|Mariah Carey's visit drives Belgian fans wild
Mariah Carey causes a commotion - in or out of her clothes.
The songbird, who flashes her assets again in the new Rolling Stone, came close to getting crushed last week at a record-store appearance in Brussels. The Belgians aren't known as a rabid people. But when more than 10,000 of them show up at a CD signing, it can be a problem. So many of Carey's waffle-loving, loafer-wearing fans pressed against the store that one of its windows shattered, a witness reported. Two cars also were damaged by fans who climbed up to get a look at Carey. Police formed a human shield around the diva to get her to her limo.
"She was really scared," says her publicist, Cindi Berger.
Just wait till the Belgians get a load of Carey in Rolling Stone. Photographer David LaChapelle shoots her in a leopard bikini, a lacy bra and fishnets, and in hot pants surprising a locker room of towel- clad jocks.
|From BusinessWire (All rights reserved)
Mariah Carey to Embark On International Concert Jaunt; Artist's First Tour in 8 Years to Arrive in U.S. On March 16
International music superstar Mariah Carey will embark on her first world concert tour in eight years, on Saturday, February 14 in Antwerp, Belgium. Mariah's Rainbow Tour - One Night Only! will include performances in five European countries, the United Kingdom and the Far East, before hitting U.S. shores on Thursday, March 16, when she performs in Los Angeles, California at the Staples Center arena.
Mariah enters the new millennium having sold more than 128 million records worldwide and established herself as the most popular female artist of the nineties. She closed the last decade with the release of her ninth album, Rainbow, which has already been certified triple-platinum and spawned the hit singles Heartbreaker and Thank God I Found You.
The release of Heartbreaker made music history when it became Mariah's 14th No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart, a feat rivaled only by the Beatles (20) and Elvis Presley (17). When Heartbreaker entered its second week at No. 1, it marked the 60th week Mariah has been in the top spot on the charts, breaking the long-standing 59-week record established by the Beatles.
Mariah's Rainbow Tour - One Night Only! will feature
many of the hits which practically defined the musical soundtrack of the
past decade -- from 1990's Vision Of Love through 1999's Thank God I Found
You, and countless hits in between - and earned the artist countless accolades,
including 2 Grammy Awards, 8 American Music Awards, 7 World Music Awards
and 4 Soul Train Awards. She was named Artist Of The Decade by Billboard
Magazine during the music industry bible's annual televised awards show
in December, and, just yesterday, Mariah was honored with the American
Music Award Of Achievement -- only the third such award to be given out
during that show's 27-year history.
|Carey Gets Hospitalized For Food Poisoning
Superstar singer Mariah Carey recently was released from a Boston hospital for dehydration and food poisoning after she ate raw oysters.
Carey was hospitalized for a few days, according to her publicist, at Massachusetts General Hospital.
She fell ill after she ate raw oysters in Atlanta where she performed. She began to feel worse after she flew to Boston and was hospitalized.
Hospital spokeswoman Georgia Pierce said Carey was treated for dehydration and other side effects of food poisoning.
Her show at Boston's Fleet Center had to be canceled. The concert was rescheduled.
|Michael Jackson And Mariah Carey Named Best-Selling
Artists Of Millennium At WMA's In Monaco
Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey have scooped up top honors as best-selling male and female artists of the millennium at the 12th annual World Music Awards.
The awards, which honor the world's greatest-selling recording artists in various categories, were given at a glamour-filled soiree at Monaco's famed seaside Sporting Club and broadcast live to an estimated 900 million viewers in more than 150 countries.
The two-hour special was organized in this tiny Riviera principality under the patronage of Monaco's Prince Albert.
Jackson and Carey are two of the world's most celebrated recording artists.
|A loose cannon in the family
Remember that book Mariah Carey's sister, Alison, said she was writing? The one in which she claimed she'd reveal that she supported her sister's early singing career by turning tricks?
No such thing. "The book doesn't exist," Carey's
rep, Cindi Berger, recently told the press.
"As Alison's mother, it has saddened me to witness her self-destructive behavior. She has been addicted to alcohol and other hard drugs for over 25 years and even lost custody of two of her children because of her addictions," said Pat Carey.
