Articles 1997 - Heroes of Mariah

From Rotations Magazine
Music gave strength and inspiration to svelte soul songbird Mariah Carey, Steve Edwards hears her chorus.....

I'm daydreaming, about to meet the biggest-selling female artist of the `90's in a plush central london hotel. This is to be our second sitting, the first was over two years ago, celebrating the release of "Music Box", her fourth album for Sony. The stream of journalists and TV reporters came as no surprise, some had been waiting at least two hours. Most preoccupied
thenselves with constant deliveries from room service whilst awaiting an audience with Mariah Carey.

SE: A lot has happened since 1990, tell us about it.
MC: I've put out six albums in five years - I don't know other people that have done that. I'm not quite sure how I did actually, but I remember that after completing the first album I had so many ideas I didn't want to just shelve, I figured I would accumulate stuff and just carry on recording.

SE: Were these songs you had penned at high school?
MC: Yes. I wrote most of the first album when I was in high school, shopping for a record deal in the hope of fulfilling my dream. "My whole life I've always wanted to sing". I've been singing since I was 4 years old and started writing at 12.

SE: What were the things that excited you the most in your early childhood?
MC: I had a crazy childhood. I moved a lot with my mother and had a lot of hectic things happen in my life. The constant thing for me was my love of singing, music got me through anything I was going through - which further confirmed my desire to be come a professional singer.

SE: Was the lifestyle associated with the music business an attraction?
MC: I think growing up and not having a lot motivated me, because I never felt stable. I always felt like the rug could be pulled out from under me. I didn't really have any stability in my life and I guess that was a driving force.

SE: As the records go by you're doing more duets. You teamed up with Luther (Vandross) on "Songs" and Boyz II Men make an appearance on the current album, a very different collaboration.
MC: I had a great time working with Wayne, Shawn, Nate and Michael, it was a unique experience. I had the idea for this song, "One Sweet Day", I did half the melody and lyrics and then stopped because when I wrote the chorus I thought "this is a Boyz II Men chorus".  I could hear their voices on this song and I thought it would be the ultimate if I could get them to sing on it.

SE: Why "if I could get them?"one would think that at your level in the business it was easy to get togetther with such stars.
MC: Well, I hadn't met them before, we had only waved at each other at award shows, you know. I don't take this kind of thing for granted, so we got together and I played them the idea and sang my few lyrics, I had the hook already. The theme is about losing a loved one, Nate had written a very similar song for their road manager who was killed few years ago. Lyrically it was almost identical to mine and melodically he could sing it over my track, which created an incredible feeling in the room. it was an amazing moment, so we put the two songs together.

SE: You've managed to tap into the pulse of society across the world. What is it that your are communicating through your songwriting that is so consistently successful?
MC: "I live for the radio". Everywhere I go I have to have it with me, I feel that "it keeps me in touch with what's going on" in music today. On "Daydream" I really enjoyed working with new young producers like Jermaine Dupri, Puffy Combs and ODB.

SE: Was there a "back to the roots" directive for this album as apposed to your regular mainstream/crossover appeal?
MC: I would have loved to have been doing this the whole time, but I also love to sing ballads and express myself in that way, I think once that happened and it hit, people though "we've got to have those ballads and pust it in that direction". That's great too because those songs make a great impact on people, which is important to me. I love doing stuff where I can stretch vocally, for example on remixes, people really respond to them because they're exciting records. I feel that if the track reflects something that people are feeling then it's going to work, that's how new artists become popular. It's not necessarily true that, because I have a big name now, anything I do is going to blow up and be the biggest thing and connect with people.

SE: If it all stopped tommorrow, how would you deal with the change?
MC: I would sit back and try to understand what happened and why, look at the situation and everything I've accomplished. Be thankful for it, hang out at home and play with my dogs, do whatever I feel like doing and maybe record an album that's not commercial - go in a different direction.

SE: What do you think that your represent to the women of the world?
MC: Some women identify, some probably don't.

SE: And for those that don't?
MC: I really don't know, it's very hard for me to analyse and understand other people's views of me because I'm the person living inside myself. I think that the danger that you get into when you're a public person is that everybody forms opinions about you, good, bad or indifferent. When you sit down to an interview you're not going to say the things you would say to your closest friend. When I first meet somebody I'm kind of shy, as I get to know them I loosen up and when they really get to know me I become a total freak! I think the same thing has happened with my career in general, my comfortability level-just talking about stuff and relaxing - has risen, when I started everybody made me feel so paranoid, being a young girl surrounded by powerful people who are pushing you in different directions and taking your through the motions. Not that they're trying to, but they end up moulding and controlling you - "I knew nothing other than writing songs and being a kid, dreaming of being a singer".

SE: Does your marriage to the head of Sony, Tommy Mottola, have any influence on your career?
MC: I didn't enter the record business being his wife, you know. I had a demo that he happened to hear, a lot of songs on that demo ended up being very successful.

SE: You directed the "Fantasy" video yourself, why?
MC: It was a very interesting experience directing my own video, a learning experience too. I've done a lot of videos and never felt 100% happy with them. Some things I like, but when your communicate something to a director they can only do it from their point of view, they're not inside my head seeing what I'm visualising. So I got a great production team who helped me through it and explained things to me. I worked with a great director of photography, his name is Max and he's young and cool and didn't have an ego problem dealing with me. I just wanted to get my vision across and they helped me to do that.

SE: Why did you decide to start your own label?
MC: I love music, and I think that working with new artists will be really exciting - I kinda know how it feels to be the artist dealing with the record company people and stuff. I've been in contact with a number of artists who don't have deals and are very talented. It'll be fun, another creative outlet for me and a chance to spread out and do a bunch of other things.

Ronny Olovsson interviews Mariah in Sweden (05/30/1997) (translated by my friend Anderz back in time)
Okay Mariah, you've just gone through a divorce, did you learn any positive things from that?
- It has been good for me because I've learned to be strong and independent. I've learned to trust my own judgement. To make my own decisions.

Do you go through a change musically as well?
- I think the Butterfly Album is a big change for me. This time I could cooperate with those hip-hop artists I wanted to work with. It's more of a big city record. And it scared a lot of people that I wanted to do that type of Album. But I haven't cut off my past, I still do the ballads.

Now to the big question, are you still single?
- Mmmh..... (nods a yes)

Okay, how do you want to be seduced?
- Unless the man knows it himself... then it's bound to fail.

- I don't know... roses? Guys who don't know how to seduce a woman won't have a chance no matter the advices they get. There is no "secret."

Okay. You've been taking acting lessons lately, when will the debut take place?
- There is a script written for me right now which looks really good. And I'm in negotiations with movie company Touchstone Pictures right now, so hopefully we can start filming during 1998. I've already recorded one of the songs to the soundtrack. A song I took from this album.

There you see, what is the movie about?
- It takes place during the 70s. And it's not just about a "soul singer". I think it's a history that will shock people a bit. It's not so cute... I've written things that wasn't easy to deal with, things from my childhood. But I don't want to say too much. All I can say is that it is about a family.

Speaking about family, your big sister Allison Scott, have threatened to write a book where she will reveal your "betrayal" towards her and the rest of the family.
- Oh! Is that really true? I don't know... (heavy sigh!) I don't really want to comment on that. All I can say is that it's sad to see what greed can do to people. Her life seems to be the opposite to yours, it looks more like a tragedy. She's been a drug addict... I can't talk about all that for juridical reasons. But... sometimes you can only give as much as you can give, to take care of people on the best way... you know. Become the parent and the one taking all the responsibility. And to give everything you've got emotionally. And still it's not enough for some people. These people have deeper personal problems. Things that can't be solved with consideration. You can't "heal" those people. A human can only heal herself.

Sounds hard...
- There are lots of hard things in my life, things in my past I don't talk about so much because I don't want to get stuck in negative emotions. I am what I am, I have the life I have and I can't sit today and cry about what happened to me when I was a child. I am happy with what I have today, that I have been blessed with the success I've had. I haven't got the ideal American role model family, but what can I do about that?

You got a "Rockbjornen" from Aftonbladets readers 1994, where do you have your bear?
- I still have it. It is on a shelf back home.

That's good to know. Oh.. a quote who shocked alot of people was when you were quoted by Radio 1 in England in June 1996: "When I see all those starving children in Africa on my TV I wan't to cry. I mean, I'd love to be that thin, but oh my God, all those flies..."
- That is a total lie, that is bullshit! The fact that people think I said that makes me sick. I've NEVER said it. I don't know who could be stupid enough to say such a thing. If people thinks I'm that dumb it makes me sad. It's the same with all those nudes on the Internet, it's not me either, it's manipulated pictures where my head has been placed on a nude body. This type of lies are offending, really offending. And frustrating.

Okay, last thing, the fact that you've gone through a divorce, have it changed your faith in love, the faith that there's someone out there for you?
- No. I really hope there is one...

What do you say about...Spice Girls?
- I can't comment on that, I don't listen to their music at all. I'm all about Hip Hop and R&B.

...President Clinton?
- I met him one time in the White House when I was their to sing for policemen who got wounded in duty and he seemed to be a nice man.

- Cold! But it's fun, because here my good friend Josefine lives, so we can meet and have fun together when I'm here.

...Dog or cat?
- Both. I've had both cats and dogs. Sadly I don't have my cats now...

- He is responsible for everything I am and everything I've got.
"Rockbjornen" is a statue shaped as a bear, Mariah got one in 1994 because Swedish people voted her as best singer that year.

Interview - Daily Telegraph (Australia)
Headed Down Under, super songstress Mariah Carey tells Bronwen Gora how she's taken control of her own life.
Eighty million records sold - and counting. Mariah Carey's star is shining so brightly she admits it almost blinds her.
From her newly bought apartment in Manhattan's fashionable Upper East Side, the gorgeous 27-year-old singer grapples with how it feels to be a phenomenon. "It's incredible," Carey acknowledges. "I don't really think about it because the enormity of what that means is something other than the reality of who I am."
"It doesn't feel like that." Carey is indisputably the biggest selling female artist of the decade - and more.

Her albums shoot to number one and turn platinum at lightning speed. She is the only female artist to have had three albums sell more than eight million copies each. She has had more charts toppers than any other solo female artist in the rock era.
Carey also married one of the most powerful men in the music industry, Sony president Tommy Mottola.
But if the last decade has seen Carey arrive, this year she's well and truly grown up.

Early this year she formed her own record label, Crave, in a joint venture with Sony.
Then in June she split from Tommy Mottola.

On her latest album, Butterfly, she's teamed up with rappers with names like Bones Thugs and Harmony. Any on her sassy videos, she is showing a lot more of her shapely body.

"Well that's who I've always been," Carey says, speaking like a woman suddenly set free.
"It's just that (before) everybody felt that was a little bit threatening for me - and for the public.
"Everybody's just always had me covered up."
For "Everybody", read the record industry which has cossetted her ever since Mottola discovered her as a teenager.

How the tables have turned. Nowadays, Carey calls the shots in a game that she says has been controlled by others for too long. She talks of "my decisions", "my music", "my image".
"I used to feel a little bit insecure and cautious," Carey says. "I'd edit myself and really listen to what other people said - and they said: 'If you wear this you may not succeed; if you do this stye of music it might not work' - even though my gut would always be to go with what I liked.

"Now I'm doing what I want musically and image-wise and I'm responsible." Carey even talks about "trying to fit in some fun," perhaps a holiday sailing with friends, as though it is a long-forgotten feeling.

She is careful not to name her estranged husband as one of those who have cramped her style. the much older Mottola was said to be so obsessed about losing his young wife that he had her tailed earlier this year.
"I care about Tommy as a person and I always will," Carey says. "He represents a large portion of my life. I've really known him since I was really a kid, a teenage girl, and we've been through a lot together."

Any men in her life post-Mottola? "No, unfortunately," she laments, explaining she is lying in bed with a cold after a hectic day rehearsing in wintry New York.
"I'm just sitting here alone about to take a bath and waiting for my dogs (terriers Jack, a Jack Russell, and Ginger,a Yorkshire) to get home from doggy day care."

For all her success and it's lavish accompaniments - including her $500,000 wedding four years ago attended by such heavy weights as Barbara Streisand and Bruce Springsteen - Carey attests she remains unchanged by fame.

