Posts tagged ‘Tommy Mottola’

May 11, 2014

Mariah Carey Fast Facts

MC WallpaperCNN

Here’s a look at the life of Grammy Award-winning singer Mariah Carey.

Birth date: March 27, 1969 (some sources say 1970)

Birth place: Long Island, New York

Birth name: Mariah Carey

Father: Alfred Roy Carey, aeronautics engineer

Mother: Patricia (Hickey) Carey, opera singer and voice coach

Marriages: Nick Cannon (April 30, 2008-present); Tommy Mottola (June 5, 1993- March 5,1998, divorced)

Children: with Nick Cannon: Moroccan Scott (son) and Monroe (daughter), (twins) April 30, 2011

Other Facts:
According to her website, Carey has sold more than 200 million albums, singles and videos worldwide, making her the best-selling female artist of all time.

Her voice has a five-octave vocal range.

Has had 18 No. 1 hits, the most of any solo artist on Billboard’s Hot 100 charts.

According to Carey, her mother is Irish-American and her father was African American and Venezuelan.

Supported herself as a waitress and back-up singer before being signed to Columbia Records.

Has won five Grammy Awards.

1988 – Columbia Records executive Tommy Mottola listens to Carey’s demo tape and signs her to the label.

1990 – Her debut album, “Mariah Carey,” is released. It goes on to sell more than six million copies and spawn four number one singles.

1991 – Carey wins two Grammy Awards: Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female, for “Vision of Love” and Best New Artist.

1994 – Joins the board of directors of the Fresh Air Fund. She is a supporter of the fund’s Career Awareness Program, which is named Camp Mariah, in honor of her.

April 2001 – Carey leaves Sony/Columbia Records and signs a reported $80 million contract with EMI’s Virgin Records.

Summer 2001 – She suffers an “emotional and physical breakdown” and is hospitalized.

September 2001 – Carey stars in a semi-autobiographical movie, “Glitter,” and releases an album of the same name. Both the album and movie are unsuccessful.

2002 – Virgin pays Carey a reported $28 million to end her contract. Later in the year, Universal Music Group’s Island Def Jam records signs Carey to a reported $20 million deal.

2006 – Wins three Grammy Awards: Best Contemporary R&B Album, with Brian Garten and Dana John Chappelle for “The Emancipation of Mimi,” Best R&B Song, with Jermaine Dupri, Johnta Austin, and Manuel Seal, Jr., for “We Belong Together,” and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for “We Belong Together.”

2009 – Portrays a social worker in the film “Precious,” directed by Lee Daniels.

March 3, 2011 – Carey tells People Magazine that she will return the reported $1 million fee she received in 2009 performing for the family of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, “I was naïve and unaware of who I was booked to perform for.”

2013 – Appears as a judge for the 12th season of “American Idol.”


April 30, 2014

Mariah Carey’s Journey to a New Album: The Billboard Cover Story

Billboard Cover StoryBillboard

After waiting five years between albums, Mariah explains the struggle behind her next release: “This is my life since we last left off. Just picture a dot dot dot, and then here’s the album”

Mariah Carey is having a Case of the Mondays.

It’s the day after Easter, and she’s nursing a kick to the face from her nearly 3-year-old son Moroccan after a long day of egg hunting. “We were sort of winding down the day, removing his shoes, and he was having his own moment of not wanting the night to end and he ended up getting me square in the nose while the shoe was still on,” says Carey, 44, on the phone from her apart- ment in New York. Though her nose has a “tiny bump” that Carey has been treating with ice and milk, the incident has still apparently swollen her face enough that she has had to cancel a planned photo shoot and in-person sitdown with Billboard. “I think it’s OK. It’s still really red. I could’ve covered it up and tried to look decent, but shouldn’t my “Billboard” cover be a little less about that and more about the music?” (The cover photo is an outtake from her album shoot.)

If you’ve followed the headlines around Carey in the years since 2009’s “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel,” you would know it hasn’t always been about the music. Since the birth of her twins Moroccan and Monroe in April 2011, she has weathered a rocky stint as a judge on American Idol in 2013, for which she was paid $18 million, according to People, as well as an accident on a music video set that led to a dislocated shoulder and cracked ribs. The injury preceded the latest in a series of delays for her planned 14th album, which at one point was earmarked for early 2013. Though her Miguel duet “#Beautiful” was a decent-sized hit last summer, peaking at No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 with sales of 1.2 million (according to Nielsen SoundScan), a trio of other singles failed to catch fire, most recently February’s “You’re Mine (Eternal),” which spent a week on the Hot 100 at No. 88 and has sold only 56,000 copies.

But in late May, Carey hopes she can silence her naysayers and super-serve her patient fans with the much-anticipated release of her 14th album, which at one point was intended as a digital-first, all-at-once release a la “Beyoncé.” Though her label Def Jam now says an official pre-order is expected for later this week, announcing the album’s title, cover and tracklist, it’s clear from talking to Carey that she misses the good old days of the ’90s. The time when you could deliver an album the old-fashioned way, when you had to go to the store to see the song names and the cover art. “I have to be the one that announces this, especially the title,” says Carey, noting the album takes its name from a “personal possession of mine that’s part of an entity that I’ve had almost all my life.”