And Alison's son, Sean, now an Ivy League law student, has come to his aunt's defense, too. "Mariah took on the role of caretaker of our family at an extremely young age," he said. "I reached a certain point in my life when I realized that, for my own sanity, I could not maintain a relationship with my mother. Without Mariah ... I can honestly say I don't know where I would be today."
|Mariah Carey Takes Her Problems With Label
To Her Fans On The Web
Hinting that she's upset about her treatment at her music label, Sony Music, songstress Mariah Carey, on her personal, Sony-run Web site, recently urged fans to support her new single, Can't Take That Away (Mariah's Theme), USA Today recently reported.
"Basically, a lot of you know that the political situation in my professional career is not stellar," she said on the site.
"It's been really, really hard. I don't even know if this (message) is going to get up to you on the Web, because I don't know if they want you to hear this," she continued. "But, it's a lot of drama. And I'm getting a lot of negative feedback from certain corporate people. But I'm not willing to give up on Can't Take That Away. I had to fight to get it released as a single."
Tour Profile: Mariah Carey
The biggest-selling female artist of the '90s is Mariah Carey, and she closed out the record-breaking decade with both her ninth release and her first tour in eight years. After a string of performances in Europe and the Far East, Carey's Rainbow Tour hit U.S. shores last March.
While Carey's sales and airplay figures are astounding-more than 128 million albums and singles sold worldwide; 84 Gold, Platinum and multi-Platinum certifications; and more Number One singles than any other female artist in history-her touring experience has been surprisingly limited, making pressure on the Rainbow Tour intense.
The show, which plays in 270D with an upstage video screen, showcases material that ranges from the shimmery pop and lush ballads of Carey's early efforts to the hard-edged, hip hop sound of her more recent recordings. That fact, combined with her remarkably wide vocal range and notorious vocal pyrotechnics, makes the already difficult task of getting good sound in multiuse venues, such as L.A.'s Staples Center, the San Jose Arena and Madison Square Garden, even more daunting.
Tour sound provider Clair Bros. pulled it all together with a veteran crew headed by FOH engineer Trip Khalaf and including monitor mixer Glen Collett, crew chief Bob Weibel and assistants Tom Ford and Gene Phillips. Rainbow is a highly crafted and staged show that required plenty of pre-production: three weeks of band rehearsals at North Hollywood's Power Plant, as well as production rehearsals at the new Raleigh Studios in Manhattan Beach. "The actual tour came together kind of unexpectedly," explains Khalaf, whose FOH credits include Madonna, Michael Jackson, Queen and Roger Waters. "Last winter, we did about six weeks with the same band on a press tour that included Oprah, The Today Show, and the Video Music Awards. We thought we were done when, late in December, we got a call that said, 'Can you be ready to go in two weeks?' So we threw this thing together pretty quickly."
The hip hop element and the size of the venues dictated a sound package that Khalaf describes dryly as "big-about three-quarters of an acre" to handle the nine-piece band, which includes drums, bass, guitar, percussion, keys, four backing vocals and lots of computerized drum samples and loops. The P.A. system comprises 74 Clair Bros. S4 Series 2 cabinets, powered by Carver 1.5 amplifiers, and it includes seven TC Electronic 1128 programmable EQs and four Clair Bros. CTS system processors.
"People come to hear her voice, so number one is getting the voice out," stresses Khalaf. "And let's get this straight from the get-go, Mariah sings every note. But there is a guy over in the corner (not onstage) who does all the hip hop rhythm stuff on computer."
That combination of acoustic and computerized drums is a recipe guaranteed to bring on mixing headaches. "It's easy to do a show with a drummer," Khalaf continues. "It's the same sound all the time; you hone your drum kit and there you go. But when you're dealing with hip hop, everything changes all the time. One tune sounds absolutely nothing like another. The challenge is to make it all make sense, to make it flow as smoothly as you can. One of the stark things is that in the older material the drums are pretty far back and on the newer stuff they're right in your face. So you do have to change it a bit from the records to keep the drums at some sort of recognizably consistent level."
Countryman directs are used on bass, guitar and keys; the acoustic drums are miked mostly with Shure products: a Beta 52 on kick, SM57s on snare top and bottom, and SM98s on toms. Milab 96s for overheads round out the kit. No compressor is used on the drums themselves, and no overall stereo compression is used on the mix.
