Excerpts: Q: The characters are so real. How did you determine the casting? Because it was very believable. Lee Daniels: "Thanks to our casting director Billy Hopkins but casting is such that I tried to cast against the grain. Look, take a bold movie so you put Mariah and Mo'Nique in it and then you go 'Why not be as bold in your casting. If you are gonna tell a story, go all the way, be bold. Take a chance all the way. So I believe in taking chances, always."
Q: Beautiful, beautiful film especially the kind of end scene with the three women. Just riveting. How much did you have to do as the director to get all three women to a place where they needed to be, or did they bring it or how did that scene work because it was so phenomenal. Lee Daniels: "We prayed beforehand and I said, 'Alright, girls, knock 'em out.' Because Sapphire wrote it so the words were there. Everything is in the book. There was nothing that wasn't in the book that wasn't up on the screen. And they just dug deep into their souls to find these women and then they played off each other magnificently. Mariah Carey: "I was, she [referring to Mo'Nique] gave me everything and anything that I could ask for in that scene. So powerful, to be there, I mean, just a part of that moment. It made it so real, so incredibly beautiful because it's that character who's kind of like the eyes of the world, kind of reveal this world that we just haven't seen before. The other side of the world that we haven't seen and then to be there with these two incredible... I was on the floor." Mo'Nique: "Mr. Daniels asked me before we started shooting, 'Do you believe everybody gets redemption?' And I said, 'No' especially if you don't ask for forgiveness, what is it that you've done. So when we got to that scene, I think that Mary (Jones, her character) had a mental illness. She was ill and once you listened to her and once she explained her illness, I don't know if she got redemption but I think people's hearts lightened up to say any one of us could be Mary Jones at any given time. So in that scene with the three of us, and everyone is asking in the press, "How was Mariah Carey?" Everyone wants to know, 'How was she? How was she?' She was so brilliant [Audience claps]. She was so brilliant because she stayed right there and she stayed in that woman's eyes and she wouldn't let her escape because Mary's an escape artist and she's ripping intimidation but Mariah Carey stayed right there with Mo'Nique and Gabby (Gabourey Sidibe) and we were all in that moment so... it was just so magical. We can't explain it because Mr. Daniels said 'Action!' and that's what it was so thank you, Mr. Daniels."
Q: Mariah was pretty banged up before. She had this chance to put herself out there again, what do you have to say now? Lee Daniels: "Thank God. I'll answer you for Mariah. Mariah Carey is a certifiable genius. I love her. And I'm so happy, proud to have her in my movie. I'm honored to God that she's in my movie. I'm happy that she's in my movie and I'll do another movie with her again. Mariah Carey: I only wanted to say this, that I was so thankful that Lee took a chance on me as an actress because we really clicked as individuals. First of all, I had read Push. It was just ironic that I have read Push years ago and it was one of the most touching things that I've ever come across and the fact that all of our paths crossed in this way, and everything just came together. It pushed me to go to a place that surprised me and it allowed me to strip away layers of whatever, kind of pre-conceived notions of... okay, diva - the most unused word in the world. Whatever type of diva things were perceptional... [Lee Daniels: No make-up.] Yes, no make-up. Actually, under eyebag make-up. But it was good because it forced me to really deal with myself as not anything other than just coming to work, showing up and really being able to try to serve the material and be a part of such a wonderful cast and such an incredible team."
Posted by Lynn on Saturday, 31-Jan-2009, 9:49AM EST
Below, find Mariah's chart positions in Billboard magazine issue dated February 7, 2009.
"Right To Dream" Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks: #27 (Last Week #26)
"I Stay In Love" Billboard Hot Dance Club Play: #3 (Last Week #6)
"Hero" Billboard Hot Digital Songs: #195 Downloads this week: 9,806 (+319%) Total Downloads: 308,002
The Ballads The Billboard 200: #10 Billboard Comprehensive Albums: #10 (Debut) Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums: #7 (Debut) Billboard Top Digital Albums: #20 (Debut) Billboard Top Internet Albums: #25 (Debut) Total Sales: 28,670
E=MC² Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums: #55 (Last Week #71)
The Adventures of Mimi Billboard Top Music Video: #31 (Last Week #25)
Note: The Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart is published a week earlier than the other charts. For the February 14th issue of Billboard, "I Stay In Love" takes the #1 spot on this chart! This position will show in next week's update.
"I Stay In Love" is Mariah's 14th #1 song on Hot Dance Club Play. Following are the 14 songs that made it to the chart: "Someday," "Emotions," "Dreamlover," Anytime You Need A Friend," "Fantasy," "Honey," "I Still Believe," "Through The Rain," "It's Like That," "We Belong Together," "Don't Forget About Us," "Say Somethin'," "Touch My Body," and "I Stay In Love."
Source: Billboard | MariahDailyJournal | DiscoCowboy | Joao
Video: Mariah Talks About "Hero"
Posted by Lynn on Friday, 30-Jan-2009, 7:08PM EST
You've done memorable performances of "Hero" at Live 8 and the A Tribute to Heroes show after 9/11. How does it feel to lend your talents to a good cause? Why do you think "Hero" resonates so well with people? "Having written 'Hero' and I didn't even think I was writing it for myself, that's the first thing that's really strange when so many people tell me that the song has changed their lives and I have performed it at so many different charitable events like Live Aid and A Tribute to Heroes and countless others. I think that it's one of those songs that I really will always enjoy singing even though when I first wrote it I was like, 'I don't know about this song. It's so down the middle, it's so this and that.' But so many people have told me that it helped them and that's why I do what I do so yes I do what I do because it's fun for me but also if you have an added bonus of someone telling you something helped them through a difficult period of time in their life there's nothing like that feeling."
Official Tennessee Site Gets New Look
Posted by Lynn on Friday, 30-Jan-2009, 12:36AM EST
The official Tennessee website has been revamped and updated with a brand new look! When you log on to the site, "Right To Dream," the song that Mariah wrote for the movie, will automatically start playing and there is a link to iTunes to download it.
More contents have been added including Theaters and Press (coming soon!), updated contact page now with the film distributor Vivendi Entertainment's information, and some new high-quality stills from the movie that we have not seen before.
Source: MariahDailyJournal | Jeane
Third Time's the Charm
Posted by Lynn on Thursday, 29-Jan-2009, 6:24PM EST
For the third time since she left the Columbia label, the imprint has released a collection of Mariah Carey songs. What's different this time is that "The Ballads" (Columbia/Legacy) has landed in the top 10 of The Billboard 200.
"The Ballads," which bows at No. 10, is the 14th of Carey's 16 chart albums to reach the top 10. The only two albums that missed this elite tier are those above-mentioned Columbia releases. "Greatest Hits" stopped at No. 52 in December 2001 and "The Remixes" went to No. 26 in November 2003.
Carey made her debut on The Billboard 200 the week of June 30, 1990, with an eponymous set. That means we are just 16 months away from the 20-year anniversary of her first appearance on the album chart.
"The Ballads" also enters Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, at No. 7. It is the 13th top 10 title for Carey on this survey. "Greatest Hits" (No. 36) and "The Remixes" (No. 25) also missed the upper region on this chart, as did her "MTV Unplugged EP" (No. 16 in July 1992).
The Dream's New Album Bumped To March
Posted by Lynn on Thursday, 29-Jan-2009, 4:19PM EST
Originally expected out before the end of last year, The Dream's second album, Love Vs. Money, will now arrive in March via Def Jam. The wait has proven beneficial, as it has given current single "Rockin' That Thang" time to climb the charts.
First released in December, the track is No. 13 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs tally this week. During a listening session last night (Jan. 28) in New York, the artist/producer/songwriter said "My Love" featuring Mariah Carey may be the next single, and that he's also hard at work with Carey on her next album.
"We've already got working title -- well, I do: 'MC3,'" the Dream said. "I'm going to try to write every record."
The Love Vs. Money songs are rife with layered vocals, sensual yet comical lyrics and wall-shaking bass. "Sweat It Out" concerns a night of lovemaking, while "Let Me See the Booty" boasts strip club-ready lyrics while Lil Jon provides his trademark yelling in the background.
Last October, The Dream told Billboard the track "Kelly's 12 Play" was inspired by R. Kelly's debut album. Besides Carey and Lil Jon, the only other guest on Love Vs. Money is Kanye West, who appears on "Walkin' on the Moon." Production was supplied by The Dream's longtime collaborators Tricky Stewart and LOS Da Mystro.
MDJ Exclusive: Mariah in Manila, Charmbracelet Tour 2003
Posted by Lynn on Thursday, 29-Jan-2009, 2:58PM EST
Here is exclusive, never-seen-before footage from a professional recording of Mariah's Charmbracelet World Tour stop in Manila, Philippines on November 16, 2003.
Band Introduction - Charmbracelet Tour The Fort Open Field, Manila, Philippines, Nov. 16, 2003 [ Download here ]
"Vision of Love" - Charmbracelet Tour The Fort Open Field, Manila, Philippines, Nov. 16, 2003 [ Download here ]
Nick to Direct "My Love" Video?
Posted by Lynn on Wednesday, 28-Jan-2009, 7:28PM EST
According to a new casting notice, Nick Cannon will be directing the music video for "My Love," The-Dream's new single featuring Mariah Carey. Auditions were reportedly held in North Hollywood on Wednesday for actors and extras. Those who make it past the auditions will be shooting the video this Saturday in Los Angeles.
The Ballads is Billboard 200's "Hot Shot Debut"
Posted by Lynn on Wednesday, 28-Jan-2009, 11:51AM EST
Mariah Carey's The Ballads is Billboard 200's highest debut, arriving at No. 10
Love is in the air and on the Billboard 200 as Mariah Carey's "Ballads" compilation is the chart's Hot Shot Debut at No. 10 with 29,000. It's the diva's 16th charting set and 14th top 10. Released through Columbia/Legacy, the new collection boasts downtempo hits and album cuts. It's the fourth best-of set that Carey has charted, following "#1's" (No. 4 in 1998), "Greatest Hits" (No. 52 in 2001) and "The Remixes" (No. 26 in 2003). You have to figure "Ballads" will keep singing on the chart as we get closer to Valentine's Day, as it seems like a natural gift purchase.
"My Love" First Day Radio Impressions
Posted by Lynn on Wednesday, 28-Jan-2009, 9:42AM EST
On Tuesday, January 27, 2009, The-Dream's new single, "My Love" featuring Mariah Carey has officially impacted radio and racked up a slew of station adds! According to Mediabase, the song had a total of 163 spins (Rhythmic - 80, Pop - 44, Urban - 31, Urban A/C - 5, Alternative - 3) generating a total of .807 million audience impressions.
Find your favorite local radio station and call, email, text your requests to them often! You may use our Radio Request page to find your station's contact information. You can also check our Online Request page for quick links to request or vote for "My Love" online.
Video: Mariah & Nick House Hunting in L.A.
Posted by Lynn on Wednesday, 28-Jan-2009, 8:49AM EST
From last night's E! News' "So True, So False" segment, a feature on Mariah and Nick house hunting in Studio City over the weekend.
Mariah & Nick House Hunting in LA, E! News, Jan. 27 [ Download here ]
HDD: The Ballads Sells 27k, Charts at #10
Posted by Lynn on Tuesday, 27-Jan-2009, 4:04PM EST
Hits Daily Double's final album sales tally for this week shows Mariah's new compilation album, The Ballads, clocking in at #10 with respectable sales of 26,932 copies in its first week of release.
The Hits Daily Double sales report, compiled based on data submitted by record retailers, is a good indication of what the official Nielsen SoundScan numbers will look like later in the week.
A Sensation at Sundance
Posted by Lynn on Tuesday, 27-Jan-2009, 5:04AM EST
The bleak story of Push resonated with filmmaker Lee Daniels, a Philadelphia native, who notes: "I've seen some pretty brutal stuff."
On Saturday, for only the third time in the 25-year history of the Sundance Film Festival, the same movie took home the festival's top jury and audience awards. This year's big winner was Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire, the second film directed by West Philadelphia native Lee Daniels.
"I was shocked," Daniels said yesterday. "The press was saying I was going to get both awards, but I've been on juries before, and I know that they hate being predictable. So as soon as they started saying that, I immediately said, 'That's it. Let's go home.' I wasn't even going to show up to the awards ceremony. But my kids told me to, so I showed."
Push, which was also awarded a special acting prize for star Mo'Nique, takes on dark and disturbing subjects, but the film's approach, equal parts gritty realism and eye-popping fantasy, won over critics and audience from its first screening. The film is still without a distributor, but Daniels said he was expecting to close a deal within a day or two.
Daniels says he has been fielding offers since he landed in Park City nearly two weeks ago, but that his insistence on marketing the film to a broad range of audiences has been a sticking point. "This goes beyond the urban audience or the art-house audience," he said. "It's for that white guy in Oklahoma, or that Indian in Albuquerque." Winning the audience award, he says, vindicates his conviction that "this is not just my story."
If Daniels has a motto, it would be something like what he told the audience before the film's Jan. 16 premiere: "If you're going to tell a bold story, be bold." Still, he admits, his hands were trembling as he introduced the film.
Push's unflinchingly bleak subject matter is enough to make anyone nervous. Precious (newcomer Gabourey Sidibe) is an obese Harlem teenager who is pregnant with her second child, conceived, like the first, by her own father. Her mother (a powerhouse performance by the comedienne Mo'Nique) is a figure out of nightmare or myth, a housebound monster who abuses her both physically and sexually. Add to that the fact that Precious is illiterate and you have a recipe for overload, a movie stuffed with subjects any one of which would more than suffice for a typical feature.
Daniels, who was raised in West and Southwest Philadelphia, is used to extremes. "I've seen some pretty brutal stuff," he said, in Park City a few days after the movie's premiere. "I've witnessed murder, people dying. And I would go into my own fantasy. I did what Precious did."
In Push, Precious frequently withdraws from traumatic circumstances into a world of her own, one in which she is a supermodel, or an actress at a glitzy premiere. The fantasy sequences are greatly expanded from Sapphire's novel, and often wholly invented, serving as release for the movie's audience as well as its protagonist. "I often worry about whether it was true to the book," Daniels said. "But I don't think it could have been any truer, because I wouldn't have an audience."
Sundance is well-stocked with dark movies full of suffering and anguish, but Push takes a different approach, one reason it has been greeted so warmly here. Daniels calls the look "stylized grit," a blend of handheld realism and brightly hued exaggeration.
The movie is not intent on broadcasting its authenticity, perhaps because Daniels, unlike many of Sundance's filmmakers, has actually lived something like the story he's telling. He modeled Precious' apartment after the one he grew up in. Daniels' father, a police officer, was killed in a drug bust when Daniels was 13, but he still has vivid memories of the beatings he endured at his father's hands. The fact that Daniels is gay fueled his father's rage.
Daniels has been open about the abuse, and about his anger toward his father. But in working on Push, he found his attitude shifting. The movie's emotional high point is a lengthy scene in which Mo'Nique's character unburdens herself to a social worker (played by an almost unrecognizable Mariah Carey), simultaneously revealing the depth of her sickness and her own inner turmoil.
Ongoing relationships are key to Daniels' process. Carey would hardly have been an obvious fit for the role of a Jewish social worker from Long Island, and she was reluctant to act again after the critical pounding she took for Glitter. But Daniels coaxed her in front of the camera, where she delivers a surprisingly natural performance, as does Daniels' longtime friend Lenny Kravitz, in a small role as a male nurse.
