NEWS MESSAGEBOARD DISCOGRAPHY

The new M.C.

Saturday 9 June 2001

A few minutes before midnight Mariah Carey steps out of her black stretch limo. She moves briskly into the dark lobby of Manhattan's Tribeca Grand Hotel, a bodyguard in front, an assistant behind. She is carrying a bushel of roses. She moves across the lobby like a fighter plane: sleek, quick, shiny, and expensive. Her platinum-streaked hair is in a tight ponytail. She's wearing a stiff denim jacket and tight Sergio Velente jeans. Her shoes are open-toes and high-heeled, but they're not slowing her down. The words "time" and "money" come to mind. Her manager (also carrying roses) points me out and Mariah waves, makes a "just one minute" gesture, and disappears into the elevator. The whole episode is like the glint of a diamond bracelet.
"Let me give you a little warning," Carey says when I walk into her hotel room a few minutes later. Her voice is low and throaty, almost whispery. The room is filled with a quantity of roses not usually seen outside wholesale flower markets. "I'm tired," she says, though she doesn't look it. "And I want you to say when I should be concise, because that fact that I'm exhausted doesn't help in my ramblings."
"Have you eaten dinner?" I ask. "No. And I haven't eaten breakfast or lunch..." She half-sings the "or," stretches it way out; it's gigantic, hand-on-hips, wide-eyed, room-filling "or." But I do have the remainder of a protein bar," she sighs. "Isn't this glamorous of me?"
"How's your day been?" I ask. "My day?" she says. "My day has been going on for, like, three days!" She flops on the couch. Her face is made up, eyebrows plucked. There is glitter on her chest. Her shirt is black and sheer - Givenchy - she's got a black halter underneath. She has just returned from a meeting with executives from her new record label, Virgin, where she played them her new album, "Glitter," for the first time. Like many music fans, Virgin purchased Carey's record without knowing what was on it. Unlike many music fans, they're said to have laid out an estimated $23 million - the most ever paid for a single album - for the privilege. "I made this deal without anybody hearing one note of music," she says.
"Were they worried?" I ask. "Probably," she says, one eyebrow up, as if to say, Wouldn't you be? Carey does not look worried. At thirty-one, over a decade after her debut at age nineteen, she is the godmother of the G-string divas, the Britneys and Christinas and Destiny's Childs for whom self-empowerment and self-exposure are completely entwined and sugar-glossed with a multi-octave range. Mariah's voice, however, is a Howitzer compared to most other singers' water pistols, her not-at-all-secret weapon.
Virgin is taking a gamble, but it's not irrational: Carey has sold more than 140 million recordings since 1990's "Mariah Carey." She has had fifteen number-one singles, placing her third behind the Beatles (twenty) and Elvis Presley (seventeen or eighteen, depending on whether you count "Don't Be Cruel" b/w "Hound Dog" as one or two records). Her hits have spent more weeks (sixty) at the top than those of anyone else, including the Beatles (fifty-nine). She had a number-one song every year of the '90s, the only recording artist to do so.
The new record is the soundtrack to next month's "All That Glitters," in which she stars. It's the story of a mixed-race girl who has been abandoned by her white father, taken from her black mom, and raised by foster parents. As a teenager she hangs out in Manhattan clubs, circa 1982, gets discovered by a DJ, galls in love, and becomes and overnight sensation. The affair ends badly; she looks for her lost mother. Which is to say it's about someone with more than a passing resemblance to Carey. Besides doing the soundtrack and co-producing the film, M.C. worked with scriptwriter Kate Lanier, who wrote "What's Love got to do with it."
"I had this idea four years ago," Carey says. "And people said, ''80s? Nobody's ready for '80s.' I said 'I really feel strongly about the '80s, 'cause it's nostalgic.' Some of the executives were concerned that it was too soon, and people weren't ready to go there. And I said "Trust me, they are" According to director Vondie Curtis Hall, "It's a classic Cinderella paradigm, like "Funny Girl." M.C., the hip-hop Barbra Streisand.
"Most megastars don't have this time or patience to get involved in developing a script," Lanier says. "But Mariah was hanging out in my hotel room, reading pages and giving me input. It blew me away." Lanier says M.C. wasn't at all the person she was expecting. "I was thinking pop. But she wanted to do something dark and edgy. I didn't think she would be that sophisticated or that smart, but she really is."
All of which suggests that maybe Mariah isn't the bubble-gum pop start with the diva voice, controlled by a behind-the-scenes mastermind, which, to be honest, is how I'd vaguely though of her. Today's pop culture is so heavily marketed, it's hard to imagine someone like M.C. without a Svengali pulling strings. And though she was launched by Sony Music CEO Tommy Mottola, whom she famously married in 1993 and famously divorced in '97, she now seems to be the puppeteer of her own act, writing and producing records, starring in a movie that borrows from her life story. Her euphemism for the marriage is "the situation," and what that apparently entailed, besides a Cinderella story, was a Rapunzel story: M.C., trapped in her Bedford, New York, castle, longing to get out and take control her life.
Well, she got out. Sitting on the couch with a glass of white wine in hand, feet up, she has the issue of food. Twenty-three million dollars will buy you whatever dinner you desire. What M.C. desires this evening is macaroni and cheese. "It's not what I should be eating," she says, stabbing it was a fork. "But hey - I did have the protein bar." As she tells me about her endless day, her face takes on a bashful pride, as though I have walked in her house in the middle of renovations, but she'll show me around anyway, proud of the changes under way. It's all a work in progress.
Right away I notice the eyebrows and the eyes. They have this quality - hopeful, expectant, amazed, as though she still cannot believe her life. Everything else about her appearance gives of a vibe of being smart, though, of knowing what's going on. The meetings, agents, deals, the two shiny electronic devices - pager and cell phone - that sit on the couch. Her hair, her body, her manicure, it all says celebrity, businesswoman, diva. But her eyes, particularly her eyebrows say, "Holy shit! Can you believe this?"
"I was in Spain doing the vocals for the soundtrack," she explains. "I go out the country because this pager and this phone" - she points to them as if they were demanding pets - "will continue to go off. And so I'm out of range there."
In Malaga, she worked at a live-in studio, leaving only when her boyfriend, Luis Miguel, came to visit. He is a "huge Latin superstar," as she puts it. "We got mobbed because they all love him. Of course," she adds demurely, "I have a few fans in Spain, as well."
I ask if they discuss their pasts. "A lot of men don't like to tell their stories," she says. "Maybe it's a power thing? Usually, I'm the one who's open. I mean, I've had intense stuff happen to me, but I haven't been through the wringer with lots of men. I could count on less than one hand the men I've been with in my life. I really hate the though of being intimate with somebody, and then it's over." She snaps her fingers. So was she a prude in high school?
"Well, no. As a kid, I would walk around with the tight ensembles on, and the makeup... But it wasn't like I had boyfriend that were serious or that I was having, like, intercourse with. I knew I wasn't going to get married..." She rolls her eyes, gives a loopy grin. "Well, I did get married, but I knew I wasn't going to be doing the housewife thing."