The “Beyoncé” parallels would have made even more sense when you consider that Beyonce was coming off an underperforming album (2011’s “4”) before going the surprise route, much like Carey’s “Memoirs” produced just one top 10 hit (“Obsessed”) and sold a disappointing 549,000 copies, low enough to cancel a planned remix album.

Carey will cop to a few of the prerelease singles not doing particularly well, pausing to note that 2013’s Stargate-produced “Almost Home” was intended for the “Oz, Great and Powerful” soundtrack. “It was never about, ‘This is my album,’ but I wasn’t fully connected to that song. I was in the middle of that other situation in my life, which we will erase and pretend it never happened.” (That “situation” being Idol, which we’ll get to later.) “You would think I would be all about the singles-driven situation, and I am in a way, but with this particular album I want my fans to hear it as a body of work,” she says. “This is my life since we last left off. Just picture a dot dot dot, and then here’s the album.”

“Life happens, and that added to the making of this album,” songwriter-producer Bryan-Michael Cox told “Billboard” in February. “Over the past couple years we’ve added songs, scratched songs, slow-baking this record like a honey-baked ham. And when you take a bite of that ham — people will be extremely and pleasantly surprised.”

Carey’s label group Island Def Jam is probably best described as cautiously optimistic about the album, declining to respond to multiple fact-checking and interview requests for this story.

In terms of fans, anticipation for a new Carey album hasn’t been this high since her mid-2000s comeback, which saw 2005’s “The Emancipation of Mimi” go quadruple-platinum and turn “We Belong Together” into the biggest radio hit of her career, spending 14 weeks atop the Hot 100 and becoming Billboard’s top song of the 2000s. But in addition to the reteaming with Jermaine Dupri (“We Belong Together,” “Always Be My Baby”) on two tracks for the new album, she has assembled a team of collaborators that shows she has paid attention to the hip-hop and R&B charts in recent years. There’s tracks from of-the-moment producers like Hit-Boy (Kanye West and Jay Z’s “N***** In Paris”) and Mike Will Made It (Rihanna’s “Pour It Up”); guest features from Wale, Nas and Trey Songz; and even c ontributions from veeran arranger Larry Gold and the Love Unlimited Orchestra and a “special guest that I’m not allowed to reveal.”

Talk to Carey about the album, and you’ll get lengthy if cryptically worded explanations about the material, making liberal use of favorite words like “journey” (“If I use that word one more time I’ll have to start an ’80s rock band”), “festive” (her time on Idol, she says, “was not festive”) and “moment” (“I just need a moment to finish this track listing”). She’ll call you “dahhhling,” with a Zsa Zsa Gabor affectation, and grill you on your “lambily” status (that’s Mariah speak for hardcore fans, or “lambs”). “There’s no way I’ll be able to quite relive the splendor of certain moments — name that tune, lambily!” she says at one point, asking if you’ve spotted her lyrical reference to “The Roof ” from 1997’s “Butterfly.”

As Carey began work in earnest on the project in 2012, a friend compiled an exhaustive, 1,000- track playlist of all of Carey’s catalog and remixes, dubbed “The Ultimate MC Audio Collection.” Through revisiting her own 24-year career, Carey reminisced about forgotten remixes from the ’90s with producers like the late David Cole and her early experiments with genre-fusing. “I will always lean toward R&B in general, but I do think that merging hip-hop and R&B was one of the best things that happened for me as a fan of music. There’s this whole pop and hip-hop mixing together thing now — first of all, it’s not new, and second of all, why are we acting like it is?”

The album will also showcase Carey’s intro-spective, “morose” side, which certain lambily have treasured through the years from deeply personal cuts like “Looking In” (from 1995’s “Daydream”), “Close My Eyes” (from “Butterfly”) and “Petals” (from 1999’s “Rainbow”) — songs that offer an intimate glimpse into the person behind all the diva behavior. “It’s so good to hear people say they grew up with me as the soundtrack to their life, even though I was making it, so that was the soundtrack to my life as well,” she says.

It was Carey’s reconnection with “Looking In” that shaped the final phase of the current album. She performed the song live for the first time with the New York Philharmonic in Central Park last July, just one week after her shoulder injury, clad in a faux-fur sling that matched her white ballgown. The song’s lyrics were inspired by her unhappy marriage from 1993 to 1998 to Tommy Mottola, and found her singing in the third person about a girl who “dreams of all/ That she can never be/She wades in insecu- rity, yeah/And she hides herself inside of me.” Carey broke down in tears at one point during the song, cautioning the audience beforehand that it “requires a bit more stability than I have right now. I kind of got in trouble for writing this song so I’m going to try.”