"Casting Mariah Carey in the film was as bold as making the film," Daniels said. "I felt that if I was going to put myself out there, I might as well put myself all the way out there, so there were no limitations at all. I knew it was either going to be a train wreck or beauty."
The-Dream Talks About Mariah's New Album
Posted by Lynn on Monday, 26-Jan-2009, 4:28PM EST
The Dream stopped by the 102.7 KIIS FM HD2 New Music Show with DJ Skee last night and talked about his role on Mariah Carey's new album and the sound of her album.
Are you still writing records for other people right now? I've been working on this Mariah Carey thing for the last four days. Her working title for this next album, which is what I call it is MC 3. And it's just... man, I love her. Mariah is everything, she's down, she's cool, she gets it, you'd think that she's this big... like she gets it, she's all the way in there, so I just told her we gotta go back in. It's not like it used to be - you could wait to come out with an album, and I'm like "Let's go, let's do it," and she's up for it.
How would you say the sound is on her new album with the songs that you've been working on? Well, I'm trying to do the whole thing.
What direction do you wanna take her? She's made a lot of different changes. She's good. I think it's about just writing an album that includes the focus of all the hits that she's had. You've got "Endless Love," you got "My All," you got "We Belong Together," "Touch My Body," you got those type of records, it's all about now just trying to make sure whatever she does... 'cause she can't take a loss, she has to do everything to the T so it's basically like we're trying to make a greatest hits without using her greatest hits.
Source: Skee TV | Nikolas | Text: MariahDailyJournal
CNET News: Mariah is Impressive in Push
Posted by Lynn on Monday, 26-Jan-2009, 2:21PM EST
Another top festival honor, the Grand Jury Prize for U.S. dramatic films, went to Push: Based on the novel by Sapphire, which was directed by Lee Daniels and blew audiences away with its dark storyline and surprising performances. (It also received the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic films.)
Push tells the redemptive story of Precious Jones, a young, overweight, awkward teen in Harlem who somehow musters the strength, despite all odds against her, to discover her own voice. The film is intense, hard to watch, and sticks with you. It has not yet been picked up for distribution.
Never to be forgotten is a performance by Mo'Nique, who got a special jury prize for her for her portrayal of Precious' mentally ill mother, who copes by mentally and emotionally abusing her daughter. The first audience question following Push's first screening last week was directed toward Mo'Nique: "What are you planning on wearing to the Oscars?"
Another impressive performance in the film was that of Mariah Carey, who plays a very plain and conflicted social worker.
Below are exclusive pictures from Push's Q&A session, following its Sundance premiere on Jan. 16th. Thanks to Michelle for sharing them with us!
Jasmine's Holiday Vacation with Mariah, Part 3
Posted by Lynn on Monday, 26-Jan-2009, 12:48PM EST
Disneyland, the Bahamas, New York... Jas manages to cram it all in with ease WITH all of my jet setting this month, my mate Monique said I've been in the air more often than a Russian gymnast and probably had more turbulence than Coolio displays in the Big Brother house!
After St. Barts, the next stop was Mr. and Mrs. C's (Mariah and Nick's) home in the Bahamas. But as we were flying, we realised it was too dark to land their jet plane, so we stopped off at Atlantis in Nassau for the night, where we had dinner at Nobo and enjoyed the stunning ocean beach views.
The next day, we flew to the Bahamas and spent two days relaxing and playing loads of games, before heading to New York. But before we got there, Mrs. C declared: "Let's have one last festive moment before we go home, Jazz dahling. Let's go to Disneyworld!"
With that, we stopped the jet in Florida and spent the afternoon in Disneyworld. Mr. and Mrs. C took me on all the scary rides including their favourite: Tower of Terror. Then we hopped back on their jet to New York.
I was going to celebrate my birthday in the Big Apple on my real birthday, but Estelle would've been away on her American tour with John Legend. So Estelle insisted on throwing a pre-birthday dinner party for me at the fabulous Japonais restaurant in Manhattan.
For once, the Americans weren't louder than the Brits. My American peeps included Mr. and Mrs. C, Mariah's friend Maryann, her backing singer Michael, and the infamous musical legend that is Trey Lorenz, amongst others.
We tried to play one of my favourite games - Concentration - but some peeps who shall remain nameless just couldn't get the clapping, clicking and snapping on time, so we just put on silly specs and goofed around.
Mrs. C and Estelle had a nice chat, which was beautiful, and myself and Mr. C continued imitating and ridiculing each other's accents and laughing at how we both pronounced the word 'orange.' You had to be there!
Then, Nick and a couple of the other boys snuck in with my birthday cakes - yes, plural - covered in sparklers. I tried to look graceful as I blew out the candles, hoping the many 'geisha' cocktails and champagne that Estelle had slipped down my neck weren't going to re-emerge.
Film Threat Reviews Push
Posted by Lynn on Monday, 26-Jan-2009, 8:31AM EST
FILM THREAT Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire By Scott Knopf
"Push" tells the story of Clareece 'Precious' Jones, a strong young woman who overcomes every odd life throws at her. Precious is poor, illiterate, overweight, and pregnant with her second child (both of whom were due to her own father's sexual abuse). On top of that, her mother Mary (Mo'Nique) is one of the ugly and vile human beings to ever exist. She spews hate every time her lips part. Not only does she just stand by while her daughter is raped, she beats that same daughter for "taking her man." Living a life that most people couldn't even imagine, the tough-hearted and thick-skinned teen presses forward after each hit and becomes determined to makes something of herself despite her current situation. "Fuck today" is her motto as Precious continues to look to the future instead of dwelling on the past or present.
Gabourey Sidibe is a force to be reckoned with. After being prompted to audition for the film, this collegiate theater actress made her film debut in one of the year's best films, possibly the best. Donning the face of a warrior, Sidibe, who in real life is bubbly and humorous, transforms into this character so full of hurt and pain that she involuntarily trusts no one. The performance is so convincing that it's jarring to realize that Precious is a fictional character. No disrespect to the women nominated for Best Actress this year, but one of you wouldn't have received a phone call that morning if "Push" had come out a few months earlier.
Lee Daniels (who also made 2005's "Shadowboxer") did the unthinkable when he cast the film's supporting roles. First, he brought on a comedian, Mo'Nique, to play the wretched villain. Then he cast two singers (one of whom "won" a Worst Actress Razzie Award) to play substantial characters. Lenny Kravitz plays a nurse who bonds with Precious after she delivers her baby and Mariah Carey plays a social worker who swears to help the standoffish teenager.
Daniels' casting choices were inspired because every single person who shows up on screen from the leads to the bit players all does their part to strengthen "Push." The two actress' performances deserve special attention especially. Carey is almost unrecognizable in her role and ends every doubt about her acting chops that "Glitter" (2001) set in place. Mo'Nique's performance as the abusive mother is untouchable. Thankfully, she got the praise she deserved when she won the Special Jury Prize for Acting Award at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, just one of three awards given to "Push" during the ceremony.
"Push" also took home both U.S. Drama trophies making it only the third film in the festival's history to win both the Grand Jury and the Audience awards. With its brutally honest depiction of life with abuse to its inspirational themes and messages, Daniel's film deserves to be seen. He has been quoted as saying that he just wants to "tell my truth" and it's clear that "Push" is a part of that truth.
Video: Mariah on Patti LaBelle Tribute
Posted by Lynn on Monday, 26-Jan-2009, 12:01AM EST
Patti LaBelle, presented with the United Negro College Fund's prestigious Award of Excellence, was praised for her artistry and her longtime commitment to the organization in a TV special, "An Evening of Stars." The show, recorded on September 13, 2008, aired tonight on BET and it included a special taped message from Mariah.
Mariah on Patti LaBelle: "She's beyond a great person. She has a beautiful heart. You can't help but listen to her when she sings. No one deserves this award better than Patti and I'm happy for her."
Mariah's Special Message to Patti LaBelle "An Evening of Stars" - BET, Jan. 25, 2009 [ Download here ]
Sundance: Somber, still spectacular
Posted by Lynn on Sunday, 25-Jan-2009, 1:34PM EST
DENVER POST Amid other dramas, Sundance turns lens on tales with emotional payoffs By Lisa Kennedy
"Overnight, Daniels became the most interesting black filmmaker in the U.S."
The weather was the mildest in years -- not good for the resorts but plenty fine for the estimated 50,000 filmmakers, industry types and moviegoers who descended on the Wasatch Mountain ski town of Park City for the Sundance Film Festival. The 11-day event ends today.
A number of this year's movies were gritty. But then, that can be said about any of the event's previous 25 years. This is that kind of festival.
Even so, a handful of the films didn't simply have the tang of truth but also delivered emotional payoffs.
"Push: Based on a Novel by Sapphire," "Big Fan" and the documentary "The Cove" represent, in radically different ways, what the festival has done well for film culture: Offer a platform for idiosyncratic, driven storytellers.
"Push" and "The Cove" boast Colorado connections. In the former, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness are producers for what is arguably the best film at the festival, Lee Daniels' dismaying and affirming coming-of-age tale.
But if Sundance felt more sedate than in earlier years, perhaps it was also because a more compelling story was being written in Washington, and, for once, the festival wasn't the center of the universe.
Mariah Carey, part of the "Push" cast, also left early to sing "Hero" at the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball.
In a sense, she was a hero at Sundance, as well. Last Saturday afternoon, the pop star came into the Stanfield Gallery on Main Street for a press conference. Her castmates in director Lee Daniel's astounding second feature had been seated and introduced.
Flashes strobed and there was a buzz. You could consider it a "give the photogs what they crave" diva entrance. But Carey's turn in "Push" is anything but. Staid, utterly unglam, she depicts with authentic purpose the social worker for an illiterate, pregnant, and ultimately heroic teen from Harlem named Claireece "Precious" Jones.
Newcomer Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe is a gale-force discovery as the troubled child who finds possibility in an alternative-education program. Comic Mo'Nique is jaw-dropping as Precious' monstrous mother.
"Overnight," said Toronto International Film Festival honcho Cameron Bailey, "Daniels became the most interesting black filmmaker in the U.S."
"Overnight" is relative, of course. Before directing his first feature, "Shadowboxer," Daniels produced the deep, dark dramas "Monster's Ball" and "The Woodsman."
USA TODAY The old Sundance soft shoe: Quieter, but still important By Harlan Jacobson
One undeniable breakout was still hoping for distribution as the festival closed Sunday, amid worries that its content might force an NC-17 rating. Push: Based on the Novel By Sapphire, stars newcomer Gabourey Sidibe as an illiterate, obese, sexually abused Harlem teenager who is tormented by her mentally unbalanced mother (comedian Mo'Nique, in a performance than won her a special jury prize).
Push also features Mariah Carey as a social worker, helping rehabilitate an acting reputation still smarting from the failure of 2001's Glitter. The movie itself won over moviegoers with humor and a message of hope, claiming both the U.S. drama jury prize and the audience award.
At the closing gala, director Lee Daniels said that even he wasn't sure people of different races would be able to relate to the world depicted in the film. "But you showed me it's universal," he told the crowd.
The Sundance Film Festival's prizes for best U.S. drama on Saturday went to "Push," the dark yet hopeful story of a young woman finding her way out of nightmarish circumstances in 1980s Harlem.
Based on the 1996 first novel by the poet Sapphire and directed by Lee Daniels, "Push" won both the grand jury and audience awards. The film version is subtitled "Based on the novel by Sapphire" to distinguish it from the Dakota Fanning-Chris Evans sci-fi thriller due out next month.
Sundance Institute executive director Ken Brecher hoisted an honorary festival pass with the new U.S. president's name on it, and presenter Joseph Gordon-Levitt tugged at his red Barack Obama T-shirt, saying: "These awards are exercises in democracy, and it's a good time for democracy right now."
Gordon-Levitt cheered and gave Daniels a big hug before presenting the audience award to his film, which stars Mo'Nique, Mariah Carey and Paula Patton alongside newcomer Gabourey Sidibe, who plays pregnant 16-year-old Precious Jones.
"This is so important to me because this is speaking for every minority that's in Harlem, that's in Detroit, that's in Watts, that's being abused, that can't read, that's obese and that we turn our back on," Daniels said. "And this is for every gay little boy and girl that's being tortured. If I can do this ... ya'll can do this."
When he picked up the grand jury prize later in the evening, Daniels acknowledged: "I'm drunk. I got like three shots right after we got the last one."
Below are the major awards presented to Push:
"Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic" - Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire "Audience Award: US Dramatic" - Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire "Special Jury Prize: US Dramatic, for Acting" - Mo'Nique
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: The early buzz seemed almost absurd -- Mo'Nique, what are you wearing to the Oscars? -- but after all was said and done, director Lee Daniels and the cast of Push: Based on the novel by Sapphire emerged from the 2009 Sundance Film Festival victorious. The harrowing film won both the Audience and Grand Jury awards in the U.S. Dramatic Competition, as well as a Special Jury Prize for Mo'Nique's performance as the unbearably cruel mother to Precious Jones, an obese, illiterate girl struggling to survive growing up in Harlem. "Insanely awesome" is how first-time actress Gabourey Sidibe (Precious) described the culmination to her whirlwind of a festival. "I feel like I live in a bubble. Like this isn't real. Like this is the land of Oz or something."
"Push works on so many different levels," said Sundance director Geoffrey Gilmore after the ceremony, held at Park City's Racquet Club Saturday night. "It has such an emotional power to it, but it's not just some kind of sentimental bath. You don't understand that film until you watch the whole thing. You can't say we've seen this before. You haven't seen this before."
But the night truly belonged to Push director Daniels, who experienced a series of grand public breakdowns as his film took award after award. "I'm sorry, I'm b-tchin' out," he apologized backstage, as tears streamed down his face and he struggled to praise his cast (including both Mariah Carey and Lenny Kravitz in dramatically understated roles) between sobs. "There's so much love," he said. "We don't have no money. We got $2 to make some s--- happen. We're doing this story about this fat black girl who doesn't have a voice. They're all in it for the craft." When asked to look at the bigger picture for his film -- which still lacks distribution -- he explained, "I think [this win] means there's hope for people of color. Just because Obama's president doesn't necessarily mean it's going to translate down to our world of cinema. And I think what it does is reiterate and strengthen this power of, Get yourself a freakin' video camera. And you go out and tell your truth. That's what I started doing as a kid, and I think inevitably, it led to this. It's just so much hope."
Is it 2007 all over again? Just two years ago, the indie haven that is the Sundance Film Festival had its most significant representation at the grand old lady herself, the Oscars. "Little Miss Sunshine," "An Inconvenient Truth," "Half Nelson" and "The Illusionist" all rang up significant nominations in what was a very competitive year. 2010's show may not duplicate that success, but the writing is on the wall that a number of audience favorites could be major players during next year's award season.
"Push: Based on a novel by Sapphire" Many in the media looked at the cast and prejudged this film before seeing it, only to rave about it afterward. And that makes the double win of the Audience and Grand Jury dramatic awards is significant. Especially considering the competition in that category with "Humpday" and "Adam." No one is claiming Mo'Nique is a lock to get an Oscar nod in the best supporting actress category next year for her stunning performance as a monster mother (no one is this early in the game), but the Special Jury Prize winner for Acting definitely makes her a player. The producers and director Lee Daniels have held off on lining up a distributor until now and based on the festival awards it may have been their best strategy. They are going to need a mini-major or studio to come on board who will work this title into the crossover hit it can be. Searchlight might be booked, but Focus? Paramount? Miramax? Lionsgate? Who is going to step up to the plate?