"I still feel like the same person from before this all started," she says. "Because of the way I grew up I felt the rug could be pulled from me at any time. I'm never really at ease with the fact that everything is going to be OK."

Carey's parents - her father, Alfred, a black aeronautical engineer and her Irish-American mother, Patricia, a vocal coach and opera singer - divorced when she was three.
She has an older sister who became involved in prostitution and drugs and is HIV positive, and a brother with cerebral palsy.
Carey says she was saved from falling by the wayside because of her mother's constant reassurances. Patricia spotted Carey's talent and five-octave voice when her daughter was barely out of nappies.

"I always had this great hope for success," says Carey. "My mom always told me to believe in myself and to visualise myself doing what I wanted to be doing and that it could happen if I did that. I prayed and hoped and I focused from a very, very early age."

At 17 Carey headed for New York to seek the fame she craved. With one set of clothes and her mother's borrowed shoes, Carey lived in a tiny loft in a friend's apartment, waitressing and hawking demo tapes to the recording industry.

"I would walk to my little job and my feet would be in the ice and snow because of the holes in my shoes," Carey says.
"But I knew that this was going to happen for me. I knew that was part of what I had to go through. I didn't feel sorry for myself."

Her life changed forever when she met Mottola at a New York party and gave him a demo tape. He listened to it in his car on the way home and spent a week tracking her down.
Ever since, Carey has endured taunts that her success is due to her relationship with Mottola.
She points out she almost skipped that fateful music industry party because, days earlier, Warner Bros had drawn up a contact for her - she just hadn't signed it.
All the Sony meeting did was give her more leverage when she eventually did sign with them.

Australians can thank Carey's new-found boldness for her tour here early next year.
She says she desperately wanted to head Down Under after her last Japan tour but "nobody booked it".
"Now the decisions I'm making are up to me and I really wanted to come here," she says defiantly.

Transcript: Interview from 2 Day FM, Sydney
An live interview via satellite with Mariah Carey. Here is how it went... 
K: Host (Keeth Williams)
M: Mariah Carey
(Honey plays in the background)

K:  We welcome you around Australia, Hi this is Keeth Williams, and in Los Angeles via satellite - Mariah Carey. 
K: Hello Mariah.
M:  Hi..Hi Keeth.

K: Now this technological achievement I never heard of before. You are in a Hotel. At the Mondriana Hotel on Sunset Boulevard. Is that right?
M: Well now you've given me away....

Both giggles

K:  I was talking about the wonders of technology rather than where you were.
M: Oh NO..NO.. It is pretty amazing.

K: It is indeed. We keep on talking to you, this is the second time we've spoken to you via Home Free. When are we going to get to see you in Australia?
M: January may be..I'm coming out there you can't stop me.

K: Your world tour start at Oct 7th. Have you definitely scheduled in Australia is that right?
M: Oh, Definitely, I'll be in there in January, I'm looking forward to the beach and all those things. Because it'd going to be summer right?

K: It is going to be as hot here than as it is in Los Angeles today I believe which is something like 100 degrees. 
M: Yeah, it is 105 but I'm in hotel room all day, so I didn't experience it really.

K: So January we can expect to see you as part of world tour, I know you had some hesitancy and limited live touring before you really going for it this time right?
M: giggles. It's not that I was hesitating. It's just that I had got into this you know started singing and writing and doing all that stuff, producing when I was in studio and then it just sort of happened and I have to tour. You know I don't think I was quite prepared at the beginning. But now I loved it. So I'll be there see you all.

K: And how long are you expecting the tour to go for Mariah?
M: Ahm, I think it's just going to be simply be.. I'm going to be in the States from October to December than I'll be down there with you guys in January and in Japan and stuff. So a few month.

K: Well you played Japan last year as well didn't you?
M:  Yes I did. Should have come over there then..

K:  Yes you should have. That's the answer.
M:  I know. That wasn't my fault.

K: Mariah Carey is with us on the line from Los Angeles and this is a number one song from a number one album. Always Be My Baby from Daydream.

Always Be My Baby plays.

K: This is Home Free with Keeth Williams and we are talking to the biggest selling female artist of the 90's and that just so far. Mariah Carey in Los Angeles. So Mariah you are not pregnant but a new baby is due in September your seventh.
M: giggles. What? 
Both laughs

K: Butterfly
M: You're talking about my album and trying to be tricky.

K: It takes just about as much time and effort to produce an album as does a baby doesn't it?
M: Well I can't speak from personal experience, but it definitely a lot of time and effort. I'm very proud of this one so..

K: What is the biggest difference do you think with this new album? 
M: ..Hmmm there is a lot of kinda of urban feel to the whole thing, but I definitely still have the ballads that I have been known for. And occasionally there but I have a lot of collaboration on this record. I worked with "Bone Thugs and Harmony" on one song kinda a combination but it came out really great. It's one of my favorites on the album. And I
worked with Puffy, Q-Tip, The Track Masters, and Foxy Brown.  And then I worked with Walter again, who's done a lot of ballads from Hero to Anytime You Need A Friend, and all other songs.

K: We would imagine from all of those people who had an R&B in it and Hip Hop groove and shall that Puffy Combs or Puff Daddy No. 1 album I believe on Billboard this weekend in America and his song I'll Be Missing You is a huge hit here. He worked with you on the single of course didn't he?  Honey
M: Yeah so I worked with Puffy, Q-tip and Steve Jay on the single, call it a collaborative effort though that one was.

K: So is Honey indicative of the most of album in terms of feel.
M: No. I mean it varies goes from song like Honey and the one I did with Bone Thugs and which is called Breakdown which is a sort of like Always Be My Baby and a way it reminds of that, because it has the Bone Thugs feel the way they do their rhythms so uniquely. I was very inspired when I wrote the idea and they came in and they wrote the bridge. So I thought it is a really good collaboration. And then I had ballads of course. So it's pretty wide range on the album it's not just Hip Hop or something. 

Honey starts playing.

K: We going to play now the brand new song of Mariah Carey. It's Honey on Home Free.
Plays the entire Honey song.

K:  Mariah is our guest. This is Home Free with Keeth Willams. And Mariah Carey in Los Angleles via a satellite believe or not. She is in a hotel room in Los Angeles don't ask me about the technology but I think it's great. Convenient for you Mariah.
M:  What do you think of next? What they think of next.

K: Look. It is pretty well documented that you've separated from your husband Sony music chief Tommy Mottola.  I noticed on the Wire the other day that you changed managers and lawyers and of course a new album coming up with what we fairly say has a different feel to it. Are all these changes all one of the same Mariah?
M: Oh. Of course not. I mean.. You know as always making personal to separate from professional and it's still that way. It's just now, in my life it was time for a new beginning in a lot of ways professionally and so you know. That's how I've been handling things. But everything is great, there are no hard feelings and any of these areas it's just the right time for me. And the album does have a different feel, but it's still a Mariah Carey album, It's not like a fan enjoy what I did in the past look at it and not get what they expected. You know.. it's not like suddenly I went psycho and I thought I'm going to do rap now. It's not like I'm rapping you know.

Both cracked up

K: Mariah Carey does the Fugees.
M: Right.

K: I also read the article in New York Newsday where Liz Smith wrote. She say even though you separated from Tommy Mottola. In fact you were probably better friends now then you ever be.
M: Definitely. We definitely are we had a great relationship we still hang out together you know we still see each other. He came by the studio the other day, so it's great. He actually gave us a listening party for the album. I think the whole label is behind him and excited about it.

K: Well we certainly are. And we talking to Mariah Carey who was is our guest on Home Free. 
Without You Plays

K: Reference to earlier Mariah she mentions while you are recording the Butterfly album I think in the Manhattan, you caught taking a nap in your car. (laughing) in the street in New York. What is going on?
M: I wasn't in my car I'm on top of the car. Ok I had two recording session going on down the street of each other. So I'm kept going back and forth from session to session and at one point I was waiting for someone to show up and I just kinda sat down on the car reclining so I felt asleep for a brief moment.

K:  (continue laughing).. It's not a good look
M: I'm working. They tell me I'm the hardest working women in show biz. I think I believe that.

K: Well you just stick to it. What sort of car was it?
M: It was sort like a Gramlin you know like 1970, it wasn't a limo.

K: Ha..Ha.. A Gramlin I got one of those, every car I got has a gramlin in it. So you got all those work. I understand the pressure of recording etc. So what do you do to relax. Do you have a sport?
M: Hmm. I'm not really a sports gal. But I like to go sailing and snorkelling and stuff like that. And that's actually where I got my idea for the Honey video. Because I was down at Puerto Rico jet skiing and doing all that kinda of stuff sailing. So that's where I got my idea from the video there. Seen it yet?

K: No I haven't seen it. Yet the song has only been out a week or so. 
M: Ok.

K: Is that reprimand that I feel down the line here.
Both Laughs
M: I had to sent to you Keeth.

K: No, I'm sure Sony upon hearing this will have one by the end of the hour. 
M: Get on it guys, come on

K: So you say you are not much physical thing so much in another word sport that much. But you certainly have to get to a level of fitness to do this tour aren't you?
M: Oh.. I'm not saying I'm not physically fit, I'm athletic but I don't really play sport, not out there with my tennis racket you know and my tennis skirt.

K: Is world tour and lots of dates more mentally or physically enduring?
M: Physically because it's my voice. Because voice is a muscle like anything else gets tired. People are coming here to hear me sound like the record. I wanted to do that so that's why I have to take it easy and slow and I can't drain myself.

K: We also believe you've been negotiating a movie deal.
M: Yeah, I've been working on that. It's something I can't really get into because its not totally finalized and done. But I'm very excited about it.

K: Can you telling us apart giving us detail, can you tell us what sort of role do you like to play?
M: I didn't really go into that right now. Because everything is still being worked out and its been written as soon as I can. I'll call you directly Keeth and I'll tell you the whole scoop

K:  Who would you like to work with in movies?
M: Um.. there is countless you know amazing people I love to work with. But I'm just exciting now by the prospect of doing it and it's going to be another career outlet for me something different than being in studio and sing. Which I always love to do and totally live for it. It's going to be a great experience. 

K: Now Mariah I'm taking your word, you will be here in January . If the next time we see you in movie we will all be very disappointed down here
M: ..What!! 
Both laugh
M: I will never tell you I wasn't going to come. It's not I'm going to come or I'm not going to come. I'll be there. I can't wait to get to the beach. You gonna take me personally, show me the beach.

K: You know what I'm quite happily to do that, you know what, I'm looking at the beach as I speak.
M: You are, good alright I'm looking forward to it.

K: You've sold over 80 million album so far with your last 6 albums  I guess a reasonable target would be 50 or 60 with this new Butterfly album.  Wouldn't it? 
M: Heh I never ever ever count the check ins before. I just hope for people like the album and it definately is my favourite album that I've done. I listen to it every night before I go to sleep.

K: Oh well, with Honey as a indication that it's going to be a great album we are looking forward to seeing you we are going to hold you to your word on your world tour for January Butterfly is out on 16 September Mariah Carey thank you for your time
M:  Thank you Keeth.

Dreamlover plays.

From TIME Magazine
If Whitney Houston can do it, why can't Mariah Carey?  The diva of deep record sales is dipping her toes into the waters of acting.  The video for her new song, Honey, which debuts this week, opens with a comedy sketch, after which she scampers around like a Bond girl (read: lots of changes into different, but equally skimpy, outfits).  She's also in discussions
about doing a movie.  "It's a great way to release different creative energy," Carey says of acting.  Her music is also changing-away from touchy-feely ballads to more collaborations with hip-hop artists.  And her lyrics are more personal, perhaps because her separation from Sony honcho Tommy Mottola has given her more to write about.  She also finds she's
more written about.  "Everytime I meet someone now or just talk to them at a party," she says, "people speculate."