After the show, Carey revisited the songs she had already earmarked for the ballad-heavy album and decided she needed a change of pace. That’s where two of the three Hit-Boy tracks came in, as well as a fresh collab with Dupri, who became her latest manager thereafter. (Carey’s management underwent several changes in 2012 and 2013, including parting ways with former Idol co-star Randy Jackson after many years together and a brief stint with Coran Capshaw’s Red Light Management.) “There were certain parts of the album where I needed to be lifted up again. I needed something uplifting.” (That’s a “Dreamlover” reference, lambily.)

That Carey is taking even more of a hands-on approach to her music these days is no surprise from a woman who co-wrote all her No. 1 singles, and has also taken more aspects of her career in her own hands amid her various management shifts and other endeavors. After being “bamboozled” by the Idol experience when footage of her feud with fellow judge Nicki Minaj leaked, for example, Carey says she would like to executive-produce her next reality-competition venture. “I have another project that I’m so very excited about that’s finally coming to fruition. I would want to do something that was authentic. And I did feel that there were some truly talented singers on there this year, last year, whenever that was. It’s a blur, it has all been a blur, all of it, dahhhling.”

But she’s also in a rarefied class of superstars in their third decade of fame who can still compete in the big leagues. Madonna, Cher and Celine Dion continue to rank among Billboard’s top-earning artists more for their exhaustive touring work, not because they’re still getting the massive radio play and album sales of their respective heydays. Carey, meanwhile, has never been much of a roadhorse (she didn’t even tour until 1993, when she played 10 theaters in support of her third album, “Music Box”) and still considers herself more of “a studio rat” at heart.

“I love being in the studio, making Wall of Sound background vocals. That’s when I’m most at home, other than being with ‘dem babies’ now. I love being onstage and connecting with the lambily most importantly, but it’s just that now nothing’s just an experience with your fans and your fans alone. It’s on YouTube immediately, not ‘Oh, that was an amazing moment I just experienced.'” So until she’s willing to do a global arena tour or a Las Vegas residency, Carey will need to keep churning out hits to extend her living legacy.

Dupri seems weary of the expectations that come with official “comeback singles,” which is why one of his first items of business as Carey’s manager last fall was releasing the ballad “The Art of Letting Go” as a teaser track on Carey’s Facebook page to set the tone for the album, rather than the typical event strategy. Though “Letting Go” will appear on the album along with “#Beautiful” and “You’re Mine,” the hope is that the fans’ response will democratize the typical album process from here.

“The challenge with Mariah has always been if I like one record and she likes another, you can never pick a single that satisfies everybody,” says Dupri. “If you just did what Beyonce did, she just gave you 17 singles and you picked which record you like.”

Even though Carey’s latest album marks the longest gap between albums, it certainly won’t be her last, despite a recent interview with Bravo’s Andy Cohen on “Watch What Happens Live” where she indicated she might be treating it as such. Still, it signifies something of a make- or-break moment at this phase in her storied career as Billboard’s second-most-decorated Hot 100 chart-topper, next to The Beatles.

“I will always make music. When I said [this album] could be my last, that’s because tomorrow’s not promised to anyone. When I release anything, it’s difficult — it could be a performance that you don’t love and it’s like, ‘Great, everybody’s going to pick this apart,’ and that’s it. What I’m trying to say is I wanted this to be something I could be proud of, whether it’s like, ‘Yay, No. 1 song!,’ and this and that. However things end up happening, we’ve all worked so hard. The true lambily have all worked so hard to break all these Billboard records and to have this incredible experience with me that I want them to have this almost as a gift.”

April 28, 2014

The Wit And Wisdom of Mariah Carey

The ObserverThe Observer

Despite being accused of being a ditsy diva, Mariah Carey is one of the most successful pop singers ever. Aaron Hicklin discovers a star with a savvy self-awareness and an astute wit

I’d like to say a word on Mariah’s behalf: Mariah makes me laugh. She makes herself laugh, too – breathy chuckles that ripple through our conversation, as if she is leery of taking herself too seriously. She says she will sometimes wake up like that in the middle of the night – laughing. That, of course, is part of the image that Mariah Carey cultivates. It’s part of the charm, too. “Darling, I’m eternally 12 years old,” she purrs when the subject of her age is broached – a familiar line, and all part of the act. “I’m going to give her to you,” she says, clicking her fingers with a flourish. “Ready?” And she slides into a 12-year-old girly voice – “Hi” – all fluttering eyelids and adolescent bashfulness.

Carey loves this kind of pantomime. Her first and most enduring influence was Marilyn Monroe, and you don’t need to spend much time in her company to see that the identification runs deep. When I note the dazzling butterfly ring on her finger, she extends her hand theatrically, like a caricature of Monroe’s Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. “This is Van Cleef and it’s missing a diamond, and it is shocking,” she says, faux dramatically, before riffing: “Shock and awe, shock and awe – I’m very upset now, Aaron, I gotta tell you.” She pretends to fling her ring across the room, before anticipating how this might read in print: “It’s missing a diamond.” She tosses it on a couch. Another bubble of laughter. “There, I did it, so now you can say I did it.”