The Ballads Target Exclusive
Posted by Lynn on Saturday, 24-Jan-2009, 1:45AM EST
A limited edition of The Ballads is being sold exclusively at all Target Stores. It comes in a gift pack that includes a 40 fl oz "Luscious Pink" Parfum Rollerball. This limited edition and the regular CD are both currently on sale at Target for $13.99 and $9.99, respectively. See scans below.
Find your nearest Target Store location here, and grab your copies today!
Mariah-Reuben Cannon Duet Rumor Not True
Posted by Lynn on Friday, 23-Jan-2009, 5:07PM EST
The report about Mariah allegedly recording a duet with Nick Cannon's younger brother Reuben is completely fabricated. A reliable source tells us, "I don't know where they got their information from but there is no truth to it."
Songs Featuring 'Featuring'
Posted by Lynn on Friday, 23-Jan-2009, 4:31PM EST
Mariah Carey is featured on The-Dream's new single, "My Love." I am wondering, if the song reaches No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, will it count as Carey's 19th No. 1? --Omar Florido, Spain
The short answer is yes. If "My Love" tops the Hot 100, it would count as Carey's 19th No. 1, placing her just one chart-topper away from tying the Beatles' all-time record.
Now, for the longer explanation: Overall, Billboard treats any multi-artist title as an entry for each performer. So, songs billed as by 'The-Dream featuring Mariah Carey,' 'Brad Paisley Duet with Keith Urban' and 'Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat,' etc., appear in each artists' respective chart histories.
One exception would be any group billed under an entirely different name, such as a one-time project like the recent Artists Stand Up to Cancer. That act's song ("Just Stand Up!") is considered by Billboard its own entity and thus does not count as an individual chart entry for each of the 15 artists involved. The same goes for a group that recorded together more than once.
Being a lead artist does have its advantages when we compile our year-end charts. In the case of The-Dream and Carey, where one artist is the lead and another is featured, the Billboard charts department employs a system of weighting that grants a higher share of a title's chart points to a song's lead artist. Thus if, for example, the only Hot 100 chart title of 2009 by both The-Dream and Carey were "My Love," The-Dream would rank higher than Carey on our year-end top artists tally, since he is the lead act. This weighting system comes into play especially in R&B/hip-hop formats, where titles regularly show featured artist billings.
For duets, or titles where three or more artists are billed as leads, all acts share an equal portion of overall chart points.
Boxoffice, New York Post Review Push
Posted by Lynn on Friday, 23-Jan-2009, 9:07AM EST
BOXOFFICE Film Review: Push: Based on the Novel By Sapphire By Ray Greene
Strong performances make for essential viewing.
Some films arrive at Sundance expecting to be great, and some the festival thrusts greatness upon. Foremost of these in 2009 was Push: Based on the Novel By Sapphire, director Lee Daniels' harrowing cross between an inspirational teacher genre exercise, a Ken Russell fantasy film of the '70s and the child abuse melodrama Hound Dog. Overloaded a bit by Daniels' laudable visual ambition and distinguished by an unflinching view of ghetto life that has nothing to do with standard Hollywood liberal postures toward deprivation and/or blackness, Push is also (and foremost) a stunning acting showcase, not just for newcomer Gabourey Sidibe, who absolutely soars as the abused high school student Precious Jones, but also for comedian Mo'Nique in a stunning tour de force as Precious' abusive mom.
It's the '80s, and Precious is a study in unexplored human potential. Morbidly overweight and functionally illiterate, she leads a vast and poetic internal life via a fantasy reflex that transports her to a shiny world of klieg lights and thrust stages where she can pretend to be beloved, talented and a nascent superstar. Precious uses these fantasies to insulate herself from the harsh realities of her world: humiliating gangs, random street violence and an abusive father who has been sexually assaulting her since she was three, with two resultant pregnancies. With her father largely absent, the gorgon in Precious' daily life is her mother, a bitter recluse living on Welfare who routinely beats Precious out of warped romantic jealousy. A series of school teachers and social workers help Precious to move past her sad state, inspiring her to write out her own story as a way of changing her life.
Daniels has made a remarkable series of bold choices, all of which seek to depict Precious honestly and without the usual self-congratulatory showbiz cant. At times, Precious fantasizes without guilt about being white, so much so that it's a white model's features she sees in her own bedroom mirror. Precious is also not above petty thievery, stealing her own file from a social worker's office and a bucket of chicken from a fast food store. In a sense, Precious is a more ambivalent and less idealized version of the little girl from Doug Atchison's excellent (but far lighter) Akeelah and the Bee; someone trying to get over an environment that's toxic to her aspirations and her dreams.
Despite her almost flamboyant largeness (which Push sees as a natural reaction to Precious' horrible home-life) and the sometimes melodramatic twists her story takes, Sidibe's Precious is so startlingly truthful and so subtle she seems to have stepped out of a documentary to make her appearance here. Totally believable performances are also turned in by both Lenny Kravitz (as a male nurse) and Mariah Carey (as a tough but tender social worker), with Carey in particular disappearing so completely into her drab but sassy workaday messiah that the watcher's mind keeps saying: "That can't be her!"
But the almost certain 2010 Oscar nom for all of this (predictable even today, on the day the 2009 noms were just announced) belongs to Mo'Nique, whose alternately horrifying and devastating performance humanizes a monster. The last ten minutes of Push are devoted to a revelatory confrontation between mother and daughter, and Mo'Nique's bravura transformation, from opportunistic schemer to shattered woman unable to face an unlivable truth, is so unerring it literally makes the viewer gasp. Daniels, who produced Monsters Ball and shows a similar belief in giving his actors room to explore, has captured a performance here that can stand with the best ever committed to film. It simply should not be missed.
The most talked-about film here is the envelope-pushing "Push: Based on a Novel by Sapphire," which boldly explores the theme of self-love in ways that drew tears and standing ovations from audiences.
Roughly a Harlem version of "The Color Purple" minus Steven Spielberg's schmaltz, this remarkable movie centers on an overweight black teenager who triumphs over punishing adversity.
Unforgettably played by newcomer Gabourey Sidibe, Precious Jones is a 16-year-old pregnant with her second child by her father. She's illiterate and lives with her abusive, welfare-collecting mother (the comedian Mo'nique, who is already being talked up for an Oscar nomination).
Precious does have a gift for math and finds a lifeline in an alternative high school program where she learns self-esteem from a lesbian teacher (Paula Patton) and a sympathetic but tough social worker who is very well played by - of all people - Mariah Carey.
The film's unsparing depiction of urban despair is leavened with doses of magic realism.
Director Lee Daniels says Tom Cruise turns up in the original 1996 novel by Sapphire, a poet and songwriter who works with at-risk teenagers - but in his movie this role is filled by musician Lenny Kravitz.
"Push" (the full title distinguishes it from another upcoming movie of the same name starring Dakota Fanning) is considered a strong contender to win Sundance's dramatic competition tomorrow.
It was hard not to feel as if something was a tad off about this year's Sundance Film Festival, which began on Jan. 15 and concludes Sunday. The energy seemed much lower than usual; the crowds considerably thinner. Despite some truly exceptional onscreen efforts, it was hard not to conclude that this film festival, in its 25th year, had become yet another victim of the ongoing economic crisis.
More often, though, films that would have sold very quickly in past festivals languished. "Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire" received a reported standing ovation after its Jan. 16 premiere at the Park City Racquet Club. By the time I caught up with it at a press screening the following morning, this brutally frank and difficult movie - about a young Harlem teen in the 1980s, pregnant by her own father and contending with HIV - was the one title just about everyone in town was talking about.
As of Thursday, however, "Push" still hadn't secured distribution, despite the star wattage of Mariah Carey in a small role, and a supporting turn by Mo'Nique that many feel is a lock to secure an Oscar nomination next year.
Just as puzzling was the timid reaction to "I Love You, Phillip Morris," starring Jim Carrey as a gay Texas con man who repeatedly escapes prison in order to be reunited with his lover (Ewan MacGregor). Among the very finest films I've ever seen at this festival, "Phillip Morris" - which premiered out of competition - shifts effortlessly from comedy to heartbreak and back again.
Yet despite very favorable critical response and reported interest from a number of distributors, the movie - like "Push" - still hadn't sold after the festival's first week.
If high-profile movies starring the likes of Jim Carrey and Mariah Carey can't find a distributor, where does that leave some of the tinier Sundance efforts - the stuff on which this festival first staked its reputation?
Posted by Lynn on Thursday, 22-Jan-2009, 4:41PM EST
The Ballads can be purchased at Mariah's Official Store for $12.99. All orders placed before February 13 are automatically entered to win a Special Edition Silver Engraved Mariah 8gb Nano.
A Mariah The Ballads promo ad is displayed prominently on the main page of Playlist.com. The Ballads will be released in Thailand on Jan. 27 and in Spain on Feb. 3 via the department store chain El Corte Ingles.
Let's keep on requesting "Right To Dream" at AC radio. The banner on top of this page has the quick links to vote and request, please use it.
All Access' updated Future Releases list has The-Dream's "My Love" featuring Mariah Carey as going for radio adds at Top 40/Rhythmic-Crossover format on Tuesday, Feb. 10th. Previously reported, adds at Top 40/Mainstream is on Jan. 27th.
To the right, watch Mariah, Oprah Winfrey, Terrence Howard, Spike Lee and other artists in a promo ad for the National CARES Mentoring Movement.
The Oscar nominations are in and "Right To Dream," unfortunately, did not make it to "Best Original Song."
Mariah was IDJ's Best-Selling Artist of 2008. L.A. Reid and Steve Bartels' Island Def Jam (IDJ) was flat at just north of 5%, with its biggest sellers being Mariah Carey (#13, 1.2m), Rihanna's 2007 release (#16, 1.1m this year alone), Rick Ross (#34, 690k), Ne-Yo (#36, 675k), Young Jeezy (#39, 660k) and Kanye West (#52, 600k), whose December sales will put him in the thick of it. IDJ's revived Mercury label, under David Massey, hit the ground running with Duffy (#48, 620k). Hits Daily Double
The black Dolce & Gabbana gown that Mariah wore at The Neighboorhood Ball is one of the 5 best and Inauguration-inspired gowns on InStyle Weddings. What the magazine says of Mariah: "Mariah Carey showed off her toned physique in a curve-hugging, off-the-shoulder gown with a sweetheart neckline and a slightly flared skirt."
From People's Caught In The Act: Fresh from her performance at the Neighborhood Ball, Mariah Carey offered hubby Nick Cannon a semi-private one while partying after 1 a.m. at the George Town Club in Washington, D.C. "She sang to him along with what the deejay was spinning," an eyewitness tells us. Then, it was Cannon's turn. "He picked up the mic and started to rap to her," the eyewitness says. While there, the duo enjoyed some drinks -- red wine for her, a ginger ale for him -- and cuddle time: "They were very affectionate," the source says, "he had his arm around her and she was kind of nestled into him."
Fox News: Speaking of staying fit even amid the Sundance snow, Pop Tarts also spotted Nick Cannon getting his sweat on and even though wife Mariah Carey was nowhere to be seen, he insisted that the two "always get sweaty together" (in the gym, that is).
What did you think of Mariah's inaugural ball outfit? Was it a Hit or a Miss? Vote here.
Mentions: Sportswriter Jon Wertheim referenced Mariah in his Tennis Mailbag column at Sports Illustrated: "...Comparing her [Safina Dinara, Russia's World No.2 seed] 2004 to 'Sharapova without the Slam' is like comparing a singer to Mariah Carey 'without the range'."
Meatwad does his own rendition of Mariah Carey's "Touch My Body" in the episode "She Creature" of the animated TV series, Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Meatwad is seen blowing into a sea shell, pretending that the noise coming out from it sounds like "Touch My Body": "That's "Touch My Body," Mariah Carey... I changed the key though, and the meter... and most of the words. Alright let's play again." Watch the video to your right.
Singer Katy Perry mentioned Mariah on her blog: "The simple things in life curl up in a ball next to you neck and purr until you purr yourself away as well, and sh**, that's all you need. On a side note, I heard the best "rumor" about an old Mariah Carey rider. I heard that at one point she requested kittens and puppies backstage to cuddle with before every show. Well, she's f****ing smart."
Jasmine has created an instrumental/karaoke video complete with lyrics for The-Dream/Mariah single, "My Love." Sing along to the video here!
Crystal wants to let everyone know that her Mariah Remixed site has moved to a new location with a new name, Mariah by Crystalized.
Past Mariah Daily Idol contestant Javier (aka Oke) has come out with a new album called, Retrodisea, a Pop, R&B and Motown album with 11 tracks he wrote and a remarkable Mariah inspiration on some of the songs included. The album is available on iTunes and at the end of January in super jewel box CD. The album has debuted at #6 on iTunes Spain's Top 100 Albums. Check him out!
Source: MariahDailyJournal | MariahCarey.com | Jason | Marie | Gustavo | Nueng | Julio | Jasmine | Tara | Iman | Javier | Randy | Bojan | Karl | Crystal
Photos: Mariah & Nick at The Neighborhood Ball
Posted by Lynn on Thursday, 22-Jan-2009, 2:19PM EST
Below are photos of Mariah and Nick, with John Legend, at The Neighborhood Ball held at the Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC on Tuesday, January 20, 2009.
"Push" has no bounds. It's a disturbing, overwhelming story of one Harlem girl's merciless degradations. An overwhelming, masterful dramatic competition entrant, this Lee Daniels film may have no bounds in the awards categories here at Sundance. It would not be surprising to see "Push" pull in both the Audience Award and Jury Award.
It's a hard-forged film with a story line so grim and abhorrent -- a 16-year-old black girl has been impregnated twice by her father -- that marketing will be tough. However, the film's crystalline performances, including a bravura performance from Mo'Nique, should propel word-of-mouth. Solid supporting turns from Mariah Carey, Paula Patton and Lenny Kravitz will also help commercially.
In this inner-city horror story, newcomer Gabourey Sidibe plays Clarice, a pathetic ghetto girl enduring more personal plagues than Job. Called "Precious," she's illiterate, overweight and emotionally abused by her deadbeat mother (Mo'Nique). Slow in school, Precious wallows in junior high at 16 and is shuffled through the system to a "special" program.
Shoving her boxcar frame into the bleak makeshift classroom, Precious confronts the first ray of help in her life, a charismatic teacher called Blu Rain (Paula Patton). With Blu Rain's feisty prodding, Precious slogs toward her GED.
Precious sustains herself through intermittent fantasies. She envisions herself as the worshipful object of mass media's most vapid idealizations: a red-carpet superstar and, most shockingly, a blonde-haired/blue-eyed white beauty queen. That weird warp is darkly ironic; from the outside it seems the ultimate degradation to Precious. Yet, those oddly inspired flights are the sole windows of self-esteem and sustenance for this degraded girl.
Damien Paul's edgy and effervescent screenplay propels us into the inner recesses of primitive survival. It's a magnificent distillation, both succinct and eruptive. Director Lee Daniels sagely navigates the story from Precious' cavernous inner world through her synaptic flashes of fantasy that momentarily allow her to transcend her personal hell.
As Precious, Sidibe is superb, allowing us to see the inner warmth and beauty of a young woman who, to her world's cruel eyes, might seem monstrous. As Precious' hideous mother, Mo'Nique is cruelty incarnate. It's an astonishingly powerful performance.