BANDPASS CROSSOVERS ARE MORE FORGIVING "We use bandpass compression instead of overall compression-the CTS processor, the system controller for the S4s, has really wonderful compressors built in," Khalaf explains. "In a live situation if you use overall compression you wind up having the kick drum or the vocal modulate everything. If you break it up into system bandpass crossovers, it's a lot more forgiving: The kick drum will modulate only the lows, the vocals usually will determine the compression of the mids and the highs. And," he laughs, "if I get really out-to-lunch on the hi-hat or somebody's got a real sibilance problem, it will drag the highs down a little bit. But that's the most noticeable-you don't really want to get into that."
The computer drums, fed from MOTU's Sound Designer, come up on the main 56-input Midas XL-4 console, which, not surprisingly, has all inputs occupied. "The XL-4 is automated to the point where you can assign any of the inputs to any one of ten VCAs which are motorized and have programmable levels," continues Khalaf. "Besides that, on/off switches are programmable. But since only the VCAs are programmable in level, I drop all of the channels down into ten VCAs and use them like submasters."
A Yamaha 02R sidecar run by Opcode's Max software is used for effects returns. SMPTE sent from the stage is fed into a MOTU MIDI Time Piece, then into a Macintosh laptop that runs the XL-4, the 02R and Max. "With all these different drum sounds, you have to not only make the different sounds work together but also deal with levels that are all over the place," says Khalaf. "With the system we're using, a SMPTE number signals the program changes to the XL-4 and the 02R, as well as opening up a window of notes for whatever tune comes around."
TIGHT PATTERN, smooth RECORDING Lead and background vocal mics of choice are Shure wireless models fitted with Beta 87 capsules. "We do a lot of recording in very different environments," Khalaf explains. "Mariah's studio engineer needs to be able to take the tapes into the studio for overdubs and fixes if necessary. The 87 has the tightest pattern we've found, so he can just put an 87 in front of her in the studio and match it up."
Board EQ is used on the lead vocal when necessary, along with a Tube-Tech limiter and reverb from a Lexicon 480L hall program. "You don't want to jazz this vocal up too much," comments Khalaf. "She really does have an incredible instrument, and it's fine just like it is."
Dealing with those famous dynamics? "I just kind of goose it a little bit with the limiter to keep it under control somewhat, and then it's down to riding the fader a lot. Not only does she have an incredible range, she has a number of voices which she uses; a lot of them very breathy, a lot of them very deep. They all react to the microphone differently, and sometimes it's a challenge."
Reverbs of choice are the 480L, "plates for drums, halls for the vocals," and "a nice layered shift from the Eventide 3500 Harmonizer for backing vocals, which fattens everything up."
WEDGES AND IN-EARS Only Carey and her four backup singers use wireless mics, with two additional wireless ready for various guest artists such as Missy Elliott and Da Brat, who sometimes drop in for the show.
There's plenty of other RF flying around the stage, however; although Carey herself relies on traditional monitor wedges, the rest of the band use Ultimate Ear UE5 two-way monitors, three of them wireless.
"I try and keep it to a minimum," notes monitor mixer Collett, a Nashville resident whose credits include Bette Midler, Julio Iglesias and 16 years with Bryan Adams. "The people that are stationary I try to keep wired in order to keep the total number of radio frequencies onstage down as much as possible. On this tour, only the bass player and two of the singers are wireless.
"Reception problems are always of paramount concern. The airwaves are getting more and more jammed, and, once you put a pair of little monitors inside your ears, any kind of bad reception is a real problem. Essentially, you have a little stereo FM radio station on your belt. It just happens to be turned to a frequency that, hopefully, isn't being broadcast by TV, or radio or anybody else."
RF isn't the only problem Collett faces; the use of both in-ear monitors and wireless microphones increases many of his other equipment requirements. For example, his 52-input Yamaha PM4000 is overextended.
"The console does a maximum of 22 mixes; I'm using them all and I could use many more. When you go to in-ear monitors, the requirements go way up. First of all, you're now supplying each person's mix with their primary instrument as well. Usually, for instance, the guitar player would get a lot of his instrument's sound out of his own amplifier. Now, he gets nothing of that; you supply it all. And, not only do you need more mixes, you also need more inputs, because that guitar player might want to hear his guitar EQ'd very bright. When you send that bright guitar to anybody else, they don't like it. So I have to split off the guitar, or any other instruments where someone wants to hear drastic EQ that nobody else wants to hear.
"It's funny," he laughs. "People, or at least the accountants, thought when we went to in-ear monitors we'd lose all these amplifiers and speakers and we'd save all this money. But it didn't turn out that way."