Calling the Shots, Solo
By Elysa Gardner
In her first album since she separated from her husband and champion, Sony Music chief Tommy Mottola, Mariah Carey says she's devised a strong statement of who she is now.
In the video for Mariah Carey's new single, "Honey," the pop star plays a secret agent who has been kidnapped and is being held in a sprawling mansion in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Our beleaguered heroine is tied to a chair, clad in a skimpy black dress and four-inch stiletto heels. Carey escapes, and is next spotted emerging from a swimming pool, this time wearing a skin-colored bikini that leaves even less to the imagination than her previous outfit. In the final reel, we see her cavorting with a hunk on a deserted beach. The screen reads: "Mission accomplished." While riding to the midtown Manhattan recording studio the Hit Factory, where she'll put the finishing touches on her upcoming "Butterfly" album, the singer can't help but grin as she imagines how her fans will react to these provocative scenarios. "I don't really think the video is overtly sexual," she insists, stretching out her long legs as if to touch the opposite end of the limousine with her toes. "But for me--I mean, people used to think I was the '90s version of Mary Poppins!" To be sure, Carey has never gone to great lengths to camouflage her voluptuous figure or her exotic good looks, for which she can thank a blond, Irish American mom and a black Venezuelan dad. But the singer's overall image since soaring to fame seven years ago has been one of a bubbly, G-rated crooner of fluffy, G-rated pop-soul songs--more glamorous than Mary Poppins, perhaps, but just as wholesome and nonthreatening. At 27, though, Carey seems to be tiring of that role. In the tradition of Janet Jackson's 1993 album "janet.," on which pop music's other all-American sweetheart declared herself a strong-willed, sexually mature woman, Carey's new album--due in stores Sept. 16--mixes candid romantic ballads with hormonally charged dance numbers, sending a clear message that the ingenue with the multi-octave range has grown up. "I feel really close to this album," Carey says. "I've come into my own as an artist, and at this point I feel free enough to express what I'm really feeling, without using a smoke screen. This may sound strange, but I listen to the album every night before I go to sleep--it calms me. Not because it's boring, but because I feel good about it--because there are so many things that are real on it. It's definitely an evolution for me." Carey certainly appears to be in good spirits as she saunters into the Hit Factory complex. After warmly greeting her mom, the singer enters a studio and excitedly pops a just-mastered tape of songs from "Butterfly" into a cassette deck. She seems downright giddy as she introduces the first few songs, twirling her long hair and affecting a playful English accent that could have been lifted straight out of a Monty Python flick. But as she settles onto a sofa to listen to "Outside," a ballad that describes how being multiracial made her feel insecure and alienated as a child, Carey suddenly grows pensive. The lyrics in many of these songs, she says, draw on "everything I've been through in my life," from pre-adolescent angst to obsessive love. For the album's more upbeat tracks, Carey collaborated with some of the biggest writers and producers in hip-hop--much as she did on 1995's 7-million seller "Daydream," her last and most critically well-received album. They include Sean "Puffy" Combs, the Track Masters and Missy Misdemeanor Elliott. Members of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony lend their unique rhythmic vocal style to one track. But, one senses, Carey is also relishing a new sense of autonomy in her personal life--brought about, ironically, by her separation from Sony Music Entertainment President and CEO Tommy Mottola, the man who signed Carey to Columbia in 1989 and married her four years later. It was widely assumed--particularly among those who were critical of Carey's music--that Mottola played a Svengali-like role in Carey's career, from dictating her artistic choices to assembling her career advisors. When Carey hired a new manager, attorney and independent publicist in July, many industry insiders saw the changes as an attempt to distance herself as much as possible from her estranged husband. But Carey insists that her personal split from Mottola, announced in June, was an amicable one, and that it was not the sole basis for her decision to cut her professional ties to such Mottola pals as manager Randy Hoffman and entertainment lawyer Allen Grubman. "I love Tommy, and he will always be a part of my family," Carey stresses, seemingly at ease with the topic. "There's absolutely no bitterness between us. The best thing I could hope for would be to have a great friendship with him, because he is someone I respect and admire and look up to in many ways. But right now, it's my time to grow as an independent woman. "People have to realize that I've been in this situation where I've been working with some really powerful people since I was a teenager. And everything they did for me was great. I still love Randy. He took care of me in ways that went above and beyond what a manager has to do, and that won't be forgotten. And everyone knows what a respected attorney Allen is. "But as an established artist, it's good for me to meet new people, and to start working with them at the level that I'm at now." Mottola and Hoffman declined to comment, but Grubman took his pink slip in stride. "About a month and a half ago, Mariah and I had a very long conversation that was personal as well as business," says the attorney, whose clients include Madonna and Elton John, "and we concluded that under the circumstances it was time for her to change her representation. "She wanted new people around her . . . and with the changes she's going through in her personal life, I agreed this was a wise thing. . . . I still consider her a close personal friend, . . . one of the most brilliant artists I've ever been involved with." The changes in Carey's professional life have notably not included leaving Sony's Columbia Records, for whom she has generated more than $800 million in sales since 1990. Carey now even has her own label under the Sony umbrella, Crave Records, featuring a roster of fledgling hip-hop acts. "I'm very happy at Sony," Carey says. "If I were to leave the company now, it would be in effect saying that my relationship with Tommy was the only reason for my being there, and that's not true. There are thousands of people working for [Sony] all around the world who kill for my music, and I'm looking forward to continuing with them." About the album itself, Columbia Records President Donnie Ienner says, "Mariah has always had two distinctive and authentic sides, especially on her last two albums, 'Daydream' and [1994's] 'Music Box.' She has the hip-hop-tinged music and the big, soaring ballads. "It may seem like she's leaning more toward the hip-hop side now, but arguably her best ballads are on this record--as well as her best hip-hop stuff. She's completely guiding her own ship right now." Since moving out of the estate that she and Mottola shared in suburban Westchester, N.Y., Carey has been apartment-hunting in Manhattan, where she's currently living in a hotel. Rumors in the tabloid press about her life as a newly single woman in the city, which invariably link her to male artists, have been a source of both great frustration and amusement for her. "I've never had to deal with this before, because I've never been out there in this way," Carey muses. "All of a sudden, [journalists] are like, 'Whoo! Here she goes! Stop the presses, she's goin' wild!' "The fact is, I end up collaborating with more men than women in my work, and I form friendships with most of the people that I work with. But that doesn't mean that I'm sleeping with all these guys! I'm not! Would somebody please put that in print?" Among the friends and colleagues that Carey swears she isn't involved with, despite recent tabloid reports suggesting otherwise, are Combs, rapper Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest and Boyz II Men's Wanya Morris, her duet partner on the "Daydream" ballad "One Sweet Day." In fact, Carey claims that she doesn't have a steady beau at the moment. She has a new passion, though: acting. For the past seven months, she has been studying with Sheila Gray, a top drama coach with clients in New York and Hollywood. Before recording sessions for "Butterfly" got underway, Carey, whose previous acting experience was limited to school and camp plays, met with Gray as often as four or five times a week. "It's been an incredible release for me," Carey says. "It's been like intense therapy. I would come out of sessions [with Gray] emotionally drained, because I was getting in touch with all this stuff that I'd never really dealt with--even things from my childhood." Carey has a film project in development right now, but says that for legal reasons she can only divulge that it's a period piece and that "it's gonna be a bit of a departure for me." "I've already recorded one song for the soundtrack. But even if I were never to make a movie, I think the experience of studying acting has made me a fuller person, and helped me in every facet of my life--writing songs, making videos, just living. It's been very therapeutic." "Mariah has really opened up," notes Gray, who helped Carey conceptualize the videos for both "Honey" and the title track from "Butterfly," which will be the follow-up single. "In the past, I think, her image has been more distant, even though she's actually very intelligent and articulate and funny and spontaneous. For the 'Butterfly' video, she was able to give a performance that is really soulful in a way that's going to be exciting for people to see." "Most of my fans haven't really had a chance to get to know me as a person," Carey says. "I haven't done many interviews, and many people just had this image of me as this person who stands around in a dress or a shirt buttoned up to here, singing mellow ballads or happy little songs. They didn't know about everything I'd been though. I've had a lot of drama in my life, you know? "But I've grown into myself, and I think I've reached a point now where I feel really good about who and where I am." The adult pop idol smiles, broadly and confidently, then adds, "Now I feel comfortable in my own skin."
CNN Celebration of Mariah Carey's new album 
The moon and the stars were out Tuesday night at New York's Pier 59 Studios to celebrate the release of Mariah Carey's new album, "Butterfly." Models Tyson Beckford and Beverly Johnson brought the glamour, while Pras of the Fugees brought the praise for Carey's new release. "Oh yeah, she's definitely going to sell some more records this time around. It's got new flavors. It's different. There's a twist to it," Pras says. Pras predictions appear to already be coming true. The album's first single, "Honey," debuted at number one on Billboard's Hot 100 chart the week of its release. The success of the single follows in the footsteps of her 1995 release, "Daydream," which sold more than 7 million copies and generated three consecutive number one singles. Carey, 27, teamed up with producers Sean "Puffy" Combs and David Morales on her new album. With it's hip-hop influence and sweeping ballads, Carey calls "Butterfly" a slightly new take on her established musical style. "I don't think it's that much of a departure from what I've done in the past. I think I've covered the gamut of what I do, and I don't want people to be misled into thinking that it's an entirely new thing and I've gone entirely left-field," she said. Carey's collaborators include some of hip-hop's biggest names, such as Combs, Dru Hill, and members of Bone Thugs n' Harmony. Yet the CD, with its 10 ballads, is not exactly bombastic. Carey calls it "pretty mellow." Carey went a little wild in the video for "Honey," which depicts Carey as a Jane Bond-type. Aside from one instance, Carey did not use a body double in the video. "It's all me. I was like Action Jane frolicking up and down Puerto Rico," she said. Carey's husband, Sony Music Entertainment President Tony Mottola, also attended the party. Despite their recent separation, they were seen working amicably at the event. Carey insists that the situation is fine. "It's called being grown-up about the situation and moving on," she said. Carey will be touring overseas in January, and hopes to hit the United States after that tour. She still wants to try acting in films as well. "I'm happy about it," she says 
Honey-voiced Mariah breaks loose! But Being A Superstar Ain't Always Easy
By Rudi M
Never let it be said that being a top-selling superstar is easy work. Nomatter how much glamour there seems to be in shooting videos, attending award shows and other seemingly fabulous activities, there's just as much hard workand stress behind it. Just ask New York City's own Mariah Carey on this particularly hot and humid east coast day. Her Puffy-produced , hiphop-charged single, "Honey," hit almost every radio station in the countrylast week, her way-sexy video (the talk of the town) is already in heavy rotation, she's regularly on top of the goings-on at her Crave Records labeland she's still stuggling to put the finishing touches on her soon-to-bereleased Butterfly disc. Though she's just as approachable and bestfriend-like chatty as the first time we made each other's aquaintance, she's not quite giving up the fact that two major artists are rumored to be collaborating with her on tunes, due to the fact that there are legal mattersto work out-yet another thing lingering in the back of her mind. But there are certainly other things to discuss. Suspiciously leaking out to the media, just weeks prior to the release of "Honey," almost like a publicity stunt, was the fact that she and her husband, Tommy Mottola, were on the verge of an amicable divorce. This, of course, sent gossip mavens into over-drive. "Mariah's dating Puffy!" "Mariah's been seen with Donald Trump." "Q-Tip and Mariah are now acouple." "Mariah and Boyz II Men's Wanya have been seen together." Now vurnerable to all sorts of speculations, due to her new single status, there definitely wasn't any shortage of "words on the street." "I don't even focus on that," Mariah says of the various stories circulating. "I can't control the spin that people put on things. If someone else has an agenda where they want to make me look bad, then I can't help it. I just try to handle everything with dignity and really separate myself, so I can do the right thing for everybody, especially lately with all this drama." So - what about these likewise available fellas? "They're (the media) linking me with anybody I work with," she nonchalantly construes. "Please! Wanya and I are like good friends; he's one of my best friends. That's just ridiculous. If anyone says anything else, then they're really pushing it. So if an assistant engineer comes in the room, then I've got a new man. They even said I was with Donald Trump. So who's next?" "Me!," I quickly retort, dreaming up my own name into the mix. "Well, let's do it," she jokes. "Let's start that one with this article." Then who is Mariah singing "Honey" to anyway? "It's just a song now!"she playfully snaps. "It's up for interpretation. I'm sure each person will get something slightly different from it, maybe even someting relating to their own lives." One thing's for sure, and that's the fact that we're all bearing witness to a lightly new Mariah, on who has her eyes set on even bigger success in the music world-and Hollywood too. Her "Honey" video displays a bit of theresults of the acting classes she's been attending, revealing an even more relaxed (even humorous) Carey. She's even busting a few steps and seems more relaxed in flaunting that curvy physique that drives her male fans crazy. Perhaps readying herself for the world of film, Mariah admits that she dreamt up the storyboards for the video herself, before enlisting popular video director Paul Hunter. Shot in Puerto Rico during some of it's hottest weather, model-looking guy on the beach, jet skiing and other things probably assumed unlikely for this freed butterfly. "The video was my whole concept,"Miss C explains. "Paul and I talked about it for a while, and collaborated on it. It was a grueling process; I'm not going to say it was easy. I got up at 3 a.m. every day, and worked until 9 in the morning the next day--for four hours in a row, swimming in my Gucci pumps! I can't say that I really jumped off the roof, but dive into the pool. But I did wear and swim in those pumps, and I was not happy." Where Butterfly, the soon-to-be-realized disc is concerned, it doesn' ttake long to realize that MC's moving in a decidedly urban/R&B direction this go 'round. Outside of production done by herself, Puffy and the obligatory power ballads with longtime collaborator Walter Afanasieff, she's once again teamed up with dance music's renowned remixer/producer David Morales and even did a track with Missy and Timbaland. "It's a song called 'Baby Doll,'" she says of her collaborative effort with Missy. "I had the hook already, aswell as a melody and lyric for the chorus. Then she and I collaborated on a new melody for the verses, and we did the first verse, and the second half of the second verse together. It's one of my favorite things on the album." Apparently, Mariah called her a while ago about getting together (before Supa Dupa Fly came out), after hearing "all the Aaliyah stuff." Recalling thefact that she actually went to Missy and Timbaland's native Virginia to record it, Carey admits, "I had a good time working with Missy, and you can definitely tell that her flavor comes through on the song." Though she and Corey Rooney, her good friend and Executive Vice President of Black Music at Crave Records produced the version that exists, she anticipates Timbaland's schedule to permit his final production, or at least a remix. "I like his sound and the little thing he uses," Carey states. Outside of rumors that Dru Hill and Bone Thugs will be making appearances on Butterfly (something she doesn't touch on), she's enthusiastic about bringing David Morales' house sound to her mix. "David Morales and I did a mix of 'Butterfly' (the title track) that's on the album," she elucidates. "'Butterfly' is a ballad, but this interlude of it is called 'Fly Away,' and it's like a twist on the original record. Actually, when I wrote 'Butterfly,' I had a house record in mind, but then I started thinking about it while writing it, and it turned into a ballad. But I had to do the other one too, so they're both on the album." Done with Morales, who also did various mixes and production from her multi-platinum Daydream disc, Mariah then goes into stories of going back into the studio to record vocals especially for the slew of remixes Morales came up with her for "Honey" and"Butterfly." Says MC, "He's got so many mixes of these songs it's crazy! They came out really good." "Mariah will eventually be releasing a compilation of her best stuff with David Morales," Corey Rooney divulges,"and adding four new dance tunes too. It's gonna be crazy!" As we continue our conversation, that appears quite evident. No doubt, Mariah will embark on a hectic schedule of activities to promote Butterfly. Amidst the possibilities of touring and a rumored movie project in the works, she and Rooney have the daily business of running Crave Records. With a seven-year friendship under them, Carey fully trusts Rooney's eye and ears for talent and good music. "We want to have all kinds of stuff," Rooney says of the direction of the roster. "As far as I'm concerned, whatever moves soul or makes you dance, are the kinds of things we want to get into. We definitely want to develop a strong dance music department, a gospel music department, R&B, rock, alternative, everything. So we're just taking the steps." So far, they've experienced moderate success with Allure, who will be followed by a a dance act called DJ Company, a Detroit-based R&B act called Seven Mile, and a rap act out of Mariah's native Long Island called Neggrow League. "I just want to create the opportunities for up and coming artists that I had," Mariah shares, "and the ones I didn't have." 
Interview with MTV
It's been a busy year for singer Mariah Carey. She's started up her own little record label, dropped her longtime manager, and left her husband, who's also the head of her record company. Now, with a new single called "Honey" entering the pop chart at number one on Monday, and a new album called "Butterfly" due later this month, Carey has been yachting around Manhattan to catch her breath, and she recently took Tabitha Soren along for a cruise. 
Tabitha Soren: When I listened to the record, I felt like I... I mean yes, there were some very sweet love songs on there, but I felt like there were a lot of songs about hot dates, and big crushes, and hot guys, and making out on the roof -- 
Mariah: Did I say anything about hot guys? 
Tabitha: -- And getting between the sheets... I mean... (Carey laughs) I thought that this was going to be a lonely summer of you separating. And I listened to this record and I'm like, "Wait a minute, I'm confused." 
Mariah: Well, I think the album reflects a lot of different moods. I don't think it's all of a sudden, "Wooo! Here I am! Wild, sexy chick." 
Tabitha: That's true, there are some ballads on there, but those are about kisses that you can't forget, too, you know. CAREY: Right. SOREN: So, what's the inspiration? I guess that's what I'm saying. 
Mariah: We have to keep some things secret. But you know what is crazy is, since this whole, my whole change has come about, every single time work with someone, or bump into someone in a hallway, or like... 
Tabitha: The change not being menopause, the change being the separation from your husband. 
Mariah: Well, I should hope not, babe! 
Tabitha: Well, that's how people refer to "the change." 
Mariah: Oh, oh, it is? I don't even think about that! Since the whole, the personal changes with my life, and all that stuff, and people looking at me as like, this single chick or whatever, you know, every time I work with someone, meet someone, take a picture with someone at a charity event, or bump into someone in a hallway, there's a picture that I'm romantically linked, and it's pretty funny to me, because I've never been in this situation before. 
Tabitha: Q-Tip hasn't been making the moves on you? 
Mariah: Oh, please with the Q-Tip thing! I am friends with Q-Tip! This is so ridiculous. He and I are both just like, "What is the deal with this?" Every other second there's something written like, "Did you know that Q-Tip was behind..." And, I'm like, we worked together, we did the first single. Now, I'm fair game for people to speculate about who's sleeping with this one and that one, and I never, I never realized how crazy that could be. 
Tabitha: Don't you think the lyrics on this record are only going to cause more speculation about your love life? I don't know, maybe my mind's in the gutter. Mariah: Well... Your mind is in the gutter, Tabitha! And I can't help that. 
Tabitha: What's the song "Honey" about? 
Mariah: What's it about? Honey. No, I'm just kidding. 
Tabitha: It's not a euphemism for anything? (Awkward silence) All right, I just didn't know if you were getting really raunchy. 
Mariah: I'm getting totally raunchy here, man. No, I'm not raunchy. 
MTV: While a parental advisory sticker might not be necessary, she is writing more sexual lyrics as evidenced by the song "Babydoll," which Mariah co-wrote with Missy Elliott. 
Mariah: The really cool thing about Missy is that she's just so down to earth. She's like, "Okay, let's get together and work." We went into the hotel room and wrote the song, had a little champagne -- that's where some of the lyrics were inspired by -- but um... 
Tabitha: So, the "between the sheets" lyrics you're blaming on her. 
Mariah: Well, we were in a hotel room and we were looking at the bed. I mean, we were sitting on the couch. Whatever. I like to leave my lyrics open so that the fans can apply... 
Tabitha: Right. Okay. Right. Interpret them themselves. Right. 
Mariah: Exactly. You've heard that one before? 
Tabitha: Yeah, I have. Tell me what it was like to work with Bone Thugs , and how you learned to sing like them, because it sounds like that would be really difficult. 
Mariah: Okay, I worked with Krazie and Wishbone, of Bone Thugs, and I was totally inspired by their style, first of all. I mean it's obvious when you hear the song. And we had quite the interesting recording session. 
Tabitha: Meaning what? 
Mariah: It was just, it was interesting. 
Tabitha: You keep making these allusions to stuff that went on. "It was interesting"... 
Mariah: No, it was great. I loved them, I loved them. But I was having an allergy attack. I was having a little problem, and the studio was kind of smoky and things were going on. 
MTV: Another of Mariah's collaborations was a duet with Dru Hill, a cover of the Prince song "The Beautiful Ones". 
Tabitha: Were you a huge "Purple Rain" fan when you were younger? 
Mariah: Yes. My friends and I went to see "Purple Rain" oh, numerous times. 
Tabitha: I think I wore a lot of bad fashion during that period. How about you? 
Mariah: A lot of people wanted to be Prince in my school, you know. 
Tabitha: You've got kind of an Appalonia getup on today. 
Mariah: I do? 
Tabitha: Kinda. 
Mariah: Next question. (They both laugh). 
Tabitha: You were saying something about you were just getting around to acting, you're just getting around to so many things in your life that you haven't had time for in the past. I also get the feeling that you're just getting around to really enjoying your youth. And I feel like you're really making an effort to start having fun in life. 
Mariah: I'm trying to. I just got done with the album a week ago, and the problem is, when I go out, and you're in these smoky clubs and environments, it totally goes right to my throat. So the next day, I can't sing. So I'm like, "Wooo! I'm out!" I think I'm happy, singing up and down the club, and then the next day, I can't sing. So, you can go crazy and think there are no repercussions, but really, I have to be so careful of my (makes the quotation sign with her hands) "instrument." Tabitha: Do you feel more at ease at this point in your life than you have perhaps in the last four or five years? 
Mariah: Mmm-hmm. Definitely. I feel more at ease about some things, and then, I don't know if I feel more vulnerable in some ways, but, I guess it's just that I'm more exposed to the world. 
Tabitha: Because you are, at this point, separated from your husband? Exposed in that way? 
Mariah: Well, because of that, I'm much more fair game for all those little things that we were talking about, all the little comments, she's with this one, Puffy, Q-Tip, Donald Trump. 
Tabitha: But that's all external stuff, how about internally? 
Mariah: It is all external, but it does effect you, because you have to be so self-protective with all this nonsense... 
Tabitha: But I feel, at the same time, that hasn't stopped you from making major changes in your life. Like splitting with your manager, and your lawyer, and your husband. Do you feel like the image that those folks helped you create over the last couple years is not really what you want to be now? 
Mariah: Well, I think it was fitting for a time. And now, I'm just more comfortable in my own skin, where I can just be like, this is who I am. You like it? Good. You don't? Good-bye. 
Tabitha: Well, I feel like that really shows. 
Mariah: Yeah, well, again, I think it's just learning about myself, and dealing with my feelings and stuff. Mariah Carey's "Butterfly" album is due out September 16th, and there may even be a tour next year to support it.