In a striking non-star turn, Mariah Carey is credible as a veteran social worker who is jarred by Precious' plight. As the effervescent school teacher, Paula Patton exudes goodness but sagely reveals her character's inner liabilities, while Lenny Kravitz is low-key perfect as an empathetic nurse's aide.
Under Lee Daniels' radiant hand, technical contributions are magnificently forged. Highest praise to cinematographer Andrew Dunn for the gothic compositions and editor Joe Klotz for the kinetic cuts.
Note: Visit our Push movie page to read more rave reviews and updates.
Video: Mariah Interview at Neighborhood Ball
Posted by Lynn on Thursday, 22-Jan-2009, 4:47AM EST
Entertainment Tonight correspondent Kevin Frazier caught up with Mariah and Nick inside the Neighborhood Ball. Click on the link below to download a video of this interview.
Mariah & Nick Interview at The Neighborhood Ball Entertainment Tonight in HD, Jan. 21, 2009 [ Download here ]
Posted by Lynn on Thursday, 22-Jan-2009, 4:44AM EST
Below are scans from recent issues of Life & Style, Us and Indi Star (US); Celebs (UK); and El Michouar (Algeria).
And scans from the Nov. 2008 issue of Miami magazine where famed photographers Markus Klinko and Indrani mentioned Mariah in a cover interview.
MIAMI: Most of your subjects aren't new to the fame game. How do you get celebrities who've been photographed countless times, such as Mariah Carey or Kate Winslet, to give you their all? INDRANI: People tend to do a certain look that they know works well. Our approach is to really get to know them and understand what their new project is about. KLINKO: Mariah's a great example. Our first shoot with her was after Glitter, when her career was at its lowest. It was a great experience because we got to meet this wonderful, powerful woman who eventually opened up to us. We listened to her music and came up with a concept that we felt suited her best at that particular point in her career.
Source: MariahDailyJournal | Bernard | Marc | Brenden | Lotfi
Posted by Lynn on Thursday, 22-Jan-2009, 3:36AM EST
Below, find Mariah's chart positions in Billboard magazine issue dated January 31, 2009.
"Right To Dream" Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks: #26 (Last Week #24)
"I Stay In Love" Billboard Hot Singles Sales: #41 (Last Week #23) Billboard Hot Dance Club Play: #6 (Last Week #11)
E=MC² Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums: #71 (Last Week #66)
The Adventures of Mimi Billboard Top Music Video: #25 (Last Week #29)
Source: Billboard | MariahDailyJournal
Mariah Carey Positively Glowing at Obama Ball
Posted by Lynn on Wednesday, 21-Jan-2009, 5:32PM EST
There was Mariah Carey with her young husband, Nick Cannon. The latter was perched above the stage where he was deejaying, playing the songs that went with the artists. When Wonder finished his terrific new single "All About the Love Again" from the new Obama CD (on Hidden Beach Records), Cannon launched into a medley of Stevie's classic hits.
"Do you do bar mitzvahs?" I asked. He laughed. "Why not? It's good money!"
Mariah meantime was glowing (but not pregnant) and very happy with her performance of "Hero." "Was it ok?" she asked me when we ran into each other. Her next question was maybe more relevant. "Is Randy here?" She asked of pal Randy Jackson, our mutual friend.
Alas he wasn't. Jackson was busy on "American Idol," the ratings king, listening to "Gong Show" types. Something tells me he would have been happier here.
Mariah to Duet with Nick's Brother?
Posted by Lynn on Wednesday, 21-Jan-2009, 4:39PM EST
Mariah Carey is keeping it all in the family. E! News has learned the R&B diva is lending her pipes to promote the new album from Reuben Cannon, aka the younger brother of Mr. Mariah, Nick Cannon.
"Reuben and Mariah are doing a duet together for Reuben's first album," an industry source tells us. "They are meeting at the end of the month with Mariah's record label, Universal Music Group, to seal the deal, and Reuben is thrilled."
Reuben Cannon was recently signed with Lavert Entertainment and is halfway through recording his album, slated for release later this year.
There was no comment on the collaboration from the Carey and Cannon camps, but a Reuben rep wasn't beyond teasing, saying, "Reuben Cannon is working on some really amazing things right now."
HITS Predicts 20k for The Ballads
Posted by Lynn on Wednesday, 21-Jan-2009, 2:25PM EST
Country ingenue Taylor Swift will once more top the HITS Album Sales chart next week, with sales landing in the 60-65k range, which will still top the previous low of 59k set by the Dreamgirls soundtrack in 2007. It will mark the sixth straight week she's been #1 on our holiday-interrupted tally.
The only two releases of note this week are Mariah Carey's The Ballads, a best-of on Sony Legacy and Frank Sinatra's Seduction: Sinatra Sings of Love on WMG's Rhino label, each looking at about 20k, which would place them solidly in the Top 20, based on last week's results.
**Have you gotten your copy of The Ballads yet? Make it count, purchase one (or two) today!
Below, find the current sales rankings for The Ballads on iTunes and Amazon.com:
iTunes Top Albums - #18 Top Pop Albums - #3
Amazon Bestsellers in Music - #19 Top R&B/Soul - #2 Top Pop - #16
All Music Reviews The Ballads
Posted by Lynn on Wednesday, 21-Jan-2009, 2:49AM EST
Album Review: The Ballads By Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music
In 1998, it would have been a cheap joke to say that Mariah Carey had no other kind of hits than ballads, but in the ensuing decade she steadily remade herself into an R&B diva, obscuring if not quite erasing the well-mannered adult contemporary singer of the '90s.
The 2009 compilation The Ballads -- released just before Valentines Day 2009 -- attempts to turn back the clock by focusing just on those AC tunes -- 18 of them, in fact, including such mammoth hits as "Hero," "One Sweet Day," "Vision of Love," "Love Takes Time," "I'll Be There," "I Still Believe," "Dreamlover," and "Always Be My Baby." Of course, this concentration on middle of the road ballads is a side effect of label affiliation: The Ballads is a product of Sony, who had Mariah during the '90s, before the club R&B overshadowed these office-friendly hits, so it's easier for them to cobble together a comp of Carey at her most sentimental. And that's what The Ballads is: nothing but big love songs sung in a big voice.
For fans who have missed this side of Mariah in the 2000s, this is a welcome reminder of what they used to love.
Videos: Mariah Performs at Neighborhood Ball
Posted by Lynn on Wednesday, 21-Jan-2009, 1:52AM EST
Mariah Performs "Hero" Live at The Neighborhood Ball, Washington, DC Download: [ WMV 720p | WMV 480p | MP3 ]
Stevie, Mariah, Mary J et al Perform "Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours" at The Neighborhood Ball Download: [ WMV 720p | WMV 480p ]
Photos: Mariah at Neighborhood Inaugural Ball
Posted by Lynn on Tuesday, 20-Jan-2009, 10:35PM EST
Below are photos of Mariah on stage performing "Hero" live at "The Neighborhood Ball: An Inauguration Celebration" concert held at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2009.
Posted by Lynn on Tuesday, 20-Jan-2009, 10:33PM EST
New York Times: Song titles told the story at the Neighborhood Ball: Sting (with Mr. Wonder on harmonica) with "Brand New Day," Shakira singing Van Morrison's "Bright Side of the Road," Mariah Carey with "Hero."
NBC Sports: UConn Men's Basketball Coach Jim Calhoun was in a charitable mood talking on his cell phone from Washington, D.C., in no small part because he'd scored "some pretty good seats" at the Capitol for the inauguration of Barack Obama. Not as good as Muhammad Ali or Magic Johnson, to be sure. But as Calhoun cheerfully noted, "Mariah Carey was sitting near us. That was pretty good."
Entertainment Tonight: Mariah Carey also performed at the Neighborhood Ball while her husband Nick Cannon was the DJ for the celebration, and Kevin spoke to the pair inside the event. "It was one of the most amazing things I've ever experienced," Mariah says. "To be here, to perform... it was incredible, it really was." (Watch a video here. Mariah appears at 4:00.)
Fox News: And even after all these years in the spotlight, it turns out that Mariah Carey was feeling a bit of fear prior to her inauguration performance. Before heading to D.C., Carey spent the weekend at Sundance promoting her film "Push" but Pop Tarts overheard her talking about how nervous she was to sing "Hero" at the momentous event. "Everyone was calming her down, telling her she would be great," said our spy at the "Push" luncheon, held at Coca-Cola's Taste of Film Festival at the Stein Eriksen Lodge.
New York Post: Traffic 'Bam' - All of DC was in a traffic standstill, even celebs like Jay-Z and Beyonce - who were provided police escorts - had to show up to events four hours early in order to make it on stage on time. Jay-Z, Diddy, Mariah Carey and Jamie Foxx all ended their nights at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel's BET gala.
Real Clear Politics: Spotted At The Ceremony: Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon pushing their way through a security gate line (Carey took an elbow from someone who only later realized who it was -- "Did I just elbow Mariah Carey?"; Cannon, to upset people in line: "She's gotta sing! What, do you want to sing for her?").
SF Gate: Craigslist founder Craig Newmark and John's Grill owner John Konstin reported that every time Bush came on screen, the crowd in their section sang "nananana... Good-bye." Konstin, seated near Mariah Carey, says she nana-ed all through the event.
Washington Times: Entertainers Mary J. Blige, Maroon 5 and Mariah Carey also performed before the Obamas arrived. Miss Blige and Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine electrified the crowd, with an enormous digital background showing neon lightning bolts behind Maroon 5. Mrs. Carey dedicated her ballad, "Hero," to Mr. Obama.
New York Daily News: Obama cut loose in a faster groove a few minutes later, as Shakira, Mary J. Blige, Faith Hill and Mariah Carey sang along with Stevie Wonder to his "Sign, Sealed, Delivered." The song was played at nearly every one of Obama's rallies throughout the campaign.
Mariah in Washington, DC
Posted by Lynn on Tuesday, 20-Jan-2009, 1:27PM EST
9: 36 a.m. (1st and E Street NW) -- Getting to the Event
Singer Mariah Carey is wading in the middle of a large crowd at 1st and E Street NW and she can't move. People are snapping photos.
Catch Mariah as she pays tribute to President Barack Obama by performing "Hero" at The Neighborhood Ball: An Inauguration Celebration concert which will air live from the Washington Convention Center from 8:00-10:00 pm ET/PT on ABC. Mariah will be on right at the beginning of the show.
Below are photos of Mariah and husband Nick arriving for the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.
Video: Push Clip on EXTRA TV
Posted by Lynn on Tuesday, 20-Jan-2009, 12:01AM EST
On tonight's EXTRA, correspondent Jerry Penacoli caught up with Mariah and Nick at the Sundance Film Festival for an interview. Download this interview below. In the EXTRA report, a short clip of Mariah's scene in the movie Push: Based on a Novel by Sapphire was shown! See screen captures below.
Mariah Sundance Interview, Push Clip - EXTRA TV Download: [ WMV 720p | WMV 480p ]
Mariah Interview about Push at Sundance, E! News Download: [ WMV 720p | WMV 480p ]
Push Screen Captures from EXTRA and Access Hollywood:
Cinematical, Village Voice Review Push
Posted by Lynn on Monday, 19-Jan-2009, 8:06PM EST
Mariah Carey, Gabourey Sidibe, Lee Daniels, Mo'Nique and Paula Patton during a Portrait Session for Push at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival
CINEMATICAL Sundance Review: Push: Based on a Novel by Sapphire By Eric D. Snider
The premise of Push: Based on a Novel by Sapphire is so unsettling and bleak that no one would blame you if you didn't want to see it: It's the story of an obese 16-year-old illiterate Harlem girl who's pregnant (for the second time) by her own father, lives with her monstrously abusive mother, and has almost given up on life. But if you do see it, you'll find that it's compelling and artistic, punctuated with warm humor and masterful performances, and ultimately triumphant and hopeful.
The girl is named Claireece "Precious" Jones (she goes by Precious), and she's played with astonishing rawness by newcomer Gabourey Sidibe. Narrating the film, Precious tells us the grim facts. Beyond the ones already noted, she is still in junior high school (where she's dumbly in love with her kindly math teacher); her first child, born with Down syndrome, is technically in her mother's custody but is actually cared for by her grandmother; and her mother, Mary (Mo'Nique), is a welfare-absorbing harridan who abuses Precious in every possible way, hating her daughter for "stealing" her man. Precious did no such thing, of course -- she was raped by her father -- but Mary is not interested in details.
Precious is directed by her principal to an alternative school called Each One Teach One. Her class is populated by other girls who dropped out or were kicked out of public schools for various reasons; it's telling that even in such a motley group, Precious is still the most timid, the most withdrawn, and the most messed-up. The teacher, Ms. Rain (Paula Patton), is dedicated to her work, perhaps the first adult to ever take a genuine interest in helping Precious. The other students might be Precious' first friends, too.
Push: Based on a Novel by Sapphire is the actual onscreen title, by the way, perhaps to distinguish it from the upcoming Chris Evans/Dakota Fanning caper Push. (I only wish the films could be released in theaters at the same time, to enjoy stories of people walking into the wrong Push and coming out traumatized.) Sapphire, the pen name of a New York poet who has worked with at-risk teens like those in the book, published the novel in 1996, and it's taken this long for someone to figure out how to film it.
That someone is Lee Daniels, who produced Monster's Ball and The Woodsman, so he's pretty well-versed in harrowing subject matter. I didn't see his directorial debut, Shadowboxer (I understand it has scenes of Cuba Gooding Jr. doin' it with Helen Mirren), but Push is an impressive sophomore effort. Daniels (working from a screenplay by first-timer Geoffrey Fletcher) directs boldly and confidently, never exploitative of the film's subject matter, never wallowing in the depravity, yet not overly cautious or safe, either. Nothing is watered dcown. He shows us as much as we need to see, artfully conveying Precious' stark situation without fixating on the sordid details. It helps that Precious tends to retreat into her imagination, giving Daniels a way to rescue us from the situation, too.
Sidibe's performance as Precious is fantastic -- fully realized, perfectly authentic, and without a hint of contrivance. It's the sort of debut that will either be followed by a stellar career, or that she'll never be able to live up to. I hope we get a chance to see what else she can do. Meanwhile, there are eye-opening turns by Mo'Nique, who helps us understand Precious' mother's frame of mind without making her sympathetic; and Mariah Carey, who's almost unrecognizably un-glamorous as a social worker.
Precious, in addition to her physical problems, lacks even basic self-esteem, and Push is largely about her journey toward normalcy. Things will never be super-awesome for her; the point is that she can learn to cope with life and find a semblance of happiness and self-respect. She sums up her attitude thus: "The other day, I cried. I felt stupid. But you know what? F*** that day." That day is gone. What happens today and tomorrow is what's important. That feeling of hopefulness, not the awfulness that precedes it, is what you'll take with you when the film is over.
By the mid-point of Sundance 2008, the standout film of the dramatic competition was Lance Hammer's Ballast, which mined unexpected poetry from the story of a poverty-line black family making ends meet in the Mississippi Delta. This year, it's a film that casts an equally penetrating gaze on the trials and tribulations of disenfranchised blacks in the urban jungle of pre-gentrification Harlem, circa 1987. Adapted from the first novel by the Nuyorican poetess known as Sapphire, Push: Based on the novel by Sapphire immerses us in the life of a morbidly obese 16-year-old, Clareece "Precious" Jones (newcomer Gabourey Sidibe), whose welfare mother (Mo'Nique) beats her with a frying pan, who is repeatedly raped at the hands of her father (resulting in one Down Syndrome baby and, early in the film, a second pregnancy), and whose only escape from her bleak existence are the vivid daydreams in which she imagines herself a ghetto-fabulous fashion model or pop star.