Carey traces her obsession with Monroe back to her childhood, when she received a copy of Norman Mailer’s hefty biography of the actress as a Christmas gift. “I couldn’t have been more than 10,” she says. “I was a reader as a child, believe it or not.”

Why should I not believe it?

“It doesn’t go with the ditzy image, I guess. I have too many highlights!” She breaks into laughter, and I ask if that image – of the ditz – frustrates her. “No. I flirt with it and I play with it. If it pisses people off, whatever.”

Marilyn Monroe was pretty smart, I offer.

“Marilyn was reading Nietzsche on the set of Something’s Got to Give,” Carey replies. “Marilyn Monroe Productions was the first female-owned production company in Hollywood. She paved the way for women in Hollywood, and every single woman owes something to her for that, whether they agree with her image or not.”

It’s tempting to hazard that some of Carey’s struggles, in her personal life and within the entertainment industry, parallel her idol. With both women, their public persona served as a disguise for a much more thorough grasp of their circumstances than either is given credit for. Like Monroe, Carey has experienced the ways in which the entertainment industry tries to control women. In 2005 she told Allure magazine that during her five-year marriage to Tommy Mottola, the chairman of Sony Music, she “longed for someone to come kidnap me… I used to fantasise about that. A lot. I’d have my pocketbook with me at all times in case I had to make an escape.” It was Mottola, also, who engineered Carey’s most saccharine songs with albums such as Music Box (1993) and Daydream (1995), resisting her efforts to explore other avenues in hip-hop and R&B. She was the biggest-selling artist of the 90s, but rarely on her own terms. When she did get her way – such as inviting Ol’ Dirty Bastard from the Wu-Tang Clan to rhyme over her 1995 hit “Fantasy” – the results were inspired, but it wasn’t until her post-divorce 1997 album Butterfly that fans got to hear Carey as Carey yearned to be heard.

The toll of all those years must have been immense. The first Mariah Carey album was released in 1990, spawning four number one singles in the US. She has been a hit-making machine ever since, dropping albums approximately every 18 months and generally burnishing her reputation as the most successful woman in pop of all time. That well-worn line about being eternally 12 years old is no mere vanity. It’s her pressure valve. “As a kid I made this pact,” she says, recalling an incident from her tough-as-nails childhood on Long Island. “There had been some sort of argument with my mom and the man she was dating at the time, and somehow I became a part of it – I was around eight or nine years old, and I said: ‘I’m never going to forget how it feels to be a kid, and you can’t be seen or heard.’ It’s as though your opinion doesn’t mean anything, or your feelings are not real.”

It was also as a kid that Carey found her voice. “I started singing when I started talking,” she says. “My mother was doing Rigoletto – she’s from the Midwest, but she got a scholarship to Julliard and came to New York – this young girl with the high shorts on meets my father, who she thought was Yul Brynner, driving around in a Porsche – there weren’t many bald black men driving around in a Porsche, and he was fly.” The marriage lasted three years, and Carey spent her childhood dealing with the dichotomies of her mixed-race background, neither white enough, nor black enough, to fully belong anywhere. “Being biracial is so much a part of who I am that it’s almost: ‘Let it go already’,” she says. “It’s intrinsic to me. I think a lot of my fans relate to me because they felt different.”

She has her own family now. Carey is mother to fraternal twins Moroccan and Monroe (from her second marriage, in 2008, to the multi-hyphenate Nick Cannon, whose Wikipedia entry lists him as actor, comedian, rapper, entrepreneur, record producer, radio and TV personality). “Pulling them away from me is so hard,” Carey says. “It’s unconditional love, and I never thought I was going to have kids – ever.” Why not? “I remember, as a child, saying: I’m never going to get married. I’m never going to have kids.” She pauses. “Here’s the thing: would I have been better off if my parents stayed married? No way. They were miserable together, but the grass is always greener. I had a great childhood in some ways – and that’s an amazing thing to be able to say – but I also didn’t, because I was the caretaker and I still am, like it started long before I had any financing.”

Her explanation for wanting to purchase Marilyn Monroe’s baby grand piano at auction in 1999 is instructive. “It was her only piece of the childhood she’d never had,” she says. “It was very important for her to find something to cling to.”

One reason Carey has developed such a strong and rewarding friendship with the director Lee Daniels, who cast her in Precious in 2009, is that both can connect over their hardscrabble childhoods; both grew up feeling like outsiders. “He brings out the schoolgirl in me,” Carey laughs. “You shouldn’t lose your inner child, but everybody does.”

Carey’s inner child plays better with some audiences than with others. At the OUT 100 Awards in New York last November, she generated rousing cheers and whoops from several thousand gay men assembled to see her present an award to Daniels.