Mariah Carey soars with new soulful album 'Butterfly.'
Mariah Carey has sold more albums than any other female artist in the 1990s. And she just soared to the top of the charts again with her new soulful album Butterfly.

The album has her signature ballads. But, it also brings in up-tempo hip hop and R&B sounds to it as well. "This was my biggest first week of sales ever," she told Jet. "Usually, my material builds when you get to the ballads. I'm very proud of it. And I'm very grateful that it went to No. 1. You never know how people are going to respond to what you're doing. I'm very gratified. I never bank on anything."

For the album, Carey brought in musical friends Sean "Puffy" Combs, members of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott. She co-produced and co-wrote most of the songs on the album. "I did Breakdown with Krayzie and Wish Bone from Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. It's one of my favorites. I think it's a really strong collaboration. This is a very personal album. It's an album I could listen to as a whole. With other albums I could skip certain songs. This album I listen to from start to finish. With this album, every word and every emotion I put into it is coming from me. I don't think I abandoned who I am. I think I just added another dimension to myself."

Some critics have charged that Carey abandoned the safety of pop to take on a major gamble and embrace rap and hip hop. She angrily denies it. "Vision of Love was my first single and it was a No. 1 R&B single. So, it's not like I've never gone in the R&B direction. It's just that I had pop success with Hero and Without You back-to-back. That took me to a pop place. A lot of people who only listen to pop radio see this as a huge departure. I don't think any of this is a gamble. I've had other singles on previous albums that had R&B songs. They (the record company) just never chose to release them as singles."

She said she always has listened to all types of music and wanted a project that brought in different types of music and beats that she loves. "I think it's really balanced."