Directed by Lee Daniels, who established himself as a producer (with Monster's Ball and The Woodsman) before making his directorial debut with the risible 2005 mother-and-son assassin romp Shadowboxer, Push isn't half the piece of controlled, confident craftsmanship that Ballast was, but it may be that Daniels's crude, wildly undisciplined, anything-goes directorial style is exactly what the movie calls for. Hothouse melodrama one moment, pungent social realism the next, with dashes of slapstick farce (be they intentional or not) in between, Push takes the better part of an hour to settle on something resembling a consistent tone, yet even when the movie is at its most schizoid, you can't take your eyes off of it.
Not one for subtlety, Daniels puts black female lives destroyed by abuse and defeatism on the screen with a brute-force intensity and lack of sentimentality (The Color Purple this certainly isn't). He also gathers a collection of startlingly effective performances from such unlikely players as Mo'Nique (whose monster mom is anything but a one-note villain), Mariah Carey (deglamorized as an empathetic social worker), and the magnanimous Sidibe, who carries this exhausting and strangely exhilarating film on her mighty shoulders.Push is far from perfect, but there isn't much I've seen at Sundance this year that I wouldn't trade for the sight of a hard-won smile finally making its way across Precious Jones's stoic, beautiful, wounded face.
Could Mariah Carey go from Razzie winner to serious awards contender?
Looks like past Razzie fave Mariah Carey won't be served up a new bowl of berries for her supporting performance in "Push," which is being screened at the Sundance Film Festival. Carey is getting great reviews!
"Push" is a gritty story of urban unrest told through the eyes of a troubled teenager. The film is based upon the bestselling novel by Sapphire and marks the directorial debut of "Monster's Ball" producer Lee Daniels. Said Variety, "Among the many delightful surprises in the film is Mariah Carey, who is pitch-perfect as a welfare counselor and serves as this demi-tragedy's Greek chorus. It's possible that many viewers won't recognize her until the final credits, but like so many things about 'Push,' the performance is disarming."
Back in 2001, Mariah Carey starred in "Glitter," a semi-autobiographical pic that was slammed by critics and shunned by audiences, taking in a little more than $4 million at the box office. That low point in her career was capped off with a win at the Razzies as worst actress. Although her 2002 follow-up film "Wisegirls" failed to impress, it was not greeted with the same howls of derision as "Glitter."
Since then, Carey has broken with two record companies. She later topped the charts in 2005 with "The Emancipation of Mimi." That album won her three Grammy awards - best female R&B vocal performance, best R&B song and best R&B album. Her 2007 follow-up, "E=MC2" propelled her to the No. 2 position behind the Beatles for most No. 1 singles (18 versus 21), and she is now second to Elvis Presley for most weeks atop the singles charts (79 weeks versus 80).
Mariah Amazes Critics, And Her Husband, At Sundance
Posted by Lynn on Monday, 19-Jan-2009, 6:10PM EST
During the 2007 and 2008 Sundance Film Festivals, Nick Cannon was known as an indie-film actor by day, hard-partying superstar by night. This year, however, the newly married Cannon found both elements of his personality evolving.
"I'm the Sundance Kid!" laughed Cannon, who was spotted all over town during the weekend with wife Mariah Carey. "But yes, this is quite different. It's so amazing, because past years have been nothing but a party. My mentality was different; we ain't gonna go into [what was going on], but you know how Sundance can be."
This year, Cannon has welcomed his recording-legend wife to the annual snow-soaked paradise -- and Sundance has done the same. Her inner-city drama, "Push," has garnered some of the fest's best reviews, while Cannon's blood-soaked thriller, "The Killing Room," has kept pace with its own positive buzz.
"To be able to share this with your wife -- she has a film up here, and I have a film -- you couldn't imagine or even hope for something this great," Cannon marveled.
As the power couple's loyal fans know, they capped off their wild weekend by heading to Washington, D.C. to perform at Barack Obama's inaugural celebrations. But even before they caught their plane, Cannon was flying high over Carey's "Push" performance.
"Aw man, that movie is incredible. My wife did an amazing job," he said of the flick, in which Carey plays a decidedly un-glammed, non-"Glitter"-y social worker. "And I just feel so good for her, because it's one of those things where somebody has been so great in another field, has accomplished so much [in the music industry], people are reluctant to accept them in another industry. And she's just blazing it. She's just as impactful in this as she is in anything."
Cannon insisted Carey's performance was so impactful that it even beat his own presentation as a distraught, teary-eyed homeless man in "Killing Room."
"She blew me out the water," he conceded. "All day!
"That's the thing: When you see 'Push,' not only do you forget that's Mariah Carey, you might not even recognize it's Mariah Carey," he insisted. "It's one of those performances. She don't talk the same, she don't look the same -- she just went in and did her thing."
When asked if Carey would be similarly diplomatic and choose his role over hers, Cannon said no way. "Well ... she sees my film tonight. So, we'll be debating that on our way to the inauguration," he said hours before the "Killing" premiere. "But this is so not her type of flick. She doesn't like horror films and blood and all that stuff. ... There's gonna be a lot of closing of the eyes in this one. But she's a true movie buff, so she'll appreciate it."
And as these two movie buffs have been making the rounds together as the King and Queen of Sundance 2009, one question keeps coming up: "People always say, 'Are you gonna work together?' " he said. "I don't know. It would have to be something fun, like a cameo. I don't know if we would literally do a [whole film] together, but we both love comedy. So you might see us as characters somewhere and go, 'Was that? Nah.' Or something like that."
Sure, Nick Cannon's 2009 Sundance experience has been decidedly different than it has been over the last two years. But Nick and Mariah's love for a good party was well documented in their single days, and married life doesn't have to change that -- although it sometimes makes for an earlier end to the evening.
"We've been hitting a few [big events]. I had a party last night -- I was DJing over at Harry O's, that's the spot out here," Cannon explained. "We've been doing our thing, but then heading to the crib early, waking up and working.
Photos: Mariah Leaves Sundance
Posted by Lynn on Monday, 19-Jan-2009, 9:06AM EST
Below are photos of Mariah and husband Nick Cannon leaving Park City, Utah on Saturday, January 17th. The couple were in Park City for the premiere of their films, Mariah's Push: Based on a Novel by Sapphire and Nick's The Killing Room, at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.
Mariah Now in Los Angeles? According to today's People.com's Couples Watch, Mariah and Nick were spotted on Sunday, January 18, "tucking into some comfort food - garlic crab, catfish salad and mac 'n' cheese - during an early dinner at Stevie's Creole Cafe in Encino, California."
New Year Celebrated in Style
Posted by Lynn on Monday, 19-Jan-2009, 9:01AM EST
Jasmine partied hard amongst a host of glamorous celebrities to see in 2009. After our regular snowy Christmas in Aspen, we flew out to St. Marten and from there took a boat - in the dead of the night - to the celeb-filled island of St. Barts. The ocean was so choppy and with our boat bouncing erratically across the water, our initial jokes about our ocean rollercoaster soon came to a halt. MC's (Mariah Carey's) brother Shawn gallantly tried to comfort me with a reassuring arm around my shoulder, but it didn't work. Neither did MC's hubby Nick's regular cackles of "only 25 minutes to go!"
Once our feet finally touched the shore and our stomachs were steady again, we were driven to our stunning hilltop villa overlooking the infamous Nikki Beach where MC was making a quick appearance the following night at an exclusive New Year's Eve party. St. Barts is full to bursting with superstars every New Year's Eve. The recent New Year's Eve was no exception with stars like Eddie Murphy, Beyonce, Jay Z, L.A. Reid, Daniel Craig and many more visiting the island.
We made our way to the Nikki Beach dinner and party and we began with a five-course dinner, which included sushi, crayfish, beef and plenty of bubbly to wash it down. At 11pm, MC stepped onto the ocean front stage in a silver dress and a pair of vertiginous heels, and began a show of 12 songs that included many of her hits. She had the crowd - which included Beyonce, L.A. Reid and his wife Erica - screaming, singing and going nuts.
Feeling silly, I pretended to be one of MC's many loyal fans and screamed out, 'We love you' at the top of my lungs! Imagine how surprised I was when MC - despite having her back towards me - recognised my voice and said back for all to hear: "And I love you too Jasmine Dotiwala." Hee hee - shame!
Straight after her last song, MC counted us down to midnight, with the help of Nick. As the clock struck 12, fireworks went off in front of the beach all around our ocean view. We all stood and enjoyed the excitement and it was wonderful - though I prayed that the Nikki Beach DJ would leave the decks so that the incessant Euro-dance music would stop. The Lord heard my prayer and at 1am, Timbaland stepped up and really represented with a two-hour set that had us all sweating and excited!
It was amazing to see MC and Beyonce take their shoes off and dance, so I joined them and we all stood on the infamous Nikki Beach huge white cushions whilst throwing some shapes. Most of the time, the two newly wed couples (MC and Nick, Jay and B) were holding hands or sitting in each others' laps, and at one point, I even spotted Jay Z discreetly and playfully smacking his wife's world famous derriere whilst dancing. Cute!
When Timbaland dropped loads of Biggie tunes, the place was on fire with Jay Z leading our section's dances and jamming. But when Tim dropped LL Cool Js Headsprung, the section went quiet and Jay Z sat down quick! Tim performed all his hits and then he played us lots of his new stuff - which nobody knew. Just as we were looking at him like, 'hey, it's New Year not your private listening session', he dropped a classic Jay Z medley spanning from 1995 to present day, which made the club bounce on its beach front stilts!
We left the party on a high at 3am and back at our mountain-view villa, we jumped into the cold pool to cool us down. (Well, MC's manager Jim did!) Then, we staggered off to our individual rooms and packed our cases for our next flight to Mr. and Mrs. C's home in the Bahamas. What a way to bring in 2009!
Mariah Goes from "Glitter" to Grim at Sundance
Posted by Lynn on Sunday, 18-Jan-2009, 9:28PM EST
Singer Mariah Carey has taken a break from pop stardom to act in new movie "Push," but far from her lead role in semi-autobiographical "Glitter," Carey has opted for a supporting part in this often grim tale.
In fact, the real star of "Push," which debuted this past weekend at Sundance, is an unknown actress from Harlem, Gabourney Sidibe, playing an obese and overburdened 16-year-old named "Precious" Jones who is twice impregnated by her father and is beaten by her mother.
Yet, she also has adults who look out for her, and one of those is welfare case worker, Mrs. Weiss, played by Carey.
With her stringy hair and no nonsense attitude, Mrs. Weiss is far from the glamorous role Carey took in 2001's "Glitter," which was loosely based on her own rise to pop music stardom.
But that movie was panned by critics and earned only $5.3 million at global box offices. Since then, Carey has starred in a few movies, but for the most part they have been seen only on TV, DVD or outside the United States.
"Push," however, is based on a best-selling novel and directed by Lee Daniels who produced "Monster's Ball," which earned Halle Berry a best actress Oscar. So curiosity was running high at Sundance to see how Carey performed.
At least one early review was positive. Show business paper Daily Variety called "Push," "courageous and uncompromising," and added that "among the many delightful surprises in the film is Mariah Carey, who is pitch-perfect as a welfare counselor and serves as this demi-tragedy's Greek chorus."
In "Push," Carey has chosen the small but pivotal role of a woman who unravels Precious' monstrous home life of abuse and teenage motherhood.
"Mrs. Weiss is sort of the eyes of the audience, the people who don't know anybody like this in their lives," Carey told reporters late Saturday.
"Yes it's her job ... but even someone who goes through that every day and sees these horrific things, she hears something that changes her," Carey said about the range of emotions she must show as Mrs. Weiss.
Despite its dark material, the film had Sundance audiences laughing at several comic scenes, revolving around surrealistic dreams Precious creates to escape. In one, she sees herself and her mother transported into a Sophia Loren movie playing on television, where her mom curses at her in Italian.
"Push" is based on a novel of the same name by New York writer Sapphire, whose given name is Ramona Lofton. The book proved controversial when it hit retail stories in 1996 because of its graphic description of incest, but it also made it to the New York Times Bestseller list.
"I was just glued to this book when I read it in, I guess '98, and it stays with you," Carey said.
Carey is not the only Grammy-winning singer in the movie. Rocker Lenny Kravitz plays a small role as a nurse's aide who helps Precious deliver her second child.
That star power could help give the film wider release in the U.S. and internationally. The filmmakers are still in talks with studios to find a distributor.
An urban nightmare with a surfeit of soul, "Push: Based on a Novel by Sapphire" is like a diamond -- clear, bright, but oh so hard. To simply call it harrowing or unsparing doesnt quite cut it; "Push" is also courageous and uncompromising, a shaken cocktail of debasement and elation, despair and hope. Everyone involved deserves major credit for creating a movie so dangerous, problematic and ultimately elevating. Marketing will be a problem, because the shorthand description is so unpalatable. But this is, for all its scorched-earth emotion, a film to be loved.
Adapted by Damien Paul from the work by onetime Harlem teacher and poet Sapphire, "Push" is the story of Claireece "Precious" Jones (newcomer Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe), a character who might have sprung from the collective brain of Charles Dickens, Toni Morrison and whoever carved the heads on Easter Island. With a jutting jaw and barely visible eyes, Claireece's face is a monument to the racial crimes of the past 400 years (that this miserable child of 16 can look in the mirror and fantasize seeing a blonde white girl is pungent shorthand for a raft of evils).
Mute and mountainous, a stolid outsider who can barely read, Claireece is pregnant -- again -- by her father, and on the verge of being kicked out of school. She's also cruelly oppressed by her mother Mary (Mo'Nique), whose daily routine consists of watching daytime TV, smoking cigarettes and treating her daughter like a slave (any historical parallels are not an accident). The situation is so dire that you almost have to laugh -- the way you might laugh, nervously, during the darkest moments of a horror movie.
"Push" is a horror movie, of course, and Mary is a monster, whose one glimmer of humanity -- which Mo'Nique, who is utterly brilliant, reveals in a tour de force soliloquy at the finale -- only makes her more horrible. Along with Mary's cruelty, Claireece's sense of hopelessness, and the awareness there are more Claireeces out there, the alarming thing about "Push" its capacity to show us just about anything, much like the warped human nature it surveys.
What's also remarkable is the balletic ability of second-time helmer Daniels ("Shadowboxer") to juggle emotional extremes. Claireece has her fantasies, and their visualizations -- of the girl as satin-clad pop star, movie star or supermodel -- work as relief valves. They're never funny, but they do humanize a character who has been reduced, by those who are supposed to love her, to a piece of meat, and who presents herself to the world as a very different, far less attractive creature than the Claireece we hear in voiceover.
Daniels never allows the film, however gothic and nightmarish, to lose its footing in the real world, and that world includes a certain amount of hope: Despite her mother's hostility, Claireece enrolls in an alternative school where a teacher named Blu Rain (Paula Patton) prepares young women for their GEDs. Patton is terrific, beautiful but carrying the weight of the world in her eyes. And Claireece's classmates, with their street-smart banter, give the film some needed levity.
Among the many delightful surprises in the film is Mariah Carey, who is pitch-perfect as a welfare counselor and serves as this demi-tragedy's Greek chorus. It's possible that many viewers won't recognize her until the final credits, but like so many things about "Push," the performance is disarming.