“I’m a straight girl – I don’t really know why they asked me to be here – but my boobs have been out for years,” she joked, channelling drag-queen shtick as she flapped a lacy black fan against her face. By contrast, she shudders at the memory of an appearance with Daniels at the Palm Springs International Film Festival in 2010. “We didn’t really know what we were walking into, but it was a pretty conservative crowd,” she recalls, namechecking Sean Penn, Sidney Poitier and Clint Eastwood among the attendees. “Lee calls me Kitten, and I call him Cotton: it was just a private joke, onstage, on champagne, and the world was like: WTH, WTF, we don’t understand.” That appearance is one of several that are routinely aggregated in online symposia assessing Carey’s state of mind.

The most notorious remains an unscheduled appearance on the VH1 show Total Request Live in July 2001, when Carey surprised the host, Carson Daly, by pushing an ice cream cart on to the set before whipping off her T-shirt to reveal hotpants and a body-hugging top underneath. That incident, in which she told the live audience: “I just want one day off when I can go swimming and eat ice cream and look at rainbows”, was widely viewed as a nadir in Carey’s career. She was hospitalised for exhaustion a week later. This came shortly before the 11 September 2001 release of Glitter – the soundtrack to her semi-autobiographical movie. The extensive panning that both movie and album received knocked her career for six and lead to the annulment of her $100m, five-album contract with Virgin Records.

Even now, with Carey’s career back on the rails – her bestselling 2005 album The Emancipation of Mimi easily saw off the spectre of Glitter – the internet is a viper’s nest of snarky asides about Carey’s less-scripted moments. In 2008 the woman’s interest site Jezebel – usually a citadel of indignation at the ritual humiliations that women undergo – resurrected that TRL clip with the headline “Remember When Mariah Carey Went Crazy?” But for those less wrapped up in her baby-doll image, that appearance made Carey likable and true. Who doesn’t sometimes feel it’s all too much? Who does not, in their heart of hearts, pine to spend a day swimming and eating ice cream?

In the hotel suite where I meet Carey, with its tasteful arrangement of white roses, the fancy Diptyque candle and the glasses of prosecco, it’s hard to tell whether she’s on- or off-script this particular evening. She talks in a gush, changing direction mid-sentence, forcing me to keep up with the zigzags in her conversation. One minute she is talking about her nodules (“That’s how I hit those notes, because I’ve learned to manipulate them somehow”), the next she is tugging at the back of her dress.

“The zippers to these dresses,” she says, all good-natured exasperation and curves and smiles. “They make them and they break; it doesn’t matter how much you pay for it, they frickin’ break. There was a seamstress there, but she had gone; they had to call her back –Natalia from Italia. So it took a minute to get our tiny tailor and everybody to come back, and here we are, Aaron – I apologise, truly.”

It takes a moment to realise that this wardrobe malfunction is Carey’s explanation for her three-hour delay, a familiar drill to those who’ve interviewed her before.

Thirteen others were lined up behind me to chat to her that night, a veritable conveyor belt of platitudes and soundbites, predicated on the imminent release of her 14th album, formerly known as The Art of Letting Go and currently untitled. We’d each been promised an exclusive playback prior to meeting Carey, but a long-running series of delays and false dawns meant there was still no album to play. Instead we listen to three songs, all previously issued: “#Beautiful”, a duet with Miguel, “The Art of Letting Go” and “You’re Mine (Eternal)”, released on Valentine’s Day. None of these has yet succeeded in setting the charts alight, and the album’s birthing problems has given rise to rumours of deeper, underlying issues.

Carey’s post-Mottola career has been distinguished by big hits and modest hits, but lately it is the column of modest hits that gets longer. Carey’s last album, Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, sold just over 2m worldwide, compared to 12m for The Emancipation of Mimi, which earned eight Grammy nominations (and three wins).

Carey insists she just wants to get it right. “I want the album to be heard and felt [as] an experience,” she says. “I don’t want to just be, like: ‘Here’s another iTunes moment’ and this and that. Back then I allowed people to – how do I say it? – dictate policy to me, meaning if I didn’t like something they didn’t care. I listened to people – I was, like: ‘Fine, cool, do whatever.’ So now I’m just being adamant.”

But does Carey feel at all anxious that, at 44, she may soon have to reckon with the challenge of pop culture’s fixation with youth, a whole lot harder for women than for men? When I point out that she’s been a pop star for 25 years (her first number one single in the US was 1990’s “Vision of Love”) Carey goes into full-on Eartha Kitt mode. “First of all, don’t round up,” she admonishes. “If you’re going to round, round down!” There is that laugh again. She continues: “I don’t count years, but I definitely rebuke them – I have anniversaries, not birthdays, because I celebrate life, darling.”

As if realising this is almost too much a caricature of a diva, she adds: “Please put an LOL next to this, because people are going to be, like: WTF?”

Of course there is no written rule that a musician must find a way to keep putting out platinum-selling albums. Carey’s musical hero, Aretha Franklin, hasn’t had a major album since 1985’s “Who’s Zoomin’ Who?”, released when Franklin was 43, and her last commercially significant single was a 1987 duet with George Michael, “I Knew You Were Waiting”.