Carey, 27, is separated from her husband, Tommy Mottola, 47, president and chief operating officer of Sony Music Entertainment. The two were married in 1993. Since their breakup, Carey has been the subject of numerous, generally unflattering, tabloid stories. "It's very surprising and it's overwhelming to me," she said. "If you believe the tabloids, you'd think I was out with a different guy every night. I am not a promiscuous person. I might go out to dinner with someone. But, I would not be in someone's bed one night and someone else's bed the next night. If you believe the media. you'd think I'm just jumping in and out of bed with gangsta rappers and models. It is so ridiculous how they are calling people `gangsta' rappers."

She told Jet that even when she has been out with her nephew, he was described as a `gangsta' rapper. She said she finds it extremely curious and offensive that some elements of the media are so comfortable and quick to label people that way.

"People haven't seen a lot of me in the last six years. For a long time, people only saw me standing on stage singing Hero or lying in a field singing Dream Lover." Now that she is a single woman in Manhattan, she is constantly reading about herself and her wild ways. "Suddenly, I'm the gangsta chick of the '90s. It's like suddenly I just went bananas and I think I'm Little Kim."

Regarding her marriage to Mottola, she said the two remain good, close friends who talk to each other frequently. "I feel like he and I are friends. We're friends. And that's cool. Tommy and I had a discussion last night. We said, `Enough about people in our business. Enough with people giving quotes on or off the record.' Now, I'm in a place where I feel confident enough to stand alone."

And that is why she is so excited about Butterfly. It's Mariah's concept. "I started on the album last January and finished early August. But, I did three videos in between. This album is definitely something I've wanted to do for a long time. There were songs I wanted to do in the past. I recorded them, but they never got on the album. That happened even on the first album because some people felt they were too R&B or whatever the terminology was. It's been a gradual process of my being able to say that this is what I'm going to do at this point. People owe it to you to let you express yourself. With all the changes that I've gone through both professionally and personally, it was a release to work on the album."

Beyond singing, she said she has always wanted to act. And now, she is pursuing it in a big way. For the last eight months, she has taken acting lessons. Currently, a movie project is being developed specifically for her.

"There are a lot of personal factors that kept me from pursuing acting several years ago. I feel everything happens for a reason. If this is the time that God intended for me to get into things and explore other aspects of my creativity, then it's the right time. I don't look back in anger or resentment or self-pity. I'm very fortunate to be where I am now. We've all been through struggles."

From New York Post
"It should have read like a Cinderella success story - but life at the top of the charts hasn't been a fairy tale for pop princess Mariah Carey."
Despite astounding success - five multiplatinum albums, 12 No.1 singles and worldwide album sales of over 80 million - the bestselling female recording artist of the '90s says she was stifled both personally and professionally. 

But over the past six months, Carey has made moves to take charge of her life and her music. First came a split from her husband of four years, Sony chief Tommy Mottola; then she began to take acting lessons; and then last month Carey released an album, the symbolically titled "Butterfly," where she moved away from her trademark sugary ballads to record with hip-hoppers Sean "Puffy" Combs and Missy Elliot. 

The results so far have been positive. "Butterfly," with songs that have a rougher, street edge, has earned both instant No. 1 status and praise from critics normally dismissive of Carey's efforts. 

In this unusually candid interview, Carey talks about her music, her marriage, her life and her new-found independence. 

Lisa Robinson: Until this new record, why did you always appear so uptight about your image? 
Mariah Carey: Well, as a 19-year-old starting out, I was made to feel very nervous. People had very high expectations about everything I said, or wore, or the way I did my hair, the way I answered questions, the types of records that I made - anything that nvolved my image. And because of the way I grew up as a kid, moving around a lot, I always felt like 
the rug could be pulled out from under me at any time. Even though my mother was always there for me, I always felt different and insecure and a little bit unstable. I'm a very cautious person, so when powerful people said things to me, it was very easy to frighten me into not doing things." 

LR: When you say powerful people, do you mean Tommy (Mottola)? 
MC:  Well, first of all, I'm not bashing Tommy. I love Tommy. People just grow up and grow apart and continue to change. We both changed, it wasn't just me. But I feel good about myself now, I feel better about myself than I have in a long time. I feel more comfortable in my own skin."

LR: What about the perception that Tommy was your Svengali? 
MC: What people might not know is that before I went to Sony I had a deal on the table with Warner Bros., and other companies were interested in me. But I chose to go there [to Sony] because he [Mottola] really did believe in me as an artist. And look, it didn't hurt me. I have this career now, and I never want to appear ungrateful.  But I do know that people think I haven't paid dues, and I have. Prior to making my first record, my whole life was paying dues. And even since 1990, I really feel like I've paid a lot of dues by going in the studio and making a record every single year."

LR: Were you trying to be fashionable by working with hip-hop artists on your new album? 
MC: Absolutely not. There were songs on my first demo that I had liked but didn't make the record because everybody said it didn't fit. It was considered more important then for me to get with the big-time producers and to give me a sound that was recognizable. It worked, I guess, but in retrospect I don't think having one song on that album would have made a difference, and it might have let people see a different side of me from the get-go. 

LR: Was the huge mansion that you both [Mottola] built in Bedford a fantasy or a prison? 
MC: It wasn't a prison, it's a beautiful place. But in some ways I guess it was a fantasy. I would always look at friends' houses and things other people had when I was growing up and feel inferior. My mom and I never starved, but it was a struggle a lot of times. People might not realize it but [Tommy and I] built that house together. We split everything right down the middle. That house made me feel like I accomplished something, and it was beautiful, but the way I'm living now, on my own, feels more appropriate. 

LR: You've been reported as having romances with (Yankee) Derek Jeter, Puffy and a member of the Fugees. What's the truth? 
MC: I swear, these freaking rumors!  There was one ... last week about the guy from 98 Degrees - I've never even met him! Anytime I work with somebody or meet somebody at a charity event there's a big deal made about it. All I can say is I'm not with anybody right now. The Puff Daddy thing is completely, completely false. We've hung out, we worked together, but these rumors are totally ridiculous. When I vibe with someone creatively, usually we become friends. 
I've been friends with Da Brat and Boyz II Men, but nobody saw me hanging out with them at a club so nobody wrote anything about it. 

LR: You're dressing sexier these days; you used to dress more matronly. 
MC: I just feel that I wear what I feel I want to wear. I'm not considering anybody else's opinion. The whole thing has been a gradual process that seemed really necessary for my own emotional well-being. 

LR: Do you want to be romantically involved with someone again - or free for a while? 
MC: (Long pause) (Sigh) I want to be free for a while, but I'm very cautious, and all these rumors don't help things, because someone might not want to be involved with all this craziness. 

LR: You've said you're not promiscuous. 
MC: That really is true, and a lot of it has to do with things I saw growing up with people who behaved recklessly - and paid the price for it. 

LR: Do you think you were too young when you got married? 
MC: I think I always had a fear of marriage because my parents got divorced when I was 3 or 4 years old. I never had a vision of what an ideal married couple, ideal mother-father relationship was. I just had other friends whose parents were divorced or whose families fought every night. I never really believed in the whole thing, so in that sense, I wasn't emotionally prepared to be married. I didn't really know what that meant."

From Star Magazine
"The Truth About Me and Men"
Newly single MARIAH CAREY is speaking out for the first time about men and dating. Although SHE'S been linked with hunks including New York Yankees baseball star Derek Jeter & singer Prakazrel "Pras" Michel of the hit group The Fugees, MARIAH says they're all just friends. The pop princess, who's separated from HER music mogul hubby Tommy Mottola, tells Star: "There is no man in my life right now. I'm really throwing myself into my music. The bottom line is that I'm self-protective, & I respect myself."

"I'm not a bit promiscuous" SHE adds. "I never have been. It's offensive to ME when people try to put that type of sexual slant on things."
"True, I've gone through a lot of changes this year," SHE admits, "But all these guys people are quick to link me with are just good friends that I happen to hang out with: I am allowed to have friends like anybody else. If people want to speculate, I can't help that. I know the truth & that's all that counts."

MARIAH now has two priorities-Show biz & HER summer camp for underpriveledged children. "It's all about my career-and these great kids at camp." SHE says. "For now, that's all I want & need."

From Billboard
The "Hero" Story
Actually, one of Mariah Carey's No. 1 singles was intended to be the title song for a film starring Dustin Hoffman. I'll let you think about which one it might be while I answer the first part of your question. There's no one person who automatically selects who will sing a movie's theme song, but it's usually one of several people: the music supervisor, the director, the producer, or a label executive who is involved with the soundtrack--or some combination of those people. Now, let's talk about the film song Mariah wrote and recorded--even though it wasn't heard in the movie. The soundtrack to the film "Hero" was a project of Epic Records. Label executives wanted Mariah Carey to sing the film's theme, but she was so hot, they assumed she wouldn't agree to be the vocalist. So instead, they asked her and producer Walter Afanasieff to write something for the movie. Afanasieff attended a screening and was told that Gloria Estefan was the likely candidate to record a title song. At the same time, Carey and Afanasieff were working on Mariah's "Music Box" album. Afanasieff tells what happened next: "We were in the studio and came to a break. I told Mariah about this movie. Within two hours, we had this incredible seed for this song, 'Hero.' It was never meant for Mariah to sing. In her mind, we were writing a song for Gloria Estefan ... and we went into an area that Mariah didn't really go into. In her words, it was a little bit too schmaltzy ... or too old-fashioned." Mariah and Walter had almost finished the song when Tommy Mottola, President/COO of Sony Music and at the time Carey's fiancee, walked into the studio. He heard the song and they told him it was for a movie. Afanasieff recalls Mottola responding, "Are you kidding me? You can't give this song to this movie. This is too good. Mariah, you have to take this song." The lyrics were completed after the decision was made to keep the song for Mariah. Afanasieff told the people working on the soundtrack he didn't have anything for them, and Estefan never knew that Carey's "Hero" was originally intended for her. The song that ended up in the film was "Heart Of A Hero," written, produced, and recorded by Luther Vandross. So aside from her remake of "Endless Love" (recorded with Luther Vandross), Carey has not charted with a movie song, but that could still happen in the future. 

Interview - Dolly Magazine (11/17/1997) (Australian magazine)
All set for her Australian tour in February '98, pop princess Mariah Carey gets between the sheets (literally!) with Dolly to give us the goss on hangin' with Puff Daddy, living with racism and her new album, Butterfly ...

Mariah, do you often do interviews in bed?
- No, (laughs) but whenever I get a chance I like to rest. I'm like a psycho at the moment, trying to do a million things.

So, what's the meaning behind Butterfly, the title of your latest album?
- It's about having the strength within yourself to let something go. It would be a part of yourself or another person.

You seem more hard core on this album.
- It's definately more urban but it's still me. I cut with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and I also cut with The Trackmasters. I have always loved urban music. I think it started with Fantasy, which was the first time I worked with Puffy (that's Puff Daddy, readers!) before he was a big-time artist. It seems like a natural progression - there's still the ballads and Butterfly is the best one I've ever written.

Did you add some tough R&B to remind people of your background?
- My father is African-American and Venezuelan, and my mother is Irish. There's a major division here between black and white. There's a song on my album called Outside that's specifically about this. It addresses how I've always felt, which is somewhere in the middle. It's hard to be multi-racial, but musically I'm now happy to be incorporating more of the urban feel into this album because it's what I really love without losing who I am - which is a combination of all those things, musically and ethnically.

What were you like at school?
- I went through a lot of different stages. I moved around a lot, so I distanced myself from the other kids, but then I was a bad kid from Seventh Grade onwards. I was a tough girl - I used to slam people into lockers. I wasn't really bad, I was just acting tough - it was all just a facade.

You have also split with your hubby Tommy Mottola. Is the song Breakdown about him?
- I just make the music, I don't write about it. It's been difficult but the thing is, we have a really good relationship, regardless, and we have a friendship - we're part of each others' family no matter what. Breakdown was inspired by the Bone Thugs style.

You looked pretty sexy in the video for Honey ...
- But they didn't get it! It's supposed to be a James Bond thing and they wrote that I was a princess in a castle, and I'm thinking - WRONG! I'm supposed to be a freaking secret spy, it's not about being saved. I save myself. I'm not trying to be a sex goddess of the world, it was more about being funny and having a good time frolicking around.