Another stunner of a film is Lee Daniels' harrowing urban character study of an inner city overweight black teenager who strives to overcome her lifetime of socio-economic despair.
Claireece Jones (Sidibe) is known as "Precious" by her mom Mary (Mo'Nique) after the embroidered pillow she lay upon in her bed as an infant. Unfortunately it's been a while since she was treated as precious. Her entire like she has endured daily physical and emotional fits of rage from her mother, a chronic welfare case who continually degrades her daughter as 'fat' and 'stupid'. Precious has been out of school ever since she gave birth at age 15 to a child. Since then her mother demands that she get on welfare to bring money in. When Precious is invited to attend an alternate studies school to help her literacy and get her GED the decision makes for a viciously violent fit of rage from Mom.
But Precious does go to school where she finds optimism in her caring teacher Ms. Rain (Patton). It takes a while but Precious' social barrier weakens and for the first time she develops a coterie of friends. Just when things are looking up a dramatic plot turn sends all her progress back down to the depths of despair. Her escape from the abuse in her life will take the loving and caring of her friends and the personal ambition to make something of herself.
We've never seen a film like this before. The gritty urban decay of the inner city welfare families is brought to life with earth shattering fury. As we see the anger of hatred
It isn't until the end when the depths of Mary's emotional despair are revealed. In a stunning scene of raw acting power Mo'Nique who plays Mary instantly announces herself a lock for Oscar-worthy performance. While the anger and rage of the earlier shouting matches are visceral enough to startle us it's Mary's dramatic confessions with Precious' welfare officer which elevate Mo'Nique's performance to astonishing levels.
Mariah Carey, dressed down and without make-up, plays the welfare worker. It's a surprisingly truthful and compassionate performance, a far cry from her exploitive fleshy music videos and that Razzie Award for "Glitter". Carey has the chops.
But it's the fresh face of Gabourey Sidibe who carries and holds the picture down and roots it in real world authenticity. Her obese figure immediately makes her stand out. Precious is a large woman, caused by her mother's force feeding through her innate need to subjugate and punish her daughter. One would expect to find an inner beauty beneath her exterior, and indeed it's there but we can see an edge in Precious which could bring her down the same path of gloom as her mother.
At times the film would appear to beat us down with Precious's obstacles, not only is she obese, illiterate, and has an illegitimate child at 15 there's a number of other jaw-dropping revelations which complicate her life even further (I can't ruin anything here this early).
"Push" is a special film and will make its waves here at Sundance. It announces a major acting talent in Mo'Nique and enlightens a recurring cycle of welfare abuse in inner city America. The film should have no problem finding a distributor and commanding the attention of audiences.
Sundance Review: No, Carey doesn't embarrass in 'Push' Probably the least important aspect of Lee Daniels' fantastic new drama "Push: Based on the novel by Sapphire" was still the biggest elephant in the room at the Racquet Club theater in Park City, Utah last night: Can Mariah Carey show any acting skills whatsoever? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. In a movie filled with unconventional casting, Carey goes plain jane (i.e, absolutely no makeup) as a social worker and has to participate in a number of intense scenes where her fans will be happy to learn she clearly does not embarrass herself. The bigger surprises, however, were provided by Mo'Nique and the film's star, newcomer Gabourey Sidibe.
Set in late '80s Harlem, "Push" tells the harrowing story of Precious Jones (Sidibe), a teenager who is living through a private hell of incest and abuse from her family. Precious escapes from her troubles by fantasizing about being a star walking the red carpet, being a supermodel and, um, marrying her math teacher. Her true freedom comes, however, through a special city learning program administrated by a patient teacher (a fine Paula Patton) who sees the positive in her tough luck students.
In her feature film debut, Sidibe is impressive conveying how battered Precious is, but she also shows glimpses of an inner strength the character will need to escape her hellish prison. Time will tell whether the young actress has the range for other roles, but its an auspicious start for sure.
As her domineering mother, Mo'Nique, who has previously only ventured into comedic roles, is absolutely stunning. Most of the film requires her to display utter contempt for Precious, but as the story progresses, she adds a sympathy that is both unexpected and moving. Mo'Nique may not have thought she had a career as a serious actress, but that will completely change after "Push."
With the film not shying away from some truly horrendous events, Daniels provides much needed relief by making Precious' learning program classmates truly memorable characters and their energy and humor contrast with her horribly unpleasant life at home (don't be surprised if a number of catch phrases including "my favorite color is neon beige" become popular among the younger set after the film's release). More impressive is Daniels confident visual style that go beyond his spot on period references in the fantasy sequences. The filmmaker could have easily fallen into the melodramatic cliches of similar stories, but instead its the combination of superb performances, sharp production design and a keen eye that make "Push" so special.
"Push" is an inspiring and powerful film that will put Daniels on the map as one of cinema's emerging talents. Now, all he has to do is figure out how to pull off an equally rewarding encore.
Source: Variety | Daily Film Dose | Jason | HitFix
Mariah on CBS News Sunday Morning
Posted by Lynn on Sunday, 18-Jan-2009, 1:36PM EST
Mariah Carey is one of the headliners at Tuesday night's Neighborhood Inaugural Ball. It's just the latest highlight of her life and career.
Everyone loves a superlative - the best, the brightest - and CBS News 48 Hours correspondent Troy Roberts reports pop star Mariah Carey collects one in particular like jewelry: the most.
She's spent the most time atop the Billboard charts - more time at No. 1 than the Beatles.
And she's had the most No. 1 songs of any solo artist - more than Elvis, whose record she beat last August when "Touch My Body" became her 18th No. 1 hit. "It's so surreal," Carey says. "I'm grateful to even... for someone to say my name in the same sentence as Elvis. I mean, come on!"
For her newest album, Carey looks to the successes of her past. It's a collection of her favorite ballads. "They're songs that I think are nostalgic for a lot of people, and for me as well," she said. "So I think that at this point in time, especially with the success that I had last year... just to release the sort of retrospective of those songs, I think it's a good time."
Roberts met with Carey at Camp Mariah, a camp for underprivileged children run by New York City's Fresh Air Fund. Mariah's long been one of its big supporters. "I didn't come from money at all. And I did, at one point, go to a publicly-funded camp," she said.
Fast-forward to April of last year. Carey's surprise marriage to actor-comedian Nick Cannon, 10 years her junior, was tabloid heaven. They'd dated for just two months.
Did her reputation as a diva frighten Cannon? "You know what? What is the definition of a diva? Because I hear 'a diva is a good thing, a diva's a bad thing,'" Cannon said. "So it's like, 'If you want to think Mariah is a diva, and she bathes in Evian,' or all of that stuff, let 'em think that."
"Where do I see you ten years, 20 years from now?" Roberts asked Carey. "Hopefully at a good, fun party," she laughed. Such as a party like Tuesday night's Neighborhood Ball for the Obama Inauguration, where Carey will perform her hit song "Hero."
"For me to be able to say, 'I'm going to be a part of the moment, iIt's like I still can't believe it," Carey says. "Just even a little, teensy part, by singing this song - which I think is appropriate for him. Because it's about not losing hope... and I think that's the message people, especially young people, have gotten from just being able to see Barack Obama be elected president."
Click on the links below to download this brand-new Mariah Carey interview. Also included for download is the TV promo ad for The Ballads that aired during the show's broadcast.
Photos: Mariah at Sundance, Day 2
Posted by Lynn on Saturday, 17-Jan-2009, 8:01PM EST
Press conference for Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire Park City, Utah - Saturday, January 17
AXE Fix Club party celebrating the new line of AXE Park City, Utah - Saturday, January 17
Push Gets Standing Ovation at Sundance Premiere
Posted by Lynn on Saturday, 17-Jan-2009, 7:11PM EST
A standing ovation greeted Lee Daniels' "Push: Based on the novel by Sapphire" last night at the Racquet Club, even as insiders worried that a delayed screening of Antoine Fuqua's "Brooklyn's Finest" over at the Eccles held up some buyers. Buoyed by positive reaction after a test screening in Harlem earlier this week, Lee Daniels seemed anxiously optimistic while chatting casually with indieWIRE prior to the screening.
After the showing, he was showered by well-wishers, some of whom posed for photos with Mo'Nique and Mariah Carey. Daniels also cast Lenny Kravitz in a key role. "If you are gonna tell a bold story, go all the way, be bold," Daniels said on Friday night.
"Push: Based on the novel by Sapphire" is a movie of many textures, each one illuminating the emotionally gripping narrative at its core. Lee Daniels directs with bold strokes that could go wrong at any moment, but generally serve to illuminate a troubled life and the justified desire to escape it. The story of a troubled Harlem teen named Precious (Gabourey Sidibe) impregnated by her absent father, "Push" progresses with a steadily engaging series of starts and stops in the frayed world of its talented star. While fending off her dysfunctional mother (Monique, in a stunningly psychotic turn), Precious gradually learns to surpass her aimless fantasies and come to grips with the troubles at hand. Using lavishly photographed sequences, Daniels contrasts Precious's daily woes with the happier existence inside her head, but these moments gradually give way to the protagonist's fulfillment of her actual goals.
Moved to an alternative school to meet her special needs, Precious learns from more caring adults (including Mariah Carey as a trenchant social worker) about her obvious potential to mature. A spunky character with an increasing ability to editorialize about her new environment ("they talk like TV channels I don't watch," she says of her newfound mentors), Precious makes the ideal heroine of modern times. "Push" does not function exclusively as a story of race, but as a universal depiction of real world struggle. The only question is whether distributors can push themselves to get it out there.
Push lead actress, newcomer Gabourey Sidibe tells reporters: "Mariah is really good in this movie. Both Mariah and Mo'Nique are wonderful, so it was awesome for me to work with them. I learned a lot from Mariah."
Mariah arrived on the red carpet to pose for photos with hubby Nick Cannon - who is also promoting a film at the festival - before chatting briefly to reporters about her role in Push.
She told them "we don't do glamour" on the sets of Push director Lee Daniels. "The thing that I have to thank him for is allowing me to remove so many, just, layers of persona and all that kind of stuff, and to dig deep within myself as an actress and really be able to explore this character, 'cause the material is so great that I'm just privileged to be part of it."
When asked how it felt to both have films at Sundance together, Nick - who appears in The Killing Room with Chloe Sevigny - said: "It's an amazing thing, I mean, to be able to share this with your wife, to see her do such a phenomenal job with such a great piece of art - you know what I mean."
The-Dream Talks About "My Love" in KIIS Interview
Posted by Lynn on Saturday, 17-Jan-2009, 3:34PM EST
The-Dream was in-studio recently at Los Angeles' KIIS FM to promote his new album, Love Vs. Money which drops Tuesday, March 3 (pushed back from February 17).
In the interview with DJ Jojo Wright of the night show, Jojo On The Radio, The-Dream talked about the crazy story, which he calls "the inspiration for the world," behind the making of "My Love," his brand-new single featuring Mariah Carey. Listen to an interview clip below.
"I was at Legacy Studios in New York and I started the chords on a keyboard and I was like, '[hums] Okay, this is gonna be pretty good.' Nobody knows my process. This is how it goes. Usually I start a track, I put a kick on it and a snare, then it's really simple that in the beginning stages and I just go into the booth because it actually comes from what I already have in my head as far as the hook that I may hear. So I walk into the booth and the engineer's there, we start it off and I'm like, [sings] 'Tell me what they know about my love, this would be a great record for Mariah Carey to be on.' Little did I know, it was like 50 people in the studio at that particular time that I invited to kind of like just kick it in and just chill out while I was writing.
One of the girls was Constance from Billboard magazine online. She writes for them. So she calls me the next morning and she's like, 'Yeah, I heard all the stuff that you was doin'. I heard the Kelly's 12 Flavor record,' and this and that, and that the record, 'Is that supposed to be a record with you and Mariah?' I was like, 'Yeah, I already got Mariah on that. Mariah's on that,' So she printed it, like, the same day [laughs]. Mariah hadn't even heard it. Mariah hadn't even heard it! So I just found out last night Mariah was like, 'Yeah, Nick brought me this' and he was like, 'You did a record with Dream?' She's like, 'I don't think so.'
So this is crazy. L.A. Reid was calling me, the Chairman and CEO of Def Jam, calling me like, 'Are you crazy? Have you lost your mind? Are you on drugs?' And I had to think about that, then I was like, 'No, I'm not on drugs.' I was being very optimistic, you know. I was thinking so positive and if it didn't happen for me, nobody would care anyway. It's more that it did happen. So it did end up happening and now she's on my record and everybody was like, 'How did you do that?' 'cause she hadn't done a duet since Bone Thugs-N-Harmony."
"I went to Def Jam and Karen Kwak is a great friend of mine. She's the president basically up on the L.A. Reid and she's the one that brought 'Umbrella' in and I went up to the building acting like a big kid. I was like, 'I ain't writing no record for nobody else if Mariah don't get on this record. Period.' And so L.A. looked at her like, 'Go get them, Tiger.'"
Source: KIIS FM | Text: MariahDailyJournal | Diane
Photos: Mariah at Sundance Film Festival
Posted by Lynn on Saturday, 17-Jan-2009, 6:44AM EST
Push Luncheon at Coca-Cola's Taste of Film Festival Stein Eriksen Lodge, Park City, Utah - January 16
Premiere of Push during the 2009 Sundance Film Festival Racquet Club Theatre, Park City, Utah - January 16
Dinner party for the screening of Push Phoenix Gallery, Park City, Utah - January 16
Push Afterparty at Island Def Jam's Ultra Lounge The House of Hype, Park City, Utah - January 16
Afterparty for Nick's movie The Killing Room hosted by Oakley & G-Shock Rock Band Lounge, Park City, Utah - January 16
MDJ Interviews Lee Daniels: "I call her Kitten and she calls me Cotton!"
Posted by Lynn on Friday, 16-Jan-2009, 6:21PM EST
A MariahDailyJournal Exclusive
Mariah Daily Journal is pleased to bring you our exclusive interview with Lee Daniels, the producer of Mariah's film Tennessee and director of Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire, which also features Mariah and will be screened at the Sundance Film Festival starting today, January 16th.
Mariah & Lee Daniels
A Philadelphia, PA native, Lee Daniels began his career as a casting director and manager; and worked on projects such as Under the Cherry Moon and Purple Rain. He now calls New York City his home and does business in his office in Harlem where he oversees Lee Daniels Entertainment.
Lee's first film as a producer was Monster's Ball which immediately had both critics and viewers take an interest in this upcoming talent. The film, a small independent production with a budget of $4 million, ended up getting numerous awards and nominations including "Movie of the Year" at the American Film Institution awards, an Oscar nomination for the screenplay and the coveted Academy Award itself when Halle Berry won the "Best Actress" award in 2002 for it. Lee also received the Urbanworld Film Festival "Visionary Award."
His follow-up project, The Woodsman, a controversial film starring Kevin Bacon as a convicted pedophile trying to re-enter society was released in 2004 and was critically praised for its handling of the sensitive subject matter as well as its direction. The National Board of Review gave it a special recognition award for excellence in filmmaking and Lee received a nomination for it at the Independent Spirit Awards of 2005.
In 2006, he made his directorial debut with Shadowboxer starring Helen Mirren and Cuba Gooding Jr. and was nominated for the New Directors Award at the San Sebastian Film Festival.
