Songbird Supreme Mariah Carey Sparkles in Sydney

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MDJ

Acting ever-the-prima-donna, the 42-year-old was around an hour late to the stage, leaving hubby Nick Cannon to keep the jam-packed 40,000-strong Allphones Arena audience at bay before turning up at approximately 10.00pm for an hour-and-a-half hour set.

But all was forgiven as the opening beats to a remix of Can’t Take That Way boomed through the sound system; Carey appearing in all her blinged-up glory in a short, figure-hugging mini-dress, typical of the Carey couture we have come to know.

The songbird supreme did not disappoint, her voice is as powerful as it was twenty years ago, hitting that signature squeak (G#7, think just a few keys from the top of a piano) for her 1991 hit, Emotions.

The playlist was a mixed bag of hits spanning her twenty year career and mixed vocal range, from the oldies (My All, Always Be My Baby) to the newbies (It’s Like That, Obsessed, Shake It Off, Touch My Body).

There were a few random tracks, including what Carey described as one of her all-time favourites, 1997’s Close My Eyes, along with an off-the-cuff acapella of Can’t Let Go/Love Takes Time.

Like an old-pro, Carey casually chatted to her “Lambs” between breaks, sharing personal memories and moments and joining in the Australian experience by eating a spoonful of Vegemite, only to demand a glass of bubbles to wash it down.

“It’s not that bad,” she said between pursed lips.

She announced her children’s new love affair with the country, where her daughter Monroe spoke her first words – “I’m good girl” – on stage during her New Year’s show at the The Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.

“So Australia, my children love you!”

But it was the penultimate show-stopper – Hero – that made the crowd melt, before a soaring finale of We Belong Together. Not a note was missed.

She might be a diva, she might be demanding and she might be a little late, but damn, that woman can sing.

Mariah Carey will finish her Australian tour in Melbourne on January 5 at Etihad Stadium.

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