Carey describes her first meeting with Franklin as like meeting the Queen. She says she already received the ultimate accolade last Christmas, when she got to sing with Franklin at the tree-lighting ceremony at the White House. “Of course, I – like an idiot – stand there and sing, with no umbrella, in the rain – my hair was destroyed, after I went through so much trouble in my white ensemble. Aretha, she had her umbrella, she had everything, it was magical, and she walked by my trailer singing [Carey’s massive hit] ‘All I want For Christmas is You’.” Carey sings the words in her famous voice, all trills and stretched vocals, then begins to laugh. She is still laughing as a publicist ushers me out of the room to make way for the next writer. It’s a genuine laugh, and long after I leave the hotel, I can hear it, tinkling in my ears.

Mariah Carey’s as yet untitled album is released at the end of May.

February 21, 2013

Tommy Mottola: Saya Menangani Mariah Carey Dengan Benar


Begitu banyak yang harus dilakukan untuk membentuk seorang superstar terlebih untuk seseorang yang penuh talenta seperti Mariah Carey tentu dibutuhkan penanganan yang khusus. Itu lah yang dilakukan mantan petinggi Sony Music, Tommy Mottola, terhadap juri American Idol ini, menjadikannya bintang tangga lagu, bahkan menikahi sang diva muda di puncak kariernya.

Setelah menikah hampir lima tahun, mereka pun bercerai, dan Mariah menyebut mentor sekaligus suaminya itu sebagai seorang pengatur dan penekan. Namun Tommy berpendapat lain, dalam peluncuran buku terbarunya Hitmaker: The Man and His Music, ia berujar, “Saya tidak merasa harus meminta maaf terhadap Mariah, lihat dia sekarang.”

“I think anybody that’s successful becomes obsessive about what they’re trying to succeed at, I have nothing but the greatest respect for her in the world.. I feel great about all the things she’s achieved as a result of all the work that we did.”

Tommy menganggap sukses adalah sebuah keinginan keras yang terus diperjuangakan, apa yang ia lakukan terhadap Mariah Carey yang dianggap penuh tekanan adalah untuk kesuksesan Mariah sendiri, dan terbukti dengan apa yang Mariah terima dari dunia hingga sekarang.

Sumber: Today Entertainment
Teks: Endang Real Suryana
Foto: Wire Image

January 9, 2013

Mariah Carey Dibayangi Mantan Suami



Pernikahan Mariah Carey dan Tommy Mottola memang sudah berakhir. Bahkan, keduanya sudah memiliki pasangan masing-masing. Namun, sepertinya Mariah Carey tidak akan pernah bisa bebas seutuhnya dari mantan suaminya itu.

Pasalnya, dalam memoar Tommy Mottola berjudul Hitmaker, yang akan diluncurkan 15 Januari ini, Mottola mengklaim ketenaran Carey kini berkat jasanya. Di awal kariernya Carey ditemukan oleh Mottola yang saat itu pimpinan Sony Music. Brenda K. Starr memberinya demo Carey yang kemudian langsung bernyanyi di hadapan Mottola. Suami dari Thalia–bintang telenovela–itu langsung tertarik menjadikan Carey sebagai bintang.

Meski begitu, Carey sempat menggambarkan perasaaanya menikah dengan seorang lelaki yang berpengaruh di industri musik. “Aku menunggu seseorang datang untuk menculikku saat itu. Aku selalu berfantasi tentang itu,” ujar diva pop ini.

Usai bercerai, kabarnya Carey bahkan masih berusaha menyembuhkan trauma yang disebutnya hubungan yang merusak secara emosional dan mental. “Bagiku untuk bisa keluar itu sangat sulit,” Carey menambahkan. “Ini bukan hanya tentang pernikahan, tapi juga bisnis ketika seseorang mengatur hidupku.”

Pasangan ini menikah pada 1993 dan bercerai pada 1997. Tidak bisa dimungkiri, selama pernikahannya dengan Mottola, Carey mendapatkan kesuksesan seperti imipiannya.

January 8, 2013

Tommy Mottola Claims Responsibility for Mariah Carey’s Success


New York Post

It was the most sinister marriage in pop music this side of Ronnie and Phil Spector – and even today, music exec Tommy Mottola will never let ex-wife Mariah Carey be completely free of him. Married in 1993 and divorced in 1997, Carey gives this description of what it felt like to be a global pop superstar wedded to one of the most powerful men in the industry: “I longed for someone to come kidnap me back then,” she said. “I used to fantasize about that a lot.”

Even after their divorce, Carey spent years working through the trauma of what she called an emotionally and mentally abusive relationship. “For me, to really get out was difficult,” she said. “It was not only a marriage, but a business thing where the person was in control of my life.”

And as Mottola himself makes clear in his new memoir, “Hitmaker”, out January 15 – just one day before Carey makes her debut as a judge on “American Idol” – he still claims ownership over his ex.