M.C.'s father left when she was a toddler. She moved thirteen times while growing up on Long Island with an older brother and sister and her mom, Patricia, a Midwestern Irish America whose family never quite forgave her for marrying a man who was half black, half Venezuelan. When her parents met, Alfred Roy Carey was "a swinging aeronautical engineer," as M.C. says, she explains that now he is no way swinging, with-it or hip.
"He thinks I've had one album," she says as if this were the funniest thing. "Honestly, he doesn't know any of my songs!" "I bet he's a connoisseur of your accomplishments," I say. "Connoisseur?" she says. "He don't know any..."
A few minutes later, M.C. is on the floor giggling, and her mother, a former opera singer - now ensconced in an upstate New York house that M.C. bought for her - is on the speakerphone, confirming that yes, "he thinks she only made one album."
"And what do we call it?" asks M.C. They say together: "The Album." M.C. is in hysterics. "We can't diss him," she gasps. "He's just not into music." Considering she hardly knows him, she's talking with real warmth, as though he were an eccentric neighbor.
The subject of M.C.'s father makes "Glitter" seem all the more personal: a Poor Girl Making It story entwined with a Love story and a Lost Parent story, and, finally, a Mixed Race story. "There are a lot of mixed-race girls and young women who hold Mariah up as a hero," says Lanier. "She's proud of that. For a long time she was encouraged to play up her white side. Since she's been allowed creative freedom, she has related more to black culture."
When I tell M.C. that her mixed-race background seems visually, pretty subtle, her face softens. "Well, that's part of it," she says. "A lot of people say things that they wouldn't say if they thought that somebody, you know, black was in the room. Or vice versa. Or somebody Latin. I'm a mixture of a lot of things. Because of that, I didn't really feel like I had one person that I identified with."
It was around the time her marriage to Mottola dissolved that M.C. began working with acting Coach Sheila Gray. She'd acted as a kid, but in her "other situation." She was encouraged to focus on her music. "Sheila was one of the catalysts for helping me out of that situation," she says. "I was so blocked, emotionally. I sat on her floor and did relaxation exercises, and immediately started crying, 'cause she said to me, 'Name a place where you feel safe.' And I was, like; 'I don't have one.' I own, contrary to popular belief, half of everything in that mansion" - that she shared with Mottola - "and paid for half of everything, down to the electric bills. So I didn't have one space to think of. And she said 'Well, use something from your childhood'" The one scaldingly awful thing I know about M.C.'s childhood, which I don't bring up from this otherwise festive occasion with white wine and macaroni and cheese, is that, in a newspaper article, her sister talked about having been a prostitute and drug addict.
"So," she continues, "it was this burst of emotion, and I was just like, Whoa! It helped me realize that, like, this is not right. [Sheila] used to always say, 'Relax your shoulders,' because I walked around like I had to fight, constantly. I grew up with such a free rein. And suddenly, it was this enclosed situation. I wouldn't be the person that I am if I hadn't gone back into that and gotten in touch with myself. Not to sound New Agey or corny..."
A lot of these themes play out in "All That Glitters." "I think people will be blown away by her acting," Lanier says. "She is able to carry off a lot of pain and show a lot of soul," Soul, however, does not interfere with business.
"I personally met with everybody," M.C. says of her label negotiations. "I grew up with some of the smartest and most shred businessmen." Before she signed with Virgin, Carey got advice from Lenny Kravitz, who knew her when she was seventeen, sleeping on friends' couches waiting for a break, and from Prince, of whom she is a huge fan. "I learned a lot. It's not like somebody can lie to me and say, 'We're gonna do this and this,' and have me not go, 'Wait, who's your distributor in Taiwan?'"