For Carey's monitoring, Collett runs six mixes into eight Clair 12 AM wedges and eight Clair Bros. R4 sidefills, all powered by Carver Clair CVA 1000s. "It's a very wide stage," he comments. "I use a pair right in the center, then, as she walks to either side there's a group of three in an arc, then four sidefills on each side. When you get a whole lot of wedges that have to cover all the way across the front of the stage you can't just put them all in one mix. When you get off-center and you're in front of wedges that are closer to the sidefills, those wedges need to sound a little different than the ones that are all by themselves in the center. The idea being, of course, to make the voice sound the same everywhere you go."
Collett uses numerous compressors in the console inserts, mostly dbx 900 and 160s. Reverbs are a TC M5000 dual engine, with one stereo side used for Carey and the other for the backup singers, and SPX900s for acoustic guitar and snare drum. "Reverb is another requirement that goes up with in-ear monitors," he adds. "You can't have one reverb and put a bunch of things into it; if someone needs a reverb, it has to be discrete on their instrument and in their ears."
And so it goes. There's that French saying that translates into something like "the more things change the more they remain the same." Our rising sound technology curve hasn't changed the need for more and more equipment, and better and better sound engineers.
"Theoretically I suppose a show should work by being computerized," concludes Khalaf with a laugh. "But that's the thing about live music. You can never just sit back. You'll never be able to phone it in. We are actually forced to ply our trade over and over again every evening."
|From the Evening Standard (All rights reserved)
Westlife and Mariah Carey, now what are the odds on that?
When the Irish boy band Westlife were introduced to Mariah Carey, the biggest-selling female recording artist of the Nineties, they were surprised that she wanted to chat to them for more than half an hour.
They were even more surprised when, at the end of the awards ceremony they were attending, she came over and said: "I would really like to work with you."
"We were just stunned," says Bryan McFadden. "We couldn't believe we were meeting her, let alone working with her."
Now, six months later, their first joint venture, a cover of the Phil Collins hit Against All Odds, is getting airplay worldwide.
Westlife, who have hit No 1 with all five of their singles, flew to Crete where they were picked up by Mariah's private yacht and taken to another island to record the song. "It was a bit like being in a film," says Shane Filan. Bryan adds: "It was one of the best three days of our lives."
The band say they have always been "huge" fans of Mariah, and compare her to Michael Jackson in terms of global pop influence.
"Whatever she does she is always brilliant," says Bryan. "She has done duets with rappers, she has done R&B music - everything. She is just excellent at what she does.
"Before we went over there we didn't know what to expect. You hear things about how successful people can be not very nice to deal with, but she was brilliant with us - totally on the level. She took us out to dinner and we just chatted and bounced ideas off each other."
For her part, Mariah has been equally complimentary about the band, describing their vocals as "taking the track to a whole new place".
Westlife, managed by Boyzone lead singer Ronan Keating, are currently recording a new album, and the three-day trip was just one engagement in a hectic schedule that has seen them have barely one day off in two years.
When the album is released later this year, the band go back on tour to promote it, stacking up the odds against any break for at least another 12 months.
|From US Weekly
Sylist (Mariah's) Takes Her Own Life
Tonjua Twist was a star you never knew. As a fashion stylist, she was in the image business, creating looks for such celebrities as Cindy Crawford, Michael Jackson and, for the last four years, Mariah Carey almost exclusively. Virtually every style associated with the pop superstar was Twist's. The trend of low-slung jeans with a ripped waistband came out of a photo shoot of Carey for her 1999 single, "Heartbreaker", when Twist simply ripped off the waist of Carey's Levis to make her look sexier.
Trashy-chick airbrushed T-shirts were Twist's too, like the one on the cover of Carey's 1999 album, Rainbow, which sold 8 million copies. For a while, it seemed like every idea Twist executed wound up in the pages of "Women's Wear Daily", "Cosmopolitan", or "In Style" magazines. She was flying on private jets, and sleeping in $700-a-night hotel rooms. It appeared that Tonjua Twist was living an amazing life, until last May, when she ended it - allegedly swallowing more than 70 tranquillisers, antidepressants and sleeping pills in her Marian Del Rey, California, apartment. She was 36 years old.