We had the pleasure of talking to Lee about both of his current projects: Tennessee, a film produced by him, directed by Aaron Woodley, and written by Russell Schaumburg, was the first project to bring Mariah and Lee together. Mariah plays Krystal, an aspiring singer who joins two brothers on their journey from New Mexico to Tennessee to find their estranged father. The film premiered last year at the Tribeca Film Festival and was also chosen to play at the 2008 Urbanworld Film Festival. It had a one-week Academy engagement in Los Angeles in December 2008 and will play in theaters around the country in March 2009.
Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire tells the story of a high-school girl who is pregnant with her father's child--for the second time. Her home life is a horror, ruled by a mother (Mo'Nique) who keeps her imprisoned both emotionally and physically. Mariah plays a social worker in the film. The movie was selected to compete for the Grand Jury Prize at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, one that is familiar to both Lee (The Woodsman) and Mariah (Wise Girls).
Mariah Daily Journal: We heard you're a self-proclaimed diva on the set. Did Mariah give you a run for your money? Lee Daniels: I'm not a self-proclaimed diva, that's what they say about me! We were being interviewed. I think Mariah, me and the director were being interviewed by some local press in Tennessee, and they asked the director "What was it like to work for a diva?" And then the director turned to me and said "Oh, he's really not that bad to work with!" [laughs] I may have seemed diva-ish, but I didn't think he would call me out like that. He really called me out on it!
It sounds like you guys had a really fun time on the set. Oh my God, it was so much fun. In many, many ways it was a learning experience for me and it was a learning experience for them.
You produced this movie and but you directed films like Shadowboxer and Push. How do you decide which one you'll sit in the producer's chair for and which one in the director's? When I work on a film as a producer, I work very closely with the director, so it's really a collaboration. It's old school. So we're all together as a team, so I am very clear with the director beforehand about what it is that I want because I work very closely with the actors when I am working on a film as a producer. So, I'm not a director while I am a producer on the set, but I work very closely with the actors while I am producing. It's a very unique producing that I do.
So is it a conscious decision on your part when a script comes across your desk, or when you decide to do a movie, to say "I know I want to produce for this, or I want to direct for this, or I want to be involved in this way"? For Tennessee, I loved it, but I didn't see myself telling the story. I saw myself working the actors to give the best performance, but I thought the story should be told by someone that connected better with the story itself. That was Aaron [Woodley], who was wonderful, and he was able to tell the story. I would work in tangent with the actors by taking them to another place they haven't been. Like I knew Mariah when she, as all actors do get caught in places of untruth, needed to be brought to a place of truth. I hope I am making sense. [laughs]
With Mariah, it's very easy and very clear to see what kind of person, and what she brings out in songs, and that's why people can connect to her songs so well. She needed a film that could bring out in the same quality in her acting that she can bring out in her singing. Exactly, that's smartly put, that's exactly what I mean. With Mariah, it was really a party. One, because we're very good friends. I enjoy working with my friends. Two, because I think she got a bum rap for Glitter and I knew her from Wise Girls and I was like "This is a joke, what are people missing? What is wrong with people?" So I saw the work and I saw her talent. But, I remember people really making fun of Halle Barry in the Flintstones and it's one of the reasons I cast her in Monster's Ball. So, I like discoveries and I like working with people that are sort of underdogs. At that time that we did Tennessee, she was sort of an underdog.
The leading cast of Tennessee is comprised mostly of young unknown talent or someone like Mariah, who as you put it, is considered an underdog and people weren't necessarily ready to see her in a film like this. Did it concern you at all that the film doesn't have an experienced actor to lead the rest or a big name that could sell it to audiences? No. The story has to speak for itself. The story has got to work, that's the bottom line, that's first. But second, I was a little afraid that if I didn't create a world around Mariah with people we had never seen before, that Mariah would stick out as Mariah. A world where we didn't know anybody and I thought everybody would maybe would buy into her as Krystal more because she really just wasn't a part of their world. People that we don't recognize.
You say you were really good friends with Mariah and had worked with friends before. How often did you meet her, how did you know her beforehand, and what kind of things did you work on with her prior to filming, and as the filming began? Did you discuss her character, her accent, or advise her to research anything? She became friends with me through Shadowboxer and she came down to the set to visit me. I was so happy to have her there and we became friendly then. We laugh at the same things, she makes me laugh. I call her kitten and she calls me cotton. She makes me laugh -- I don't know why she makes me laugh, but she makes me crack up. We became friends and I kept thinking I'd find a job for her. I really wanted to work with her, and then this came along. So I asked her if she'd be willing to gain weight for a film [laughs]. That was like the test! I went "I'll see if she really wants to work!"
What was her reaction to that? She just looked at me [laughs]. She made me laugh and looked at me like "Oh, gosh!" That made me laugh and it continues to make me laugh. Even as I'm telling the story, I'm cracking up inside.
Her fans definitely love her sense of humor. Exactly! People think Mariah Carey can't be funny, and that's why I think I love her. Because she's a consummate professional, and she did it. Her reaction was funny, but then she did it with such professionalism. It's just a testament to her as a hard work. I think people think she wakes up and she's glam. She's a hard-ass worker! She works pretty hardcore.
Everyone talks about her incredible work ethic. You're working on an independent film set that's completely grueling. How would you describe it? She can handle anything that comes, and I was really surprised. Look, here's the thing. You're dealing with someone who's a gazillion trillionaire, who knows how much she has, someone who is really rich and internationally famous and used to fancy trailers and fancy stuff and all this fancy -- I don't know what she gets when she's doing her music videos and her tour! But I can only imagine it's fancy and expensive! The beauty of her working with me is that this isn't what it was it was about. It was like putting on a play. She was just so humble. Very regular. She didn't ask for anything.
Would you say that was what you were most surprised by from her on the set? I was floored by it.
We want more people to hear that! I thought something was going on! Like, the first day I thought she was just pretending. 'Cause I've worked with stars before, you know? Then the second day and it just continued. And then I really fell in love with her and I think our friendship deepened because I saw that there was so much more to her. She gained my respect as her artist. And believe me -- it takes a lot to gain to my respect!
You've cast a lot of musicians in your films -- Mariah in Tennessee, Diddy, Mos Def, Lenny Kravitz... Eve, too, in The Woodsman.
Yes. How would you describe your relationship between music and film in your movies and in general? Why do you keep casting so many musicians? Well, I guess I'm a frustrated musician [laughs]. But I can't play a piano. There's something so profound about musicians and dancers, too. It's not just musicians, but that's just what I've been able to do with films I'm working on. I am fascinated by people that express themselves vocally and/or physically. They work harder sometimes to do whatever is asked because the opportunities aren't there as much to act. And they'll give you everything. They'll give you a 15 as opposed to a 10. To me, work-wise, they know people are going to be on them and they work that much harder to bring truth to their character.
It's the same thing with comedians. It's a very unique dynamic they bring to their character and attacking their character.
(The next question discusses the context of Tennessee, including some conclusions drawn from its ending. Please read at your own risk if you had not seen the film yet.)
After Krystal confronts her husband Frank at the bar, we never see him again though we know Krystal eventually returns home. How do you imagine their story continuing? Does returning to Frank imply that she's given up? That was what the director and I had a difference of opinion on. All three of us -- the director, the writer, and I -- about that. Do you show it? Do you show Krystal having a confrontation? Aaron felt it would be more powerful for him [Krystal's husband] to just sit and listen to her music, finally, and that she did have a right to dream and that dreams do have come true, and that she was finally able to sing in front of an audience. That it healed him, too and that he learned that he could never cage her and ultimately it was the right thing to do.
There's also this question mark about relationships because it's never black or white. Life is grey. It's sort of that grey area in life where there are not really any answers and life sort of just goes on. Everyone has their own opinions on why we left it open like this. Were they ever friends? Did she forgive him? But these questions are left to our imaginations about whatever happened to Krystal and Frank in a very beautiful way.
(End of spoilers.)
What are your plans for releasing Tennessee? It's been getting great critical reception and you've been FYCing the song... Everyone's talking about my little girl! I'm so happy! Everyone's talking about Kitten this way and I love it! You know I put her in my next film right?
Yes, congratulations by the way on it being added to the Sundance Film Festival! Thank you! I was so pleased with her work and her work ethic and our friendship has blossomed and our trust has blossomed. I went against the grain and cast her in something that was completely different for her with Push. That was like departure of the century for Mariah Carey.
Mariah has said she plays a social worker with a small, but important role. Can you elaborate? Would you tell Mariah next time you speak to her that there are no such things as small roles? [laughs]
We'll have to get her in for an interview too! So back to Tennessee... Tennessee will be released in selected cities in March. We opened in LA and then we open all over in March.
Why should people go see Tennessee in March? It's a story about forgiveness on so many levels. So many of us are incapable of forgiveness and we are unaware that we are incapable to forgive. I feel that I was unaware I learned how to forgive until I started working on Tennessee. Forgiveness is such an important part of growing and learning and living. We need to forgive. Tennessee's message is that we need to learn how to forgive. Krystal to forgive Frank, for Frank to forgive Krystal, for Ellis to forgive his dad. It's really about forgiveness. And living in the now instead of living in the past. It's hard to forgive people for bad things they have done to you.
Thank you very much for taking the time to interview with us. We're so excited for the movie! Yay! And we're going to Sundance!
Congratulations again! We're thrilled about Sundance. We're all going to Sundance!
We'll definitely be covering it! One last question: do you consider yourself a lamb yet, after experiencing Mariah fans at all these different events for Tennessee? Oh, her and her lambs! I guess I'm a lamb!
If she can be a kitten, you can be a lamb. I guess I'll be her lamb. I'll be her lamb!
Thank you again. Good luck at Sundance and good luck at the Oscars -- we want to see "Right to Dream" nominated for Best Song! Cross your fingers and light a candle!
MariahDaily.com would like to thank Lee Daniels, Wellington Love, and 15 Minutes for the interview. We wish you the best of luck at Sundance and the Academy Awards!
Photos: Mariah at Sundance
Posted by Lynn on Friday, 16-Jan-2009, 6:10PM EST
Mariah was spotted coming out of a lounge on Main Street during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah on Friday, January 16, 2009. Click on each of the thumbnails below to view full-sized images.
Mariah To Sing "Hero" For Obama
Posted by Lynn on Friday, 16-Jan-2009, 5:16PM EST
Mariah Carey thinks President-elect Barack Obama is a hero - and she's going to tell him so in song, the singer told Access Hollywood's Billy Bush on Friday.
Billy caught up with Mariah at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, as she supports husband Nick Cannon and his film "The Killing Room" and her own film, "Push," but soon she'll be winging her way to Washington, D.C., to perform "Hero" at the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball after Obama is sworn in on Tuesday.
"It's fitting for him," she said of "Hero," a song she also famously performed in the wake of the attacks of September 11. "It's appropriate."
Mariah added that she's "nervous" about her performance, but "glad" to be of mixed race - like Obama - and to be an American.
Mariah & Nick's Comedy Collaboration
Posted by Lynn on Friday, 16-Jan-2009, 4:17PM EST
Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon may not be poppin' out babies right now, but it's gonna happen.
"We're definitely into planning a family and stuff but when everything calms down and we get the time," Cannon told me earlier today after finishing up a workout at Gatorade's G Gym at Village at the Yard at Sundance. "We're just running and gunning now and enjoying being newlyweds."
Also on the couple's agenda? Working together! But not on a musical collaboration. So what gives?
"It'll be something more out of fun than serious," Cannon said. "We're going to do some comedy stuff together. You'll see us this year doing some really funny stuff."
Cannon is not only deejaying tonight's House of Hype party for Carey's new movie, Push, but he also has his own flick at Sundance to promote, the indie psycho-thriller The Killing Room.
He plays a young homeless guy opposite Chloe Sevigny and Timothy Hutton. "It was my first real chance to be a serious method actor," Cannon said. "I lost like 20 pounds for the role. I didn't eat. I slept outside. I didn't comb my hair for a month. I went into seclusion."
(He's not expecting his wife to dig Killing too much because "she likes fun, lighthearted comedies.")
And after the film festival, it's off to Washington, D.C., for the Inaugural and some big dreams. Cannon laughed, "I want to be the official White House deejay."
Posted by Lynn on Friday, 16-Jan-2009, 9:55AM EST
Below, find Mariah's chart positions in Billboard magazine issue dated January 24, 2009.
"Right To Dream" Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks: #24 (Last Week #25)
"I Stay In Love" Billboard Hot Singles Sales: #23 (Last Week #26) Billboard Hot Dance Club Play: #11 (Last Week #19)
E=MC² Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums: #66 (Last Week #57) Sales this week: 1,575 (-37%) Total sales: 1,225,389
The Adventures of Mimi Billboard Top Music Video: #29 (Last Week #17)
Source: Billboard | MariahDailyJournal | Ritcher
The Ballads Full Podcast
Posted by Lynn on Friday, 16-Jan-2009, 1:39AM EST
Below, find the full podcast on Mariah Carey The Ballads, in stores on January 20, 2009. Mariah discusses the writing process of ballads and her love for romantic songs, what these songs mean to her, and the joys of inspiring people through her music.
