez also called for it."

Throughout the recording of both the film and soundtrack/album, both titled "Glitter", Mariah went to great lengths to keep her new material top secret. During the film shoot, no new material was used - in fact Mariah even got other singers to record similar versions of her new music so no spy on set would hear her new recordings. It was only during post-production that all new music was added. Mariah went so far as to have one of her back-up singers record an all new original song titled "Every time" and had it leaked on the internet in the hope of having it leading the spies in the wrong direction. It now appears that these great lengths were necessary.

The scandal doesn't end there. Not only had Tommy Mottola instructed Mariah's sample to be stolen, he had also somehow heard Mariah's recording with Ja Rule on a track titled "If We". It was then with a double-blow (the sample and Ja Rule) that Mariah had been sadly shot down. The J.Lo/Ja Rule remix of "I'm Real" was rushed into completion and released to the world. Subsequently it topped the US Billboard charts. If Mariah had ever hoped for "If We" to be released, that was no longer going to happen, as it would appear she was jumping on the bandwagon, when in fact Mariah is the original female collaborator with Ja Rule.

In an article soon to be published in US hip hop magazine, XXL, record executive Irv Gotti of Murder Inc. claims that following the recording of Mariah's "If We" with Ja Rule, Tommy instructed him to record a very similar song with Jennifer Lopez. Gotti stated, ""Ja wrote a song with him and Mariah singing back and forth on the title track. I get a call from Tommy Mottola, who I have a great relationship with, and he's like, 'I need you to do me a favor. I want you to do this remix for Jennifer Lopez. I want you to put Ja on the record.' Immediately I knew what he was doing because we just finished the Mariah record."

Mariah was left with a song that had been dated, even before its release, so she hastily changed the sample to Cameo's "Candy". "We had to work fast," says a Glitter source, "because we had to find music that would fit what was already filmed." Loverboy" received nearly zero airplay, and peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard charts. For any other artist, this was a great achievement, but for the highest selling female artist in history, it was the first leadoff single from any of her albums that did not go straight to the top. Ironically, Destiny's Child - Sony Music's other key artist, held it back from the number 1 position.

Soon after Mariah was admitted to hospital suffering what her publicist cited as "a physical and emotional breakdown". However, it is suspected that a positive did come out of the entire saga for poor Mariah. Rumour has it that when she found out what Tommy had done, she and her lawyer, Don Passman, used it as leverage to get her out of contract with the Sony group. Mariah owed them a tenth and final album. She was let out early and went on to sign the biggest recording contract it history with EMI/Virgin.

When MTV interviewed Mariah at the start of 2002, they questioned her on the stolen sample. "Let's just say they did me a favor," said Mariah. "And they know who they are. And thank you, sweetie. And your friend who did it with you!" The favour of course was Mariah's early departure from Sony Music, her home since her 1990 debut. I think you can guess who "sweetie" is.

After "Glitter" fizzled due to the lack off success of the first single, Mariah and EMI parted ways. A total of US$49 million was paid to Mariah; this was for one album plus the money she was owed under the contract. Mariah is currently recording her new album and discussing record deals with Universal Music, J Records and Warner Music. Soon to be released is "Wise Girls" co-starring Miro Sorvino. It opened to rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival, one reviewer even describing Mariah's acting as "perfect". Following that, she will start work on the film "Sweet Science".

Many thanks to the Australian Mariah Carey Fanclub.

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