"I don't give a fuck!" The $23 million voice booms from the Elle studio dressing room. The controlled frenzy of the photo shoot has been compounded by news that M.C. has to fly to LA tonight to score her movie. Cell phones chirp, assistants swarm, and a guy in a suit stands near a briefcase guarding diamonds from Harry Winston.
"She's pulling it all together," says Carey's publicist. "There's the record, the single, the radio promos, the videos, the movie, the next movie..." The trades have announced that M.C. will star with Mira Sorvino in "Wise Girls," basically "Wise Guys" for women. The logistics of it all are an enormously complex algebra equation, a hurricane.
Then the eye of the storm emerges, in pigtails, loose Levi's, a green cardigan with buttons straining across her chest. She is teetering on pink marabou slippers, a glass of champagne in one hand; in her other, the diamonds, dripping and dazzling. Last night was business. This is M.C. unbound, feeling it. She offers a big "H!" followed by "I'm having the biggest fucking spiral of my life!"
She has a cell phone against her head, and she's talking about Busta Rhymes, from the sound of it, he may be in her next video. She notices me scribbling and, laughing says "You are seeing me at my host..." Eyes bulging, she trails off. Most what? Most perfectionist? Most confident? Most psyched? Most pissed off? All of the above? She's got a million words at her disposal; they come bubbling out like a fountain. She asks if I'd like a glass of champagne, sees hers, almost empty, and belts, "Will someone get me a glass of champagne!" Then, in a whisper, "They're probably trying to keep it away from me, thinking I'm going to get drunk."
The shoot comments and I ask an assistant, Jill, if Carey's world is usually this intense. "This is the most intense day in a long time," Jill says. "M.C. is the hardest-working girl in show business. She has a hand in everything." Right now, she has a hand between her breasts. She's mugging for the camera, rapping along to the boom box, using the flaunted glass, as an improvised mike. "Hate to sound sleazy, but tease me."
During the next break, she pulls me aside. "Listen, that stuff I was saying about my father. I don't want it to sound - I just really want to build a relationship with him." I assure her that it was cool, warm even. Her eyes get all soft. What an operator! I think. Not that she's insincere. She just moves fast, shifts gears, and moves on. She turns, and her fistful of diamonds sparkles.
"I need to talk to Busta!" she says to no one in particular, but everyone hears her, because everyone is listening.