Do you think you'll ever become an actress?
- I've been studying. I acted when I was a little girl up to the age of 12 - I was in different theatre productions. I have a project that's being written for me right now. It has to do with music - I think, for my first role, it's appropiate, and I might do other things before that. But studying acting has been a great creative outlet for me and has really helped me throuh the last couple of months.

There has been heaps of rumours about you recently ...
- Yes, they've been very creative lately. What's been true? Well 99.9% is not true.

What about the rumour that you've dated Puff Daddy?
- Totally false. They take a picture of me with a guy and suddenly I'm living with them. They said I was with Puff and Q-Tip, and the other night I was out with one of my closest friends, Wanya Morris from Boyz II Men, and they took a picture of us talking and suddenly it's, they "have eyes for each other." It's so funny because I've never been put out there in that way and now it's a free-for-all - "She's up for grabs!"

How careful do you have to be with your voice?
- I have to have at least two days off between shows without speaking. I need a complete vocal rest because the shows are so demanding.

What can we expect from your live show?
- I'm not like the big touring acts, which are based more on the whole visual aspect. My shows will be great visually but people want to hear me sound like the record, and for that I have to have complete vocal clarity, which is not easy especially for me 'cos I had to write all these songs that are up in the freakin' stratosphere! I'm hoping to have Trey Lorenz - who has a single on the Men In Black soundtrack - on tour with me.

What special thing do you do before you go onstage?
- I drink a lot of tea and honey, I sing and I warm up in the dressing room, and I do my other little private things.

What ís the funniest rumour you've read about yourself?
- There are so many - that I am an unapproachable diva who has 50 million bodyguards around her constantly. As you can see, that's not me.

Have you heard of Tina Arena, Silverchair and Savage Garden?
- Yes, I've heard of them. I don't know the music that well but I've seen Silverchair on MTV, and they seem cool. I'm more into R&B than alternative music. I listen to rap, hip-hop and older R&B stuff, like Stevie Wonder.

Finally, what's the best thing about being famous?
- Getting good tables at restaurants and stuff like that. (Laughs)

Thanks Mariah.
I'll definately see you in Australia!

From Stern (Germany)
"I Only Obey Myself"
Again and again the former waitress swore the great love by her 80 millions records - and became less happy day by day with her marriage to one of the top US music managers. Since her separation she has tried to find her own tunes.

She is not simply coming through the door. Mariah Carey staggers in like a confused fairy, her hands looking for something to hold: "I am so tired", she moans. Behind her follows a man sticking to her back constantly picking her hair, by her
side a woman with powder and brush. It is 7 pm, Mariah rolls her eyes and glides down on a sofa, the hair man and make-up woman follow.

Everybody in the room is nervous. The manager, president-manager and vice-manager of her label SONY strafe around, and when asking for Mariah, if one is allowed to speak, a second of silence follows. "Yes, you will be able to talk to her soon," she's let's one of the girls answer. All the others wipe away the sweat from their fore-heads and do "pfft". An employee of the "Leibziger Hotel" whispers that "Miss Carey isn't in a good mood today." You can hear workers working a few rooms away, laying parquet flooring, which was ordered over night, because "Miss Carey" wanted to rehearse for the show, for which she is advertising her new CD "butterfly".

Mariah Carey is 27, and you really can call her a spoiled goat. A pop star, who sold 80 millions records with voice and soft-ballads; a Cinderella with a similar history - waitress and sometimes background-singer from Long Island, discovered 1988 and raised to popularity by her prince, SONY-Music-boss Tommy Mottola. A relationship built on the typical columns of the upper-class: sex and money. Mariah, at that time 18 years old, made Tommy, at that time around 40, young again and secured his presidential seat with her chart successes. He, a multi-millionaire, stuffed dollars into her career and into her wardrobe. The marriage in June of 1993 "was more a crowning," guests were saying. Mariah studied the video of princess Diana's wedding for days, her dress was made for US$ 25000, and of course names on the guest list were Bruce Springsteen, Barbara Streisand and Robert DeNiro.

With saying "Yes," Mariah started a dream that became a trauma.  After the wedding to one of the most powerful men of the music business, a weapons-freak who sometimes sits in the cellar of his mansion cleaning his rifles, Tommy built up a ten-million-dollar palace with two pools, a tennis-court and a sound-studio for both of them in Bedford close to New York. But he also employed 2 body-guards who followed her even to the rest-rooms door. She believed him whenever he told her which dresses to wear -closed-to-the-throught-ladylike and sex-less. She may have called it love, but she just did not realized that Tommy, from a second phone, listened to every one of her private phone calls in Bedford. Tommy controlled her mail. Tommy never allowed a acting-teacher in the house and cancelled good-looking, non-gay dancers from the casting list of her videos.

Nobody told her that Thomas D. Mottola Jr. already was called "Don Tommy" in the music business: coming from an Italian background of the Bronx, he worked himself up using a lot of strange and shady methods. The master of stars like Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen and Gloria Estefan is so much self-assured of his power, he sometimes allegedly threatens that if the Japan motherhouse does not stops criticizing his politics, he will take SONY Music away from them. And Mariah wasn't a love for him, but a project that secured his company the top of the charts.

Mariah realized that only gradually. "No," she says, "friends did not warn me. I didn't even leave the house for a few years." Only from time to time, when she locked herself in one of the rooms, listening to incredibly loud rap-music and Tommy shouting in front of the door, she thought, "He is too close to my butt." But she had no time to think it over. Records were produced like on a assemble-line, white middle-class soul with calculated emotions. Mariah became a kind of Maria Callas for hobby-markets and car-shops, where songs like "Without You" and "Anytime You Need A Friend" should raise the buyers' will to buy. Even though her voice reaches six octaves, her musical abilities stayed on base-level. The US mag "Time" certified it "nutra-sweet soul," but the marketing-concept of the blond daughter of a irish mother and a black venezuelean grew. "Every company would have loved to have her," so says music-mogul David Geffen.

Mariah winds down on the sofa and pulls her black way-to-short leather-skirt. Her breast is so much pressed and pushed in her white top, pressure-strips are visible, and her thin, almost ash-blond hair won't stay in shape. Since she must not wear her dresses closed up to the throught thigh, she demonstratively shows more skin. Life did not leave any contours on her round face yet, even though there have been a lot of ups and downs recently.
Downs like the day this May, when she left Tommy Mottola; Ups like these weeks in which her latest CD is high in the charts. "It is my most important album," she says, "because it is so personal. It is a part biography." Maybe that is why "Butterfly" is her worst, darkest album so far?

Behind the golden bars of Bedford Mariah developed the idea to also stand musicaly on her own. She started to write songs in secret during the night, teen-lyrics on outbursts and "finding yourself." "But I always put them aside again." It was autumn 1996 when she started to write for "Butterfly" together with black musicians - the soundtrack of her emotional outburst.

A childish project with childish pictures - in the video to her single "Honey" for example, the chained Carey lets herself be saved from agents in a house and then swims to freedom in a bikini. "Everything in the video shall show: Kiss my butt, Tommy", her ex-producer Walter Afanasieff says. "No," says Mariah, "it may looks like that, but that is over-interpretated."
Then she blinks her eye. "That is my most important album," she repeats, "because I finally gave something away from me. I come from New York and I had a terrible childhood, my father left us when I was three. I grew up with rap-music, these are my roots."

The fact that she produced "Butterfly" with rap-legends like Puffy Combs, Mase and Da Brat, initiated shocks at SONY, because they have to stick with Mariah for another four albums, the Mariah who now turned into a gangster-girl with a "fuxx you"-lyric. "They all were very nervous, because I changed the formula of success. They have asked if I am totally crazy."

The excitement came down fast, because the album still follows the formula of success of the soft ballads, and only a few songs dare venture a slight step into soft rap - an undecided work and a failed try to be Janet Jackson. Nevertheless Sony's first-lady is full of self-confident: "Musically nobody can tell me anything, there I am only obeying myself. I can do it on my own."
Mottola on the other hand wasn't thoughtless when he stated his parole in the company saying: "Let her do anything, she knows what she does."

Scenes like after the grammy-show in 1996, when Mariah wasn't able to get a award and after the show in a hotel lobby shouted into Tommy's face if he really isn't powerful enough to get her a Grammy, probably will be saved from that man. The separation, both was announced publicity in May, happened in financial agreement, the divorce is supposed to happen in the next year. "We speak very friendly to each other", Mariah says. Just recently they met on a yacht. Tommy made pasta.

After one hour in Leibzig Mariah again falls back on her sofa. She moans, she is hungry. What for? "Pasta," she whispers, "but simply cooked only."
Again a pile of managers come into the room, again everybody is nervous. That's because actually Mariah STILL is the wife of the boss.

Interview - Dot music (UK)
Mariah Carey is the biggest -selling solo artist of the Nineties, and there's no doubting her superstar status. You don't just turn up for an interview with Carey: separate meetings with both her UK and international PR, a "chat" about questions and an hour wait in the bar are all completed before you even reach the entrance of her penthouse suite at Park Lane's Dorchester Hotel in London. The ante-rooms buzz with the activities of various guard-like hotel staff, make-up artists and other members of the Carey entourage.

Inside her sanctum, however, all is calm. Carey sits alone sipping wine in a mirror-walled chamber decorated with fake gold bird cages. Even the Queen of Pop seems impressed with the decor as she points out an appropriate golden butterfly tucked into the ornate plastering. It has not been the easiest of periods for Carey who has had to endure intense analysis of her more cutting-edge work and, above all, her personal life after the split in May from her husband of four years, Sony Music Entertainment president and chief operating officer Tommy Mottola.

Epic imprint Crave was founded in New York in February by Mariah Carey with Arista Records senior vice-president Rick Bisceglia as president. The aim, Carey says, is "to have a close-knit label where artists can feel comfortable,... discover great music and get it the attention it deserves". Carey and Bisceglia work as partners overseeing Crave's creative and business activities, with marketing, sales and administration support from Epic and distribution worldwide on Sony.

Carey says that while Bisceglia runs the day-to-day affairs she determinedly makes time for the label. "They like to know I'm there. I have personal relationships with the artists and they respect it. I'm having a big hand in it, like conversations with people's lawyers and really having to focus with what's going on with scheduling," she says. The label's first signing, Allure, is the only artist to date which has had a UK release with their single, Head Over Heels (featuring Nas), reaching number 18 in June.

The label's other groups are Detroit's R&B act Seven Mile, the pop act Jakaranda, rappers Negro League, Lutricia McNeal and DJ Company and UK releases are tentatively scheduled for February to April next year. Every lyric of her album has been dissected to establish some inference about her marriage and every collaboration investigated to insinuate a new personal relationship. And on this side of the Atlantic, she has something else to contend with: her album, Butterfly, is languishing at number 39 in the UK charts - one place behind a Dolly Parton best-of.

It is understandable that while Carey still smoulders, she smoulders suspiciously. She is unbowed, however, by Butterfly's inauspicious start. "I'm really pleased with how it's doing," she says. "It's my favourite album. I feel really close to it; it's an extension of me." But behind Dolly Parton? "I don't think Butterfly has got a chance yet over here. My guess is as good as your's why. I wouldn't want to create a negative view of things. I'm trying a different strategy. I want to open up to as many fans as possible. To me Europe always takes longer. I didn't break here (in the UK) until my third album."