The fashion world is ego-driven, a place where snobbery triumphs sincerity and cattiness is commonplace. But Twist was special, and photographers and celebrities sought her out. "I've been in this business in New York City for 15 years, and there was nobody nicer. Nobody," says Wayne Scot Lukas, a celebrity fashion stylist who knew Twist for about 12 years.
Twist began her career after graduating in 1987 from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. She started as an assistant at "Vogue". She became the fashion editor at "Self" in 1988, did a stint at Glamour in 1994, then went freelance, styling for David Letterman, Bill Murray, Christina Ricci and many others.
Professionally, Twist was known for her ability to put people at ease. In 1996, Tom Tavee, freelance photographer who worked with Twist on about dozen shoots, was photographing jazz vocalist Kevin Mahogany for the cover of his 1997 album "Another Time Another Place". Twist was styling the shoot, which was supposed to capture Mahogany driving a red Chevy Capri over the Manhattan Bridge in New York. But Mahogany was nervous, Tavee recalls. Twist's maternal instinct led her to offer to ride with him, curled up on the floor in the passenger seat of the car. "She kind of held his hand across the bridge," says Tavee. Mahogany immediately relaxed. Photographer Chris Buck, who worked with Twist on a Chris Farley shoot, adds, "She had a wonderful sense of humour... It wasn't just about fashionable clothes with her."
Twist was fastidious, organised and committed to her job, which required combining mass-market trends with sophisticated looks to burn her clients into the public's memory. It was a mart approach, and when it worked, Twist fuelled a star's popularity by facilitating a visual and emotional connection between artist and fan.
She was a master of facades. But unfortunately, one of Twist's greatest creations was the mask of happiness that she made for herself: While her apparent joy for life and for her career touched almost everyone she worked with, inside, overwhelming sadness brewed. Many of her closest friends and family didn't even know that she was depressed until after the suicide.
Tonjua Lynn Twist was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on January 12, 1964, the first of three daughters for Martin Twist and Saundra Curry Twist. They were poor, uneducated, young parents. "This was not your typical little Kentucky family," says younger sister Tyra Twist-Amrein. "This was something out of Jerry Springer."
Life inside the Twist home was miserable. Martin was "abusive physically, mentally and verbally," says Twist-Amrein. Martin denies that he physically abused his daughters. He allows that he "smacked" Twist - Amrein once when she snuck out of the house. "I just don't think there was [physical abuse]," says Martin, "but it depends on your yardstick. I did paddle the girls - I won't deny that."
The family struggled financially until Martin started Coal-brokerage Company in the mid-70's. The business quickly took off, and by 1980 Martin says his company had revenues of $30 million. In 1977, he moved his family to the east end of Louisville, the "prominent side of the tracks," as Twist-Amrein puts it.
When Tonjua was 16, her mother was killed in an accident after her car slipped on a patch of ice and hit a tree. Tonjua was devastated by the sudden death. Escape became her coping mechanism. She spent hours painting in the basement with headphones on. "Tonjua was a hider," remembers Twist-Amrein.
Two years after her mother died, Tonjua, then 18, gave birth to a son, who immediately was put up for adoption. But her sisters and friends didn't learn of the child until days before Tonjua's funeral. Martin and his now ex-wife were two of only a handful of people who knew; they kept Tonjua's secret until her death. Tonjua had managed to hide the pregnancy on her petite, lithe body wearing baggy clothes then she buried the whole experience after the birth.
In October 1994, Twist took an assignment from Mariah Carey, who soon hired her for more appearances and videos. By 1997, Twist was devoting nearly all of her time to the pop star. It was a dream gig; Twist was associated with one of the biggest names in music and earning about $300,000 a year. She went on tour with Carey and spent the last three years at her side. Still, living your life in the service of a celebrity can be draining, especially, if, as in Twist's case, it was difficult to say no.
Last year, in Amsterdam (Heroes correction: it was Antwerp) during Carey's Rainbow tour, Carey asked Twist about a favourite dress that she wanted to wear. Twist couldn't find it among the truckload of costumes. So she frantically called her friend Beth Fredrick and Fredrick's husband, Don Palmer, in New York, and gave them meticulous instructions about how to get into her Manhattan apartment and locate the dress among the racks of clothing. Assuming they found the dress, Fredrick and Palmer were to purchase a one-way plane ticket for it leaving that afternoon from New York. "Tonjua told us they were willing to buy a ticket for the dress - buy the dress a seat on the plane," says Palmer. The dress eventually turned up in Carey's travel gear.