(Elle)

Many thanks to Will from MCWNO.

There are not yet comments to this article.
add comment login create account edit account

Mariah takes to designing sexy golf wear
Mariah has decided it's time she reformed the golf clothing industry. She has revealed she is thinking of starting a range of raunchy golf wear for women. Mariah got the idea after being warned for flaunting the dress code at her local golf course.
(Tuesday 3 June 2003)
"Zoo" Carey-ed away
At radio station Z-100's summer kick-off concert "Zootopia", the order of the lineup was inconsequential. The brightest stars of Sunday's variety show were easily Boston bad boys Aerosmith and New York cutie Mariah Carey.
(Tuesday 3 June 2003)
Latest on Mariah
Mariah Carey is planning to branch out into the world of fashion - by designing sexy women's golf clothing. The skimpily dressed singer was inspired by a recent golfing trip when she was asked to wear a collared shirt to comply with the dress code.
(Tuesday 3 June 2003)
Mariah, TLC highlight "Zootopia"
Z100 celebrated its 20th birthday Sunday night at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., but it was Mariah who was the belle of the ball. Z100's annual Zootopia summer concert stretched almost six hours into a chilly New Jersey night.
(Monday 2 June 2003)
Mariah pumps it up for Z100's Zootopia
Mariah had the crowd pumped up last night at Z100's Zootopia concert event. After being introduced by Britney Spears, who said she "loved" Mariah and thought she "rocked", Mariah gave a rousing rendition of Heartbreaker".
(Monday 2 June 2003)
"I Know What You Want" hits top 3 in the UK
After hitting a lowly Number 17 back in April with the Cam'ron featuring "Boy (I Need You)", Mariah makes a spectacular return to the Top 3, this time as the featured contributor to this new single from Busta Rhymes.
(Monday 2 June 2003)
Mariah "charms" fans
Access Hollywood's Billy Bush was road trippin' with Mariah in New York. He was on diva duty for her performance on the May 30 episode of The Today Show. However, it was the story of Mariah's connection with two fans that took center stage.
(Monday 2 June 2003)
Mariah makes sobbing schoolgirl's day
Mariah Carey brought tears of joy to the face of a young New Yorker who lost her brother in Iraq - by pulling her up on stage during a TV concert. Carey was playing live in Times Square for NBC's breakfast show Today on Friday, 30 May 2003.
(Monday 2 June 2003)
R Kelly still on fire
R Kelly has remained the UK's best selling single this week with "Ignition Remix", making it officially his biggest hit to date. Busta Rhymes/Mariah Carey collaboration "I Know What You Want" debuted at number three.
(Monday 2 June 2003)
Eminem takes shot at Mariah at Movie Awards
Rage rapper Eminem claimed the MTV's Breakthrough Male trophy for his work in the drama 8 Mile. In a pre-taped acceptance speech he took a shot at Mariah and her romantic-musical flop. "I can't believe I beat Mariah for Glitter," he said.
(Sunday 1 June 2003)
Carey on: Mariah show on 1027blink?
Mariah Carey could be gearing up for a new radio show that would air on 1027blink. Carey was spotted having lunch at the Brooklyn Diner just before she was scheduled to meet with the 1027blink powers-that-be about getting her own show.
(Sunday 1 June 2003)
Mariah mail mystery
When you send an email to a pop star's website you don't really expect a personal response from the star in question, and you especially don't expect them to tell you to get lost! That's exactly what happened to blind 10-year old Mariah fan Michelle Katz.
(Sunday 1 June 2003)
Mariah to meet blind fan
This fan of Mariah Carey is blind. She is Michelle Katz who is all set to meet her idol after becoming the victim of a callous cyber hoaxer. The 10-year-old's grandmother posted a note to Carey asking her to meet with the blind girl on the singer's website.