"Q Magazine" Interview
Louise, Mariah Carey's Personal Assistant of four, Lons Service Medal-earning years, is turning down the bed for her boss in her two-room, £880-a-night suite at London's elegant Lanesborough Hotel. We would be in Carey's own four-room suite (£3,500-per-night) but the cleaners are in, and the cleaners are meticulous. "There's four of them in each room," says Louise.  Carey, batting with a cold, waits patiently. "I've got to protect The Voice," she says, gesturing towards her throat. Ready, the most successful female singer of the '90s unstraps her Gucci stilettos and slides into bed.
"It's alright," she tells Q, "come on the bed. I won't think you're getting fresh."
Louise pats down the sheets. Carey and Q are alone. We admire the vicious black footwear.
"They're alright. I wore them in the video for Honey." she reveals. "I went up in the helicopter in them, I dove in them, I swam in them, I did it all"
"I was a trouper."
Mariah Carey has trouped for 27 years now. And that trouping has paid extremely well. She has now sold over 80 million albums since her self-titled debut, bearing the Grammy-winning Vision Of Love, made her a heavily promoted but nonetheless instant star in 1990. Since then, in a career masterminded by the three-way axis of Carey, her husband (and Sony boss), Tommy Mottola and manager (Mottola's old partner), Randy Hoffman, she has sold more albums than any other woman in the world. Barrows of cash, it seems safe to presume are now hers.
"No, Eighty million albums doesn't mean eighty million dollars," Carey squirts.
So how much does it mean, exactly?
"None of your beeswax," she sweetly smiles.
Lashings of greenbacks notwithstanding, Carey's life is in turnoil.
The mogul-spots-unknown-makes-her-biggest-star-on-planet-then-weds-her fairy tale is over. Carey moved out of Mottola's upstate New York mansion in May. The couple are now officially separated. The title track of her new album,
Butterfly, hints that there have been painful times, with Carey cooped up in the big house on the hill. "Bilindy I imagined I could keep you under glass.  Now I understand to hold you/I must open up my hands/And watch you rise," goes the song. Is this how she secretly wished Mottola would let her be? She hums and haws.
In June, Carey took yet another step towards a new independence, leaving Hoffman's management company. She wryly insists it was "a mutual agreement".
Mariah Carey, millionairess, diva, proffessional girl next door, is now only interested in a one-way axis. The woman who not only survived a themed Christmas album but could also appear on its sleeve in tacky Santa get-up and still sell over 10 million wants total control.
Coveniently, she concedes that her former self made music "can be considered schmaltzy, MOR", but she will defend the likes of Hero and I Don't Wanna Cry, if you ask. "They mean a lot to some people," she says, but in such a way that informs you that she is not one of them.

The easiest way to understand what Mariah Carey means by taking control is to look at what's happening to her music: a naughty urban R&B retooling abetted by genuine hardnut rap names. Gone are the duets with Luther Vandross and Boyz II
Men and in have come Wu-Tang Clan's Ol' Dirty Bastard, A Tribe Called Quest's Q-Tip and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.
"It's not like I completely went crazy and wanted to be Lil' Kim." she grins. "I've always wanted to do the kind of music I'm doing now, but I'm not abandoning my other audience."
However much Carey may have embraced hip hop, Butterfly remains her album.
"It's coming from me so I have to dictate the direction or it won't be me any more. That's why I can collaborate with people and not lose the essence of who I am," She explains obsessively wiping and re-wiping her hands with wet refresher
Scuffing the "White Whitney" label that many have slapped on her, Buttefly boasts less of the grandstand eight-octave dramatics that have punctuated her other work, and the rich mid-range of her voice lends itself well to the clipped R&B that now rules America. Ask her about it and she will take the compliment but deny the intent.
"It wasn't deliberate," she insists. "Q-Tip came up with the loop from Body Rock for Honey. I just wrote the melody to go with it."
Carey's new collaborators are having one very negative impact on her life, however: she can't find a flat. "It's very hard in New York. They have these co-op boards and for some reason they think I'm a wild, crazy party girl," she says, unwrapping another Wet One. Luxury housing associations aren't known for their liberal sensibilities.
"Yeah. Well, there was all this press about me hanging out with...rappers," she spits out the word in the way a tabloid editor might.
"It was ridiculous. If you read the gossip columns, every time I frigging bump into someone in the hallway they're the new love of my life."
Right now Mariah Carey wants to go to sleep. "My voice is bothering me," she says, taking a sip from her second cup of honey and lemon. She arrived from New York last night and is already in the midst of a ferocious promotional schedule. There are radio interviews to be entertained, a trip to London's Kiss FM to be executed, a meet-and-geet party tonight with
European bigwigs to be enjoyed and, voice willing, a performance on Top Of The Pops in three days time. "They make you do seven rehearsals in that smoky room and it kills my voice," she complains, not unreasonably.
And after that? Carey doesn't know. All she knows is that even before she'd finished the album she was hustled into shooting three videos.
Clearly, not everything is under her control: "I don't know what the (under her breath) f**k that was about.
But don't get Mariah Carey wrong. She's a trouper, after all. She'll get through it. She always has: the poverty-stricken childhood, the racist attacks brought on by her Venezuelan father and Irish mother's mixed-race marriage, the constant moving house, the "highly dysfunctional people" around her family who were "on drugs or doing the other stuff even worse",
and then the breakthrough, the success and the marriage. And know this. It's another life change. Taking control but also letting people know who she really is.
"The thing that pisses me off is when people try to make out it's this princess thing with this girl who walked into fame and never had to struggle", she muses. "People have no clue about my personal struggles and what I continue to go through."
Close-up, Mariah Carey has that heavily made-up, big-features look of the classic prom queen. She can do coy, she can do funny. She's sharp and she's smart. What time does she get up in the morning?
All right, what time of the day?
"Around twelve-thirty, one."
That's artistic.
"Hey baby you gotta have some perks in this job. (laughing) I'm still down-to-earth, aren't I."
But you need to be a star, too.
"Of course, I'm a star", she pouts. "When you're not here I'm just gonna go completely off it and order everyone around."

From Enterainment Weekly
26 September

Butterflies Aren't Free
By Degen Pener
After a very public breakup with husband and Sony Music chief Tommy Mottola, MARIAH CAREY begins a new, if uncertain, future with the release of Butterfly 

Welcome to the newly single life of Mariah Carey. It is free and entangled, exhilarating and embattled. And it never stops moving. At a Manhattan photo studio in late August, Carey is torn between posing for shots and dealing with the prelaunch mania surrounding her fifth album, Butterfly. Cell phones ring incessantly. Carey's new manager, Hollywood power broker Sandy Gallin, swings by to nail down details of her appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards. A stylist and hair and makeup artists commandeer the pop star' free minutes. At one point, Carey--who, these days, oscillates between moments of infectious playfulness and emotional rawness--shoves a tape into the VCR. It's the video for a remix of Butterfly's first single, "Honey." In it, she pinches the cheeks of rappers Sean "Puffy" Combs and Mase--a tender gesture, but one that also conjures The Godfather. "That freaked them out," she says, laughing. "They take that [gangster] stuff seriously." 

At other moments, Carey disappears to her dressing room with a cell phone. One wireless conversation with a Butterfly producer erupts into a dispute. To the chagrin of her makeup artist, tears soon streak Carey's face. "Being able to handle things on my own is good," she explains later. The singer is in the midst of a complicated breakup from husband Tommy Mottola, the president and COO of Sony Music Entertainment and the man who, until this year, has overseen every aspect of her career. And behind the scenes, the split has sparked angry accusations of infidelity, abusive behavior, and artistic suppression. Carey's tears, she says, were inevitable: "It's so easy to become overwhelmed during the state I'm in right now, I just couldn't help it." At the club, Carey and party slip through a private entrance into near chaos. So many people fill every corridor that bodyguards are exercising crowd control backstage. Carey, however, makes her way through the multitude like an habitué. She kisses the night's headliner, the manically dreadlocked Busta Rhymes. Heads swivel as she sidles on, greeting a hot record producer here, an up-and-coming hip-hopper there, before climbing upstairs to a private office, where a bucket of Cristal awaits. 

Carey hangs out in this cramped hideaway for most of the night. Her two bodyguards block the door, but a few VIP rappers, like Combs and Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, cameo in to say hi. "Mariah, she listens to rap. She's straight up just cool," says Elliott, a friend since the two cowrote a song for Butterfly. Contrary to tabloid innuendo, it's hardly the wild gangsta- rap atmosphere in which Carey has supposedly immersed herself. In fact, the only threatening thing is the guy blowing chunks just outside the office door. Carey--the pop diva who, in the past, has seemed so inaccessible--is experiencing it all. And as 3 a.m. approaches, it's still four hours before the insomniac will hit the sheets. She promises to make a 3 p.m. interview scheduled for the next day. "That's bright and early for me," she warns. 

It's only a 50-mile drive from this scene in downtown Manhattan to the affluent white burg of Bedford, N.Y., where Carey lived for the last two years. But the contrast between environs--froms nightclubs to country club---is immense. In 1993, Carey, dressed in a $25,000 Vera Wang gown, married Motolla in a grandioso ceremony attended by the likes of Barbara Streisand and Billy Joel, and reportedly and reportedly modeled after teh royal nuptials of Diana and Charles. At the time, Carey gushed to People magazine that her life had become a fairy tale--"Cinderella," to be exact. And the couble built an ostentatious, $10 million mansion in Bedford--complete with two pools and a recording studio--that became music biz. The plush surburban life, for a time, clearly had its appeal. "She didn't get out much," says rap producer Jermaine Dupri, who began working with carey two years ago on her 1995 multi-platinum album Daydream. 

Motolla and Carey had met in 1988, when she was an 18-year-old waitress, singer from Long Island and he was a maried talent manager turned rookie label head 20 years her senior and on the hunt for the next Whitney Houston. According to industry lore, he grabbed her demo tape away from another exec at a party and within days signed Carey and her octave-scaling voice. While she was recording her 1990 debut, Mariah Carey. a romance blossomed. The professional and personal symbiosis turned Carey into the best-selling female singer of the '90s.. 

If the success rested ona formula--a pristine pop persona fasioned from sugary ballads and girl-next-door clothes--no one scoffed at the payoff. Carey's worldwide album sales have topped 80 million units. Her singing reaps Sony's Columbia records up to $200 million in annual revenues. In February, the company rewarded Carey with her own label, Crave Records. 

Now, in a shift that puts her career on the line as never before, she is leaving the formula and the husband behind. On May 30, Carey and Mottola, 47, announced that they would no longer live happily ever after together. Since Mottola remains her boss, industry observers speculated that a nasty breakup could rock Sony Music. But a statment issued at the time reassured: "[The couple] have mutually and amicably agree to a trial separation...They look forward to continued success in their professional relationship." 

Indeed, Carey appears to be taking charge of her music and her life. Along with the symbolic titling of Butterfly, she is stepping out in a number of ways. Boasting a host of R&B and rap collaborators, Butterfly reins in the ballads, explores an edgier street sound, and offers her most personal lyrics yet. At the MTV Video Music Awards two weeks ago, Carey showed up in quite a different Vera Wang outfit than the one in which she got married: a bandeau top with a skirt provocatively slit, on both sides, to the hip. Recent, she canned her manager, Randy Hoffman, and lawyer Allen Grubman, both of whom are long-standing intimates of Mottola. And now--like Whitney, Janet, and Madonna before her--Mariah hopes to go Hollywood. Since January, she has been studying with a drama coach. "My whole life I've wanted to act," says Carey, who hopes to make her debut sometime next year. 

So far, the metamorphosis is taking wing. "Honey" rocket to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in its first week of release. That makes Carey--with her 1995 hits "Fantasy" and "One Sweet day"--responsible for three of only six singles ever to accomplish that feat. And as befits a singer who can so deftly tip the musical scales, she's taking the high road in the split. "I love him. I care about him," Carey says, recalling a quiet dinner she recently shared with Mottola on her chartered boat in the Hamptons. That evening, Mottola dinghied over his boat and cooked pasta. "He made sauce, which is his specialty," she says. 

Talkin about the split, Carey chooses her words carefully, as she is prone to do. At once candid and coy, she'll answer "yes," than hedge fro five minutes. On the subject of her marriage, the indirectness is understandable in light of the unflattering attention it received in a Vanity Fair profile of Mottola last December. The article, rife with denials from the rocord mogul, painted him as a controlling, Mafia-connected obsessive who'd turned Cinderella into Rapunzel inside their Bedford estate. The picture was of Carey as a prisoner in her own home. "When you've experienced more than someone else, it's a natural tendency to protect the other person from things that you've gone through," is all she'll say about Mottola's purported behavior. "But now, I have to learn things for myself. I have to experience things for myself. I have to make my own decisions and live by them. 

Then why is a controversy of the singer's own creation calling into question the sincerity of her cozy comments? Ever since "Honey" debuted on MTV six weeks ago, media watchers have been astonished by the video's seemingly too-close-to-home scenario. On screen, Carey, portraying a 007 type called Agent M, is handcuffed to a chair inside a magnificent palazzo. GoodFellas actor Frank Sivero, as a rug-haired Italian hood, threatens her with death. Luckily, pluckily, Agent M escapes by Jet Ski. 