In October 1988, Carey was a struggling 18-year-old singer from Long Island, living in a one-bedroom in Manhattan with two roommates. She was tough, a result of her chaotic, complicated childhood. Carey was born in Huntington, LI; her mother, Patricia, was an Irish-American opera singer, and her father, Alfred, a black Venezuelan aeronautics engineer. Patricia was disowned by her family for marrying outside her race, and the couple was often the target of racially motivated attacks – their dogs poisoned, their house set on fire.

When Carey was three, her parents divorced. She and her older brother, Morgan, lived with their mother, while her older sister, Allison, moved in with their father. As a child, Carey moved around a lot; this, coupled with her multiracial identity, caused her great confusion. “I always felt different from everybody else,” she has said. “If you look a certain way, everybody goes, ‘White girl’. And I’d go, ‘No. That’s not what I am.’ ” She has said she does not consider herself black or white.

From a very early age, Carey was obsessed with music, and her mother became her informal vocal coach. At Harborfields HS in Greenlawn, LI, Carey was ditching class to work on songs with a couple of friends. She was absent so often that other kids called her “Mirage”, and in her high-school yearbook she wrote that her interests were “sleeping late, Corvettes and gueidos [sic]”.

Not much time elapsed between high school and her meeting Tommy Mottola, then the 39-year-old head of Sony Music. The official version, and the one that Mottola retells in his book, has him at an industry party when Brenda K. Starr, then a B-list singer for whom Carey had sung backup, passed him a copy of Carey’s demo recording; he listened to it in the car on his way home.

“An unbelievable energy was running though me,” he writes, “screaming, ‘Turn the car around! That may be the best voice you’ve ever heard in your life!’ ” Three days later, Mottola called Carey in for a meeting. In truth, Carey had already been offered a $30,000 deal with Warner, but Mottola simply upped the figure by $50,000. He told her he would make her the biggest pop star in the world – bigger than Whitney, bigger than Madonna. She’d just have to get rid of her collaborator, who was also her boyfriend.

Mottola also felt that he and Carey had “great chemistry”, as he puts it. So even though he was married with two children, Carey, “flirtatious from the moment I set eyes on her”, caused him to act against his better judgment. And he acted like a teenager himself, going in to work and gossiping with fellow executives about the details of his nights with Carey.

It never occurs to him, all these years later, that the power imbalance was inherently toxic. Mottola’s therapist, however, did, and repeatedly told him not to pursue his young protégée. “You don’t understand!” he’d tell his shrink, according to the book. “Mariah is going to be the biggest star in the world. She’s going to be as big as Michael Jackson.”

Undeterred, his therapist kept telling Mottola that Carey was still just a teenage girl, one barely out of a rough upbringing, who was in no way his equal – chronologically, mentally, emotionally, professionally. What the shrink didn’t understand was that Mottola wanted exactly that: an empty vessel, someone he could create and then unleash upon the world as the ultimate Tommy Mottola production.

After signing Carey, Mottola took control of everything: hiring Carey’s producers, songwriters, arrangers. He spent $1.8 million on her debut record and when he saw the first cut of her debut video, for “Vision of Love”, he demanded it be scrapped and spent another $500,000 on re-shoots. By the end of 1991, Carey’s eponymous debut record had sold more than 15 million copies, making it the best-selling album of the year.

Carey was just 21 years old. She wanted to take a break, to have a minute to enjoy her success, to party and shop and travel, but Mottola felt she needed to keep working, and back in the studio she went. “My feeling was that there’d be plenty of time for Mariah to celebrate just a little ways down the road,” he writes. “I’m not talking 10 years, just a few.”

Mottola felt particularly vindicated when he escorted Carey to her first-ever Grammy ceremony, where she won two awards – and not because she was his biggest project, but because his shrink was probably watching. “I can only now wonder about the expression on my therapist’s face when… she saw Mariah thank God for that first Grammy, and then Tommy Mottola for believing in her,” he writes. “She could no longer call me delusional.”

After arranging a quickie divorce from his first wife, Mottola married Carey in a ceremony so vulgar that one guest called it not so much a wedding as “a coronation”. Carey, then 23, watched replays of Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding for inspiration, then ordered an even longer bridal train (27 feet to Di’s 25) and more flower girls (50 to Di’s 5 – all fans, Mottola says).

In the book, Mottola says he remembers little of the day itself, and that later, it was one photo that stood out to him: his 12-year-old daughter in tears, hugging her 13-year-old brother. It crushed him, Mottola says – not because he was so detached from their distress, but because clearly they understood this union would end badly. “They knew in their bones what I simply couldn’t feel,” he writes.

Carey would soon learn who she was married to: the more famous she became, the more Mottola constrained her. When she talked about wanting to record younger, more modern stuff – hip-hop and R&B-driven – Mottola shut her down, demanding she sing treacly power ballads such as “Hero”, which she openly loathed. He made Carey do a Christmas album – Christmas, he writes, is his favorite holiday – and when she sardonically asked him if he was trying to turn her into Connie Francis, he nearly laughed in her face: “How the hell,” he writes, “does she even know who Connie Francis is?”