"I can't imagine how Tonjua could have had a second of personal time when working with Mariah", says Carey Bennett, a costume designer who worked with Twist on Carey's wardrobe. Prior to concerts, Twist would set up the Nascar-like pit stops Carey would take between songs to change outfits. During the concert, Twist was on-call to negotiate any clothing crisis that might occur. After the concert, Twist would supervise the packing of clothing and the loading of the trunks onto the tour truck. Then Twist would need to plan for Carey's next outfit. After three years of this gruelling schedule, according to Martin, she was burned out and "needed to be doing more than picking out tennis shoes," he says.
Last December, Twist told her family she was getting a long-overdue break from the nearly non-stop touring. Carey had invited Twist and her boyfriend, Stevie Salas, to Acapulco for a millennium party. But instead of letting her lounge on the beach, "Mariah used her like a little servant," says her sister Tyra, sending Twist on all-day errands. (Salas confirms this account.) Carey's manager, Louise McNally, who was also in Acapulco at the time disagrees: "Tonjua was not someone who got pushed around," says McNally, adding that Twist was asked to run one two-hour errand. There's no question that working for Carey was difficult, but for someone like Twist, who seemed to live to please other people, it could be dangerously consuming. Still, Twist looked like a consummate pro to those who knew her: happy with both the status and challenges of the job, even if she was physically and emotionally exhausting herself.
But Twist wasn't only having problems with her work; she had health worries, too - a "uterus problem," as she called it, that, she told her friends, would eventually require surgery. And her relationship with Salas was also deeply troubled. Salas is a second-tier musician who has played backup guitar for Rod Stewart, and Terence Trent D'Arby. Now he is a solo artist with a small fan base in Asia. For more than 12 years, until Twist's death, the couple broke up and got back together countless times.
In her relationship with Salas, as in her job, Twist was the peacekeeper and the nurturer, always trying hard to make things work out, while Salas played the role of temperamental star. She arranged her schedule around his and doted on his domestic and emotional needs. "You could see how hard she worked for it - she catered to him, always at his beck and call," says Twist's friend David Gilbert. "He'd be gone for a few weeks. He'd come back and say 'Oh, I'm going out to a party with my friends, and you're not invited.'" Twist's devotion confounded her friends and co-workers. "Everyone kind of scratched their heads and wondered why Tonjua put up with it," says Tavee.
But rather than pull back from the relationship after Carey's tour finished in the spring, Twist plunged in even deeper. On the theory that things would never work out between them if she stayed on the East Cost while he lived in California, the stylist made a crucial decision. She left behind the support system she had built during the 17 years lived in New York and moved into a Marina Del Rey apartment with Salas.
About one month after moving in, Twist discovered that Salas was seeing another woman. She told Beth Fredrick that Salas asked her to check his e-mail when he was out of town. "There were several [e-mails] from a woman [Salas] had been seeing while [Twist] had been on the road," Fredrick says. "He didn't have the guts to break up with her face-to-face." Salas says that he did not instruct Tonjua to go into his e-mail account and adds, "I didn't leave her for another girl... I just couldn't be her boyfriend anymore."
Twist and Salas broke up for the last time. She was crushed, and her depression worsened. Even with all of their problems, she had regarded Salas as the one stabilising force in her life. Just before she died, says Carey Bennett, "We talked about this mess of a relationship and how it was all exacerbated by the fact that she had been on tour with Mariah. She had given everything to Mariah and had come back [to find] no life left."
A few weeks after the break-up, David Gilbert had a sick feeling something was wrong. For three days he had been trying to get Twist on the phone. Since the Salas debacle, Gilbert and Twist had spoken almost daily - sometimes more than once - because "she was hysterical 24 hours a day for two weeks," Gilbert says. "At eight in the morning she would call me crying; at midnight she would call me crying". He found the sudden quiet frightening.
On Thursday, May 25, Gilbert notified the police that Twist was missing. Technically, she hadn't been gone long enough to qualify as a missing person, so the police did not follow up on the call. The next morning, Gilbert, who lives nearby, drove to Twist's home to check it out for himself. One blind in the bathroom was tilted upward. Gilbert peeked through the space and noticed that the antiquated electric heater built into the ceiling had been left on. "That's a big fire issue, and she's just too responsible and organized. She wouldn't have left that on," says Gilbert, who again alerted the local police. They arrived soon after and broke into Twist's home.