(Sunday 1 June 2003)
Against all odds
Mariah Carey shows that she has finally bounced back, larger than life. The 33-year-old singer was on a charm offensive as she launched her latest world tour. The star looked ecstatic when she appeared in New York for the NBC Today show.
(Saturday 31 May 2003)
Mariah sends Luther her support
More than a month after Luther Vandross suffered a massive stroke, he is listed in critical but stable condition at a New York hospital. Luther's mother says she's convinced her son will make a full recovery and insists that prayer is her strength.
(Saturday 31 May 2003)
Mariah Carey calls victim of e-mail prank
It turns out the recipient of a mean-spirited e-mail supposedly from Mariah Carey's Web site was the victim of a cyber-squatter - but that hasn't stopped the singer from reaching out to one of her fans.
(Saturday 31 May 2003)
Mariah rep says singer did not send email to blind fan
An email sent to Mariah Carey's official website by the grandmother of a blind, 10-year-old fan named Michelle Katz appears to have ended up in the hands of someone other than its intended recipient.
(Saturday 31 May 2003)
Mariah in top form for Today Show appearance
Mariah was in top form this morning as she performed live on The Today Show's Toyota Summer Concert Series. Wearing a teal blue tank top and retro jeans with appliqu├ęs, she belted out an amended version of her new single.
(Friday 30 May 2003)
Mariah calls victim of "bogus" e-mail
A 10-year-old Mariah fan got her wish to talk to the diva after a prankster sent the girl a nasty e-mail claiming to be the singer. The incident began when Michelle Katz's grandmother wrote an e-mail to what she thought was Carey's official Web site.
(Friday 30 May 2003)
Xcel Energy Center has been cancelled
Unfortunately the new theater routing conflicts with the Xcel Energy Center show date. The July 26 show scheduled for Xcel Energy Center has been cancelled. Fans that have purchased tickets for the Xcel Energy Center concert can obtain refunds.
(Friday 30 May 2003)
Mariah leaves a message to European fans
Here is the transcript to the exclusive message Mariah left for the viewers of "The Fridge" on MTV Europe: "Hey everybody listening to The Fridge, I'm Mariah Carey, and I just wanted to let you know that I'm coming to Europe really soon."
(Friday 30 May 2003)
The miniskirt mob
The last time the Roxie Cinema premiered a straight-to-video film on their big screen, they ended up with "Red Rock West". It's hard to imagine how that crackerjack noir thriller was ever passed over for theatrical release. But with "Wisegirls", it's not.
(Friday 30 May 2003)
Mariah leaves new voice message
Hi! Yeah, I haven't spoken to you in a while, I just wanted to say hey to everybody out there and thank you so much for everything that you are doing, as always. I wanted to send a special shout out to all the New York City area lambs.
(Thursday 29 May 2003)
Blind Mariah fan gets nasty e-mail from singer
The grandmother of a 10-year-old blind girl from Oakland, Minn., is stunned by a nasty e-mail she received that allegedly came from pop singer Mariah Carey. Dee Hofland wrote to Carey on behalf of her granddaughter, Michelle Katz.
(Thursday 29 May 2003)
Mottola's wife to sound very Mariah
Mexican star, and Tommy Mottola's wife Thalia, will release her first album in English, this album will hit stores July 7. The first single is "I Want You" featuring Fat Joe. This track has Mariah Carey's secret formula that led her to sell millions.
(Thursday 29 May 2003)
1 ... 482 483 484 485 486 487 488 489 490 ... 601

© The Mariah Carey Archives 1998 - 2019
www.facebook.com/mcarchives
www.mcarchives.com/specials/rssfeed.xml