The parallels between the "Honey" plot and the Vanity Fair piece are eerie. "It's the most incredibly coincidental thing that you could put out," says producer Walter Afanasieff, who's worked with Carey since 1990 but who fell out with the singer last spring over the hip-hop flavor of Butterfly. (As a hitmaker for Sony artists like Streisand and Celine Dion, Afanasieff is an employee of Mottola's.) "Everything in the video is 'F--- you, Tommy,'" he adds. 

With "Honey," is Carey presenting her true feelings about Mottola while also perpetuating the Mob talk? Someone who works for Carey butrequested anonymity insists the video is a calculated, sharp-edged lampoon of the record exec, made to elicit sympathy for her alleged mistreatment. "It's like 'poor Mariah,'" the source says, adding "She's very smart."

But should anyone care if Mottola doesn't? In an undoubtedly difficult position as Sony Music's top man and the ex of one of its biggest stars, Mottola not only released the video, but publicly supported it. Mottola declined to be interviewed for this story, but in a New York Post article headlined mariah's video vengeance, a publicist relayed the mogul's enthusiasm. "Tommy loves the video," the flack offered, "and says it's the best yet from Mariah." 

The day after her late night on the town, the video's auteur, dressed in a midriff-baring top and blue shorts, is installed in the penthouse of a downtown hotel. Since Carey has moved out of her Bedford mansion but not yet found her own apartment, this is her home for the week. Exhausted and stressed, she wants to talk from bed. Curled up under a pink blanket, she nestles a stuffed puppy close to her side. 

"It's not intended to be a dis to Tommy," she says of the video, in her brassy but genial speaking voice. "All this speculation is really kind of crazy--the media hyping it and feeding it." According to Carey, an afternoon of jet skiing in Puerto Rico earlier this year inspired the "Honey" chase scene. "Her idea was just to do a James Bond kind of thing," says the video's director, Paul Hunter. The chief villain, Carey adds, was not conceived as a role for an Italian American. In fact, funnymen Chris Farley and Denis Leary were both approached to play the part but were unavailable. 

A frustrated Carey would rather talk about Butterfly, which (as is the case with all her albums) she cowrote and coproduced. As an expression of her lifelong love of R&B and rap music, it's a project that's close to her heart. It's also one that seems intrinsically linked to Carey's ongoing exploration of her mixed-race identity. Her mother, who raised Carey, is Irish; her father is a black Venezuelan. The couple divorced when she was three. "Growing up, it was difficult for me to find people that I connected with," says Carey, "because of all my issues of feeling separate and apart." The R&B world is where, Carey believes, she's found her peers. "I grew up in New York. I grew up on urban music," she says. "It's totally a part of me." Adds Afanasieff: "She gets in her car, puts on her radio stations, and it's always R&B. She knows every song, every word, every rap out there." 

The R&B world is where, Carey believes, she's found her peers. "I grew up in New York. I grew up on urban music," she says. "It's totally a part of me." Adds Afanasieff: "She gets in her car, puts on her radio stations, and it's always R&B. She knows every song, every word, every rap out there." 

Not naming Mottola specifically, Carey maintains that her label has opposed her interest in the genre. Two years ago, while making Daydream, she hatched the idea of teaming with hardcore rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard of the Wu-Tang Clan on a remix of her song "Fantasy." How dirty is Dirty? Expressing his unrequited feelings for Carey, he says, "I want to tear her a-- up." 

According to Carey, Columbia, worried the pairing would damage her crossover appeal, discouraged the experiment. "Everyone was like, What are you, crazy?" she remembers. "They're very nervous about breaking the formula. It works to have me sing a ballad on stage in a long dress with my hair up." Columbia president Don Ienner responds: "I was incredibly positive about ODB. There might have been some [who fought it].... I can only speak for myself." 

The remix was ultimately made, boosting her hip quotient. Says Carey, "They started to realize, 'Maybe she does know what she's doing.'" And on Butterfly, she takes her passion further. Combs produced "Honey," Mase and Da Brat rap on remixes, and members of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony guest-star. 

According to a source at Sony, Mottola, who gave Carey complete freedom on this project, worries that Butterfly may have flown too far from Carey's fan base. "Tommy's looking at it from a business standpoint, saying 'You know what? We sell about 3 to 13 percent of your sales to [the] black music [market].' He's not saying 'Don't make black music.' He's saying 'Don't go totally left of what you've already built.'" 

The concern may be overwrought. For one thing, groups such as Sony's Fugees have proved rap's international appeal. And Carey herself may turn out to be a powerful popularizer. 

More important, a quick listen to Butterfly reveals that the ballads are still there--though they don't soar as they used to. "I wanted to do so much more, and she wanted to keep it light and R&B," says Afanasieff. "She was trying to prove herself to be this Mary J. Blige kind of thing: 'Let me show my independence and streetness. Let the conglomerate of Tommy Mottola and Sony Music drop off of me for a while.'" 

Still, Carey's rebelliousness didn't overtake common sense: Butterfly is in no danger of requiring a parental advisory sticker. "We can't be cursing and all on the record," says Elliott. "She's still Mariah. You've got to be careful not to change too much." 

In all, it's a quiet, even melancholy album, with lyrics that dwell on the acceptance of love gone bad. "For the first time since the first album," Carey says, "it feels like I'm letting a piece of myself go." 

She credits her acting lessons as an important tool in discovering herself this year. "People have told her to be so careful about what she says and presents," says her coach, Sheila Gray. "I think a lot of her real voice got lost." Carey has even been revisiting, through drama exercises, some of the difficult terrain of a poor and unhappy childhood. "It's helped me to get in touch with my feelings," she says. (In lighter moments, she's rehearsed Judy Holliday's role in Born Yesterday, the story of a young woman whose thuggish older boyfriend wants to refine her. One day, relates Gray, Tommy "did Born Yesterday with us." A testament, apparently, to Mottola's highly developed sense of irony.) 

Still lying in bed at her hotel, the new Mariah wants to make clear she's not disowning the old one. "I realize who I am, who my audience is," she says, her voice tiring. It's 10 p.m. Carey needs sleep. She also needs to rehearse her dancers, with whom she'll appear on London's Top of the Pops. And she wants to stop by a remix session for Butterfly with the rap group Mobb Deep. "Lately, I find myself wanting to cram in everything," says Carey, who stays out for a second night in a row. 

SO WHAT DID GO WRONG WITH THE MARRIAGE? While the singer is in London, friends and associates of both Carey and Mottola come forward to tell highly polarized stories. But one theme is central: The couple was undone by a generation gap that became a chasm. "This was doomed from the beginning," says a source close to both. 

Friends of Carey's assert they witnessed a pattern of controlling behavior on Mottola's part from the start. According to one, he strove to regulate Carey's desire to dress as she likes. Her tastes are tight and tighter; he wanted her in Armani and Calvin Klein. "He did not like her to look too sexy," the source says. 

Another friend claims that Mottola forbade her to even discuss her wish to act. "She wasn't allowed to grow professionally," he says, charging that scripts sent to Carey were never passed on to her. Debbie Allen, of Fame fame and a producer of Steven Spielberg's upcoming Amistad, confirms she called Randy Hoffman's management office a few years ago with a project for Carey. "I was told she wasn't interested in doing any acting or any movies. Point blank. I found that very surprising." Allen, who met Carey just a few weeks ago, relayed the story. "Mariah said, 'I never even knew you called.'" (Hoffman did not return several calls for comment.) 

According to the second source, Mottola also pushed away many of Carey's friends, banned cute guys in her videos, listened to her conversations through the intercom system in the mansion, and on occasion hit redial to find out whom she'd been talking to. If Mottola did behave this way, what motivated him? "It was an obsession," says the source, adding hyperbolically, "It was exactly like Sleeping With the Enemy...but without the towels." 

Mottola defenders deny that Carey's life in Bedford was harshly circumscribed. "This was the queen's castle; it wasn't, like, his and he put her there," says one. "She loved being there." They concede that Mottola could be overly possessive. But they insist this was in reaction to Carey's behavior. A deep-seated insecurity, they say, prompted her to continually seek attention from other men. "If she knew there'd be guys around, she'd wear really short shorts and get all made up, just to make an entrance.... She didn't realize you got a husband here. You can't be flirtatious just to boost your ego." A year ago, according to these accounts, as problems escalated, Carey started spending much of her time in Manhattan, using a studio there instead of the one in Bedford to begin work on Butterfly. 

Soon after, she met 22-year-old New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter at a Nov. 21 benefit for the Fresh Air Fund, a charity the singer has long supported. Recently, the pair--who share a similar mixed-race heritage--have been reported to be an item. But the reputedly on-and-off affair, say sources close to Mottola and Carey, began shortly after their initial meeting--and about six months before the separation announcement. "One of the major reasons this marriage fell apart is because she was seeing this guy," says a Mottola sympathizer, who's galled by the video portrayal of Carey as victim. "The idea of her as this spirit who has broken free is absurd.... Mariah is no innocent." (Jeter's spokesman did not return calls.) 

Charges of opportunism fly back to the dawn of the relationship. "Tommy was so much to her that I'm sure, in the beginning, it was her looking for a career," says a Sony staffer. "She was his trophy," counters a friend of Carey's. "Personally, she was this beautiful, incredibly sexy 19-year-old. And professionally, she was his ticket." 

Allies of both agree on a few things: that Mottola didn't want the marriage to end; Carey was too young when she married; she felt indebted to him; and she tried to make the marriage work. "She gave it a million percent. Anybody else, it would've been annulled in six months," says a Carey pal. 

As in most breakups, a measure of truth seems to reside on both sides. "Mariah, you knew the control freak Tommy is," says Afanasieff. "You knew what he would do for you, what he was planning for you, what he didn't want you to wear--and still you married the guy. 

"And Tommy, look at who you're marrying. This girl listens to rap 24 hours a day. All she talks about is acting in movies. Don't you think she's going to want to do this? Why do you guys deny all of this?" 

Perhaps they don't have any choice. Recently, Mottola signed a five-year contract with Sony. Carey owes the company four more albums. The exes may be working together into the millennium. So a certain forced public amicability is apparently a necessary fact of life.

ON SEPT. 4, THE DAY OF THE VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS, a more forthcoming Carey shows up for another interview. This time, she's staying at an uptown hotel. At a restaurant downstairs, she orders comfort food--a milk shake--to calm her nerves. "I'm just feeling a little bit vulnerable and wounded by a lot of things," she says. 

In the past few weeks, gossip about Carey has been hitting the tabloids almost daily. One item recounts how a co-op board turned her down. In addition to the Jeter rumor, she has been linked romantically to Combs, rapper Q-Tip, and David Fumero, a model in the "Honey" video. "I can't comment on people out there spreading negativity. They don't have my interests at heart," she says. 

Confronted with some of the accusations that have surfaced, Carey lets out a sigh. At times, she hyperventilates. Yes, she concedes, Mottola did oppose her acting. The separation, she states, began in December. But no, she insists again, the video is not meant to be a slap. "I'm not trying to be his enemy," she says. 

Is she seeing Jeter? "No, nope." Anyone else? "I'm not involved with anybody at this point, now as we sit here." But did another person pull her and Tommy apart? "This didn't happen because of another person," she says. "The other person was myself." 

What angers her most are charges of opportunism. "It's like when people used to say, 'If she weren't married to him, she wouldn't have this, she wouldn't have that.' I don't care if you're married to the President of the United States or Houdini! Nobody can make the public buy records.... I've worked my a-- off for years, and contributed as much to the company as the company contributed to me." 

Carey just wants the grilling to end. "What's the issue? Is the issue that I shouldn't have left?" she asks. "Who the hell is perfect, and why should I be expected to be perfect?" 

It seems clear that a troubled marriage, inextricably tied to a multimillion-dollar recording career, isn't letting go of either party. If charges that Mottola suffocated Carey as an artist are true, she deserves the opportunity to grow on her own. If, indeed, the video is about Mottola, then perhaps Carey isn't moving on at all. The butterfly, now freed from her protective cocoon, may still be learning to use her wings. 

"What really matters at the end of the day is not how many records I've sold, who says I was manipulative, who says I was manipulated, who says I was caged, who says I planned the whole thing," she says. "I know who I am." Sounds like the beginning of a compelling solo flight.


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Heroes of Mariah 2000