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.

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Mariah's big WMA night
Mariah was congratulated by Prince Albert of Monaco as she received the Diamond Award during the World Music Awards ceremony in Monte Carlo. The World Music Awards honors the best selling recording artists from around the world.
(Monday 13 October 2003)
Mariah busts the bank at Monte Carlo
What do you get when you add Mariah to an awards bash in Monte Carlo? The answer is the sort of diva demands that have hotel bosses rubbing their hands with glee. Mariah is determined to wrestle the crown as Queen of Divas from Jennifer Lopez.
(Monday 13 October 2003)
Mariah goes mad in Monte Carlo
Mariah showed she's still the world's top diva by paying out a fortune to live in luxury for two days during the World Music Awards in Monte Carlo this weekend. Money was no object when it came to making sure everything was just perfect."
(Monday 13 October 2003)
Chaka Khan on Mariah and Whitney
When asked during an interview what she thought of "this generation's powerhouse divas such as Mariah and Whitney, who have walked in the routes of [past divas]," singer Chaka Khan said, "They need to take care of themselves."
(Monday 13 October 2003)
Mariah too much for Luis Miguel
A recent Mexican TV special tried to investigate more about Mexican singer Luis Miguel's life. In the one-hour show Mariah was an obvious topic. "Mariah Carey was one of the very few serious relationships of Luis Miguel."
(Monday 13 October 2003)
The Remixes update
Mariah's new album The Remixes enters the UK Album Top 40 chart at number 35. This is Mariah's highest chart position since Glitter, which entered the charts at number 10. After Sunday and Monday sales, the album was still at number 90.
(Sunday 12 October 2003)
Mariah to tour with Matt Goss
Mariah has asked Matt Goss to be her special guest on her UK arena tour, kicking off this month. The dates are October 25 (Glasgow Arena), October 28 (Birmingham Arena), October 30 (Wembley Arena) and November 1 (Manchester Arena).
(Sunday 12 October 2003)
The Proud Family
Last night you could see the episode of the animated series The Proud Family in which Mariah appeared. On this episode Oscar Proud's monkey is switched with Mariah's at Dr. Trudy Proud's veterinarian office. The episode will be repeated.
(Saturday 11 October 2003)
Thankful idol
"I think I'm gonna puke," was the only thing Kelly Clarkson could say when she met Mariah face-to-face. While she could have easily been misconstrued by a "lesser individual", her more famous counterpart just smiled and replied, "You're so funny!"
(Saturday 11 October 2003)
Mariah's heartbreak
Mariah Carey has revealed the cause of her infamous breakdown: she broke her own heart. The sexy star has denied that her split with ex-lover Luis Manuel caused her emotional and physical breakdown two years ago.
(Saturday 11 October 2003)
Intimate with Mariah Carey
The title of her tour is "Charmbracelet World Tour - an intimate evening with Marey Carey". Yesterday, she was in Ahoy Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Even though it took some effort to fill the hall, according to fans this is her best tour ever.
(Thursday 9 October 2003)
Mariah: remixes, reunions and Russia
This past year found Mariah Carey in some unexpected places: standing next to Dave Navarro covering Def Leppard, playing Caesar's Palace, and singing at the Kremlin, where she recently launched her European tour.
(Thursday 9 October 2003)
Mariah Carey - The Remixes
Columbia Records is set to release Mariah Carey's "The Remixes", a specially-priced two CD collection jam-packed with 22 of Mariah's chart-topping dance/club tracks. The Remixes will be in stores on Tuesday, October 14.
(Thursday 9 October 2003)
Mariah to receive Diamond Award
This Sunday, October 12, is the 15th annual World Music Awards. The event's patron, Prince Albert of Monaco, will present Mariah Carey with the Diamond Award, in recognition of worldwide album sales in excess of 100 million units.
(Thursday 9 October 2003)
New voice message from Mariah
Just wanted to say "Hey" and "Thank you so much" to everybody for coming out to the shows. We have enjoyed you so much, and I can't wait to see everybody in a city near you. To all those I haven't seen yet, I'm looking forward to it.
(Wednesday 8 October 2003)
Mariah looking to bag herself a footballer
Posh better watch out, Mariah's decided she wants Mrs B's crown as top footballer's wife. We relay to you only the best stuff that we glean from our sources and this tale from the Daily Mirror's 3am girls is surely a hot one.
(Wednesday 8 October 2003)
Mariah in Sweden
Mariah's sold out concert in Stockholm, Sweden was a smash success. "It was a fantasic concert. I had a blast tonight," Mariah told Aftonbladet. The fans seemed to agree. "She sounded better than ever and sang as if her life depended on it.
(Tuesday 7 October 2003)
Carey's hairy moment
Carey was performing in Stockholm when she realized her hair wasn't quite sitting in place. So, instead of soldiering on with the show, she got her personal hair stylist on to the stage to adjust her locks.
(Tuesday 7 October 2003)
Mariah's Man U mission
She's had a run of bad luck with men but Mariah hopes to rectify the situation by tracking down her ideal mate. Blokes around the country will no doubt be quaking in their boots but fear not, Mariah is setting her sights high.
(Tuesday 7 October 2003)
Mariah's short stop in Sweden
The worldstar Mariah Carey told Expressen how much she looked forward to coming to Sweden. Last night she came, saw the rain and turned away immediately. The superdiva decided that a luxury weekend in Milan was better.
(Monday 6 October 2003)
Mariah shows her breast side
Mariah gave the audience an eyeful as she went bra-less at a fashion show by Donatella Versace. And there was much to admire as she viewed the designer's Spring/Summer 2004 collection in Milan. Beyonce Knowles let her hair down at the do.
(Monday 6 October 2003)
Mariah turns heads in Milan
Singer Mariah Carey dropped in on the Milan fashion show - and almost dropped out of a frock designed by Donatella Versace. Also on hand before the launch of Versace's spring and summer collection was singer Beyonce Knowles.
(Monday 6 October 2003)
Mariah on TV
I don't know for certain if Mariah will be on the entertainment shows this week or not, but it is likely that she did some taped interviews in NYC for her remix album and that these interviews will be shown either this week or next.
(Sunday 5 October 2003)
Mariah at Versace fashion show
Mariah flew yesterday evening to Milan, Italy to attend the Spring/Summer fashion show. She was welcomed by Italian designer Donatella Versace. Together with Donatella and Beyonce Knowles she posed for the photographers.
(Sunday 5 October 2003)
Mariah meets her Swedish fans
Mariah's private plane landed early at the Arlanda airport. She came directly to Sweden after her Thursday night concert in St. Petersburg, Russia. "I love Sweden and I have many good friends here," Carey said in an interview with Aftonbladet.
(Sunday 5 October 2003)
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