To this day Mottola maintains that Carey must be grateful that he forced these decisions upon her. That Christmas album, he points out, has sold more than 20 million copies. “Helloooo!” he writes. As Carey kept agitating to work with artists who were young and actually relevant, Mottola’s roster was aging and decaying: Billy Joel, Hall & Oates, Gloria Estefan, the rapidly unraveling Michael Jackson – these were his priorities in a landscape dominated by alternative rock and hip-hop.

When, in 1993, she released the single she fought so hard for – “Fantasy”, a wild mash-up that sampled Tom Tom Club’s “Genius of Love” and featured a cameo interlude by Ol’ Dirty Bastard – she was proven right. Mottola clamped down even harder. Carey was relegated to the Bedford, NY, mansion he had built, a 20,000-square-foot residence replete with gourmet kitchen, recording studio, indoor shooting range and surveillance cameras everywhere. Carey had two bodyguards assigned to her at all times, even when she went to the bathroom. She called the house “Sing Sing” – a morbid reference to her caged-bird status.

Mottola himself did nothing to soften his own image, and a 1996 Vanity Fair profile proved deadly, portraying him as an uneducated thug with questionable taste who had muscled his way to the top. The article noted that Mottola drove around in an armored limo, carried a 9mm Glock in his briefcase, and had such dubious connections that Sony Music asked the FBI to carry out a background check before hiring him. (The verdict: He was clean, his friends weren’t.)

Carey was not available for comment at the time. “She won’t be talking,” Mottola told the reporter. “It’s not good for her; it’s not good for me; it’s not good for the company.” In many ways that profile was the best thing that could have happened to Carey: the world now knew, and within weeks she left. “A private hell” was how she later described their marriage.

In his book, Mottola offers a classic non-apology: “If it seemed like I was controlling,” he writes, “I apologize. Was I obsessive? Yes. But that was also part of the reason for her success.”

December 18, 2012

Mariah Carey Didukung Suami Jadi Juri



SUAMI penyanyi pop Mariah Carey sangat mendukung istrinya, untuk bergabung sebagai juri di ajang American Idol. Pelantun ‘Hero’ ini sempat merasa sedikit khawatir. Namun pembawa acara “America’s Got Talent”, Nick Cannon terus mendukungnya,

“Dia sangat ingin aku melakukan hal tersebut. Aku sendiri merasa keberatan dengan tawaran tersebut. Karena aku tidak tahu bagaimana cara untuk beradaptasi dalam situasi tersebut,” terangnya seperti dikutip Xinmsn, Minggu (16/12).

“Terkadang aku merasa seperti melihat diriku di dalam diri beberapa kontestan ketika aku pertama kali memulainya dan aku senang. Aku menyesal sebelumnya tidak pernah mengikuti acara seperti ini,” seru mantan istri Tommy Mottola ini.

“Ini sangat menyenangkan, Kami masih dalam tahap awal tapi aku sudah belajar cukup banyak. Aku ingin menjadi yang terbaik sebisaku untuk menolong para kontestan,” imbuhnya.

January 3, 2012

Thalia Berbicara Tentang Mariah di Otobiografinya

Superstar internasional Thalia, yang saat ini menikah dengan mantan suami Mariah Carey, Tommy Mottola, baru-baru ini merilis otobiografinya, Growing Stronger Cada Dia Mas Fuerte. Di dalamnya, dia sedikit berbicara tentang Mariah.

Ketika mereka mengatakan kepada Tommy bahwa saya adalah seorang aktris dan penyanyi, dia hampir membiarkan saya di sana, menunggu di sebuah restoran. Dia bercerai dari Mariah Carey hanya beberapa tahun sebelum kami bertemu, dan hal terakhir yang telah ia pikirkan adalah terlibat dengan penyanyi lain, dan sedikitnya dengan aktris. Lebih buruk lagi, dengan seorang wanita yang bahkan berbicara dalam bahasa berbeda dengannya. Tapi kita ditakdirkan untuk bersama. Tidak ada jalan lain. Bahkan, saat saya mengetahui bahwa dia adalah mantan suami Mariah Carey, itu membuat saya sedikit tertawa, karena saya tidak punya petunjuk tentang siapa dia hingga akhirnya saya tahu dia menikah dengan Mariah.

Saya begitu mengagumi Mariah sebagai penyanyi. Bahkan, saya mencintai musiknya. Dia adalah seorang pelopor yang telah membuat perbedaan dengan rentang vokalnya, dan dengan baladanya yang spesial, begitu juga dengan nada suara tingginya yang unik dan sangat khas. Dan tentu saja dengan Tommy Mottola sebagai manajer sekaligus presiden label rekaman pada waktu itu, secara logis semua faktor pendukung yang dia miliki mampu membuatnya menjadi begitu terkenal. Saya masih berpikir dia adalah seorang wanita dengan bakat yang layak dikagumi. Bunga-bunga terbesar dan paling indah yang saya terima ketika Sabrina putri kami lahir adalah kiriman darinya.