Twist's body was lifeless on her bedroom floor. She had overdosed on a mix of prescription medications and over-the-counter sleeping pills two days earlier. "Somewhere between 70 and 100 tranquillisers, antidepressants, a couple bottles of Tylenol PM and a couple of super-strong pain medications that were [Salas's]," says Gilbert.
Gilbert didn't get back to his apartment until 5 A.M. the following day. It was 8 A.M. in Louisville, and with a pit in his stomach, he picked up the telephone, and called Martin. Martin's reaction to the call was as Gilbert expected: "Wails, Moans, Screams," Gilbert recalls. "That was brutal."
Gilbert echoes most of Twist's friends and relatives when he describes his guilt for not having recognized the extent of her depression. In hindsight, the signs were there. At 36, she was approaching the same age at which her mother died; the son she had never known of or spoken of was turning 18, and her reproductive system was faltering. In one phone call between Gilbert and Twist three weeks before she killed herself, she talked about suicide.
"You're depressed and I get it." Gilbert had told her. "I know what you're saying, but you need to go to a psychiatrist." Gilbert says Twist was completely lucid in her response. "I am just not interested in life," she said. "I am just not interested in it." I don't like the way people treat one another."
Carey, however, maintains that Twist kept her torment so well hidden that it was impossible to see, despite their almost daily contact over three years. "The Tonjua I knew was the life of the party, says Carey. "She had an incredibly uplifting personality that must have been covering a lot of sadness."
|From Popular Music and Society (All rights
Ones. - Mariah Carey - sound recording review
It is a no-brainer that any collection of hits by the biggest hitmaker of a decade of music, in this case Mariah Carey, is going to be filled with catchy, hook-filled ditties and big-build dramas that are instantly familiar and dare you not to hum (dance and/or sing) along. Carey's dominance on radio stations and in record outlets is often cynically attributed to her former relationship with Sony Music CEO Tommy Mottola and the radio-ready, formulaic nature of her songs. However, one listen to this disc makes it clear once and for all that Carey is a genuinely talented vocalist and craftswoman whose knack for vocal extravaganzas and hookiness is endearing by virtue of sheer persuasion.
This collection, which features her 13 number one hits along with four new tracks, has been carefully labeled as not a greatest hits album, hence the absence of some of her best singles like "Anytime You Need a Friend" and album tracks like "Vanishing" and "Underneath the Stars." Still, the songs collected effectively showcase Carey's enduring appeal. The album begins with one of her best R&B cuts, a smooth, bassy remake of Rainy Davis's "Sweetheart" with Jermaine Dupri that has an infectious, pulsating arrangement and understated vocals. This is followed by "When You Believe" a suprisingly tepid, anticlimactic duet with Whitney Houston from The Prince of Egypt soundtrack. She also duets with Motown recording artist Brian McKnight on the eloquent "Whenever You Call," a track from her 1997 Butterfly album that does not detract from nor enhance the song, though they are an appealing pair.
From there, the album runs down the number one hits chronologically from most recent to eldest, including the guitar ballad "My All" and the bouncy "Fantasy" through the triumphant "Vision of Love." The collection is not only a display for her vocal chops and crafty writing and production style, but also a lesson in how pop and R&B music have evolved over the decade. The slick ballads ("Love Takes Time") and sugary dance tunes ("Someday") that characterized the airwaves in the early 1990s have given way to an edgier, more groove-oriented style ("Fantasy") that reflects the way hip hop has revamped R&B and pop music.
The album ends with a remake of Brenda K. Starr's 1987 hit "I Still Believe," a bubble-gum ballad that Carey somehow transforms into something more resonant. The latter, in many ways, sums up Carey's appeal. Most of the songs featured are competent and well-crafted but work primarily because Carey transcends their musical and lyrical limitations by virtue of her vocal conviction. Carey sounds so sincere and sings with such gusto, fervor, and range that a routine heartbreak ballad or dance song takes on a level of grandeur, drama, and energy that elevates the songs into moving pop masterpieces and minidramas. The album also captures Carey in her many phases, from languorous drama queen to dance diva to inspirational singer to hip-hop-pop soulstress. Though Ones is primarily product, it succeeds in making you wonder what her next phase will be and whether her songs will ever catch up with her vocal abilities.
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Heroes of Mariah 2000