"People define a 'ballad' in their own way. I think some people think about it has to be very slow, it has to have like an orchestra. I don't think that that's the only way to make a song into a ballad. Sometimes my ballads, my biggest, most successful ballads will have a tempo as well. I mean, even a song like 'Vision of Love' was not really your typical ballad. So it's hard for me to say what it is that makes a ballad, a ballad because I kind of run the gamut in my songwriting from the slow, very just-piano vocal, background vocals to songs with tempo. So for me it's about the song and what it'd make you feel." ["Dreamlover" clip]
"Having written 'Hero' and I didn't even think I was writing it for myself, that's the first thing that's really strange when so many people tell me that the song has changed their lives and I have performed it at so many different charitable events like Live Aid and A Tribute to Heroes and countless others. I think that it's one of those songs that I really will always enjoy singing even though when I first wrote it I was like, 'I don't know about this song. It's so down the middle, it's so this and that.' But so many people have told me that it helped them and that's why I do what I do so yes I do what I do because it's fun for me but also if you have an added bonus of someone telling you something helped them through a difficult period of time in their life there's nothing like that feeling." ["Hero" clip]
"I always like to write romantic songs because it's just what music takes me to. The music takes me to a place usually that's in a romantic kind of a feeling whether it's sad or happy or whatever it is. And a lot of people say to me, 'This was our wedding song,' 'We're gonna get married to this song or that song,' and so of course that makes me feel good because that's what I'm doing. That's part of who I am, you know, making these records because I love to do it and I love to bring that to people I love, for people to be able to get something more than just any old song from what they're hearing." ["My All" clip]
["Thank God I Found You/Make It Last Remix" clip] ["Can't Let Go" clip]
"It's really interesting because when I first wrote a lot of these ballads, I had like a different relationship with the songs because now I've sung them live a number of times and the relationship grew to a place where it's not just something that I created. It's something that's a part of my repertoire and a part of my life and a sort of like the soundtrack to my life. So I think that I've definitely evolved with the songs and as people have grown to know the songs I've grown to know them in my own way." ["Love Takes Time" clip]
"You know I really do have favorites on this Ballads album but they may not be everybody else's favorite because some of them are more personal to me and some of them have become really kind of global big records that I never even expected to become so popular. So I think it's one of those things where I have my own personal favorites and then I appreciate the other ones that have become so big." ["The Roof" clip]
"When you take a song like 'Vision of Love' for example, that was my first single so I have my own feelings about it and when I sing it, it does take me back to who I was when I first started which was this person who no one had ever heard of. I never released a single. It was on my first demo so it's a really unique kind of an experience when I sing that song live. And I never lose the track of who I am just as a human being so that song kind of always grounds me." ["Vision of Love" clip]
["Without You" clip] ["How Much" clip]
"I've worked with a lot of different people over my career. Some people bring the basics there when I say, 'Play this chord' and they kind of try and figure it out. And some people are amazing piano players and I can sing them what I'm hearing and they play that and we go back and forth and we work together. And then there's somebody like Jermaine Dupri who I really love collaborating with on the entire song so you know it really depends. I think that Jermaine understands who I am as an artist. We have the same references. He knows that we have to walk a line with the music that we do because we both love R&B and we do want our songs to be heard by a lot of people as well. We don't want to limit ourselves but the fact that everything we do is rooted in R&B is very important to me." ["Always Be My Baby" clip]
"One of the greatest experiences of my career was working with Luther Vandross. May he rest in peace. He was one of the premier vocalists of our time. I mean, his tone, the quality of his voice was just so remarkable and so I mean it just moved you so when I was working with him, I was just like a sponge just soaking up any kind of information that I could that he would give me little tidbits about how to preserve your voice. You know, just little things that singers would just die to get a hold of this type of information. And he was just the nicest person and the most talented. We really miss him." ["Endless Love" clip]
"'One Sweet Day' was just a song that I had a concept for. Just about people who have passed away that had been close, just different people that were lost, that were not part of my life anymore. I went to Boyz II Men and they happened to have the same situation that they were writing about and it was melodically so similar to the song that I was writing and we put the two songs together and it became known as 'One Sweet Day.' And it did go on to be this enormous hit. I think the song really still means a lot to us. We recently performed it together and it's one of those songs that people really thank me for that collaboration and say that that helped them get through really tough times." ["One Sweet Day" clip]
["Reflections" clip] ["Dreamlover" clip]
"All types of collaborations are different for me. I love to collaborate and then I kind of go on to my cocoon and do my vocals and do my own thing by myself so in a way I'm very collaborative, in another way I'm kind of a control freak [laughs] but you know, it's different. Sometimes you're working with a duet partner and you feed off that person. ["When You Believe" clip] Sometimes it's perhaps a co-writer and you definitely feed off that other person's energy or where they're coming from and you go back and forth with different ideas and that's the process that really inspires me that I really love. ["Anytime You Need A Friend" clip] Then there's doing a remake of a song which is always challenging because if you select a song that's a classic you have to come to the table and really do your own version and do the best you can with that cover." ["I'll Be There" clip]
Mariah To Attend Sundance Premiere of Push
Posted by Lynn on Thursday, 15-Jan-2009, 7:02PM EST
Mariah is set to attend the 2009 Sundance Film Festival premiere of Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire on Friday, January 16th @ 8:00pm at Racquet Club, Park City, Utah.
Below is the complete screening schedule for Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire at Sundance:
Friday, Jan. 16, 8:00pm at Racquet Club, Park City Saturday, Jan. 17, 12:00pm at Broadway Centre Cinemas VI, Salt Lake City Tuesday, Jan. 20, 3:15pm at Eccles Theatre, Park City Wednesday, Jan. 21, 11:30pm at Prospector Square Theatre, Park City Friday, Jan. 23, 2:15pm at Racquet Club, Park City
Mariah Already Working On New Album
Posted by Lynn on Thursday, 15-Jan-2009, 12:45PM EST
The-Dream just dropped his new single "My Love," which features Mariah Carey, but that's not all the two have been up to lately.
The-Dream stopped by L.A.'s Power 106 with Big Boy In The Morning, and talked about his new album and the fact that he hadn't gone to sleep yet because he was up all night with Mariah working on new material for her.
According to The-Dream, Mariah is already working on a new album and he's been producing some hot new tracks for her.
As you may already know, The-Dream is responsible for producing Mariah's huge hit "Touch My Body" off her current album E=MC².
Mariah's The Ballads Interview - Part I
Posted by Lynn on Thursday, 15-Jan-2009, 12:27PM EST
Legacy Recordings is featuring a four-part Mariah Ballads podcast series to celebrate the release of The Ballads, in stores on January 20, 2009.
Part I of the interview is now up and available to listen to and download on the Legacy website.
In Part I, Mariah talks about the definition of a "ballad" at first. She says she has the more piano-based ballads but also ballads with a tempo.
For "Hero" she says it's strange when people say it changed their lives and is one she will always enjoy singing. She said she thought it was "down the middle" at first but people talking to her about it changed her thoughts about it.
Lastly she talks about people saying they use her songs in weddings and what not.
Mariah on the CBS Sunday Morning Show
Posted by Lynn on Thursday, 15-Jan-2009, 8:57AM EST
Be sure to tune in to CBS News Sunday Morning this Sunday, January 18, and see Mariah talk about her new CD, The Ballads, which hits stores on Tuesday. This is a brand new interview completed a few weeks ago, you won't want to miss it. Click here for local listings.
Note: Although listed on the current TV Guide listings for Good Morning America, Mariah was never confirmed and she is not appearing on the show.
Ex-Sony Chief Ienner Mentions Mariah in Billboard Interview
Posted by Lynn on Wednesday, 14-Jan-2009, 1:49PM EST
Former Sony Music chief Don Ienner recently sat down with Billboard for his first extensive, on-the-record talk in more than a decade. Below are excerpts from the interview where he mentioned Mariah.
Billboard: What did that look like? I mean, strategically, what were the biggest challenges and what did you have to do? Don Ienner: The foundation of, to me anyway, of Columbia, obviously was Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Barbara Streisand, Neil Diamond and Tony Bennett. But, we were nowhere in the alternative music area. On my first trip to the West Coast for Columbia, in May of '89, I heard two bands and we signed them both. And we broke both those bands - Alice In Chains and Toad The Wet Sprocket - and that was a really important thing for us to do. I brought in Steve Tip, he was maybe the most important marketing and promotion executive at Warner for alternative music. We built street teams. Obviously, Tommy had signed Mariah Carey and that was a wonderful way to kick off the new Columbia, and we worked very closely on it, from a creative standpoint, from a marketing standpoint and, really, it was an incredible run.
You were there when that first record came out, "Vision of Love"? I was the head of the company and "Vision of Love" was my pick. Not too many people wanted that song, but that was the one that I knew was the pick because it was an R&B record, and it was only her--she was the only one that could have written and sung that song. Of all the great songs on that album, this is the one that I felt would define her most, and it went on to be one of the songs of the year. Number 1 R&B record, number 1 pop record. It set up an incredible string of number 1's for her.
What do you think of Mariah's career trajectory at this point? Well I'm thrilled that she had a comeback from the unpleasantries of a few years ago, with the movie ["Glitter"] and everything. It just shows her resilience and it shows she stays in touch, she stays current, she knows what she's doing.
You've signed and worked with all of these great bands over the years. Do you have some sense when an act will have this sort of monolithic career, versus an act that's going to have a few hits and maybe not a whole lot more? There clearly and absolutely were. You need luck. Sometimes you'd rather be lucky than smart. For example, the New Kids [On The Block] were on Columbia. Before I got there they were going to be dropped, from what I heard. I just did a "Behind the Music" where they brought that up and I didn't think that we should drop them. I wanted to get a second shot at what they were going to do because I thought they were good and I thought [producer] Maurice [Starr] was great. They were sort of robots on that first record - very, very young - but they had something to offer and I made it a priority at the company that we go after it. Obviously, the rest is history. Even as that was going on, once you had that sort of success - I called Maurice one day and said we should make a Christmas album and I think that was in August. Ten days later a Christmas album appeared at my desk and we sold like 3 million copies. So, we go from there into Mariah Carey, into lord knows whatever else was going on at the time, and all of a sudden we became the hottest record company in the world. It was gratifying.
Mariah Featured on Rihanna's Grammy Ad
Posted by Lynn on Tuesday, 13-Jan-2009, 9:19PM EST
To the right is Rihanna's poster ad for the 51st Annual Grammy Awards with the theme "Celebrate the Music That Makes Us."
All of the text used for Rihanna's portrait contains song titles from artists that influenced or affected her life and career. Rihanna's selections included the Mariah Carey songs: "Vision of Love," "Butterfly," "Honey," "Emotions," "Can't Let Go," "We Belong Together," "Always Be My Baby" and "Dreamlover."
Inspired by love and the richness it brings to one's life, Luscious Pink Deluxe Edition is the ultimate in sensuality and luxury and the purest essence of the original Mariah Carey's Luscious Pink fragrance.
Purchase online at Elizabeth Arden and receive a free Rollerball, while supplies last.
Mariah to Perform at Inauguration's Neighborhood Ball
Posted by Lynn on Tuesday, 13-Jan-2009, 4:20PM EST
Mariah Carey and Jay-Z are just two of the stars headlining The Neighborhood Ball: An Inauguration Celebration concert, which will be held the night of the inauguration (January 20) at the Washington Convention Center.
They will be joined by Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Faith Hill, Alicia Keys, Shakira and Stevie Wonder. Nick Cannon will DJ the event, which will be seen live on ABC from 8-10 p.m. More acts are expected to be added to the bill.
PRESS RELEASE: WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) announced today the producers and initial talent lineup for "The Neighborhood Ball: An Inauguration Celebration," which will air live on ABC (8:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT, Tuesday, January 20), and the "Kids' Inaugural: We Are The Future," a concert honoring military families airing on Disney Channel (8:00-9:30 p.m. ET/PT, Monday, January 19).
Musical performers scheduled for the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball include Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Faith Hill, JAY-Z, Alicia Keys, Shakira and Stevie Wonder. Nick Cannon will DJ the event. Additional performers will be announced as they are confirmed.
Musical performances for the Kids' Inaugural event include the Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato and Bow Wow. Billy Ray Cyrus, Keke Palmer, and Usher Raymond IV are also scheduled to appear. 13-year-old Perry Rubin, daughter of entertainment reporter Sam Rubin, will be the special backstage correspondent. Additional performers and guests will be announced as they are confirmed.
In an effort to make this inaugural celebration open and accessible to all Americans, President-elect Barack Obama will host the first-ever "Neighborhood Inaugural Ball," the premier event of inauguration evening, on January 20th. To help bring this unique event to neighborhoods across the nation, ABC will broadcast "The Neighborhood Ball: An Inauguration Celebration." The event will air live from the Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C., TUESDAY, JANUARY 20 (8:00-10:00 p.m. ET).
Dupri Sets Record Straight on Def Jam Exit
Posted by Lynn on Tuesday, 13-Jan-2009, 12:01AM EST
Über-producer Jermaine Dupri has the Midas Touch when it comes to making hit records. The music impresario has produced and written songs for the likes of Mariah Carey, Usher, TLC, Anthony Hamilton, and girlfriend Janet Jackson. Besides heading his own label, So So Def, the ATL musical wunderkind has served as president of the urban music departments at Virgin and Island Def Jam Records. Until recently, Dupri appeared to be anointed by his musical forefathers as one of the next frontrunners of the biz. That is, until industry whisperings began about his sudden disappearing act--the second in his brief presidency. ESSENCE.com caught up with the hit man to find out the truth about his abrupt departure from Island Def Jam records, his relationship with L.A. Reid and starting a family with Janet Jackson.
ESSENCE.COM: The blogosphere has been abuzz recently about your exit from Island Def jam Records as president of urban music. Why did you leave the label? JERMAINE DUPRI: It was a situation where it felt very stagnant to me. As a person who is used to putting out new records and continuing to do that, it just wasn't turning over as being that place to me where I should stick to it and see if it was going to turn around.
ESSENCE.COM: What would you say was your biggest problem with the label? DUPRI: It wasn't giving me the open door that I thought it was going to. It wasn't aggressive enough and it was a big letdown for me. I thought I was going to a place that understood the times we were in as a music business and how aggressive we needed to be with putting out new projects and records. This is the reason I'm speaking out; not because I'm bitter, but because I owe it to my fans that see me every day on the Internet. I wanted to let them know because they've left a lot of comments on my YouTube saying, "JD, you talk about everything else; why aren't you talking about this [label] situation?"
ESSENCE.COM: There's hearsay that your brief tenure was plagued by meager sales and a lack of new talent which resulted in the label ousting you. Is that true? DUPRI: Island [Def Jam Records] is going to say what makes them look good. They are not going to tell the truth and say, "He just stopped dealing with us on a daily basis." If you don't put out my records, that's all I have as a person. I'm a record person, so if I give you a record and you don't put it out, then basically you're showing me that it's really no business. I never got a chance to put the records out. I had Johnta Austin, Ninth Ward and Dondria. I read the blogs and I'm thinking, How can they say that I'm not putting out records when anyone who knows my track record knows I'm about making music? My biggest problem is that I'm still the youngest president to have this kind of success. Music is my life. I'm a person who continues to carve out my own way. Instead of watching things happen, I make them happen. If L.A. [Reid] gets fired at Def Jam (he's 20 years older than me) where is he going to go? Many of the people at the label; if their bosses were to fire them today, they don't have anything else to do. Their lives are over. I'm not that dude. Life ain't over for me.
ESSENCE.COM: So do you think it has to do with this struggle between old school versus new school? DUPRI: I'm dealing with a lot of jealousy and have been since I first came in the business. When you're younger they don't want to listen to you because they know you are keener and people listen to the younger person in the office. In corporate America, this is something that I started feeling a lot. I'm keener as to what is going on in the streets, the Internet and all over the place. In a room full of people, I'll have more answers than anyone else because I'm out there and know what's going on, so people start paying more attention to what you're doing. And that's another thing: the music business thrives on young music, young ideas, newness and freshness. We have a bunch of old guys running all the record companies and they get in these meetings and argue with these young people like myself about what we know and try to make us believe that what we're doing won't work. I don't see them beating the streets to find any of the artists. Matter of fact, I never see these people out anywhere because they are still living off the old times. When you have a 10- to 20-year gap, that's a big difference, and that's a lot of what I'm dealing with. Bow Wow is 21 years old, which means he's 30 years younger than a lot of the chairmen of these labels.
ESSENCE.COM: Was it an amicable parting? DUPRI: I haven't spoken to L.A. [Reid] in three months. I don't know if it's amicable [considering] that they claim they put me out. I feel like it's not amicable. Don't lie, be real about the situation. It goes back to their having the attitude of let's try and do something that's going to hurt this person, because if it hurts us we have nowhere to go after this, but he does and has at least another 20 more years in this business. Again, if L.A. [Reid] gets fired, there will be at least another ten people who will also get fired and we'll never see them again. Def Jam is like one big clique.
ESSENCE.COM: Although it's been three months since you've spoken to L.A. Reid, would you be open to reconciliation? DUPRI: I don't know. I saw a side of him that I had never seen before and that to me was a jealous side. I don't know if I should be around people who are jealous of me. Mariah Carey sold more records in that entire Def Jam building and all of that was through my singles; so I'm looking like the golden boy. I only started thinking about it after I left.
ESSENCE.COM: Gossipmongers speculate that your departure was inevitable after Janet Jackson left because you left Virgin Urban Music after Janet left to go to Def Jam. Did Janet's departure from Island influence your decision in any way? DUPRI: No, not really. For a while I had to figure out the bad part about Janet's departure. She was on Island Def Jam and no one ever heard me speak on the situation. Here I'm still working in the building with the people that aren't treating my girlfriend right, but I never let my business and her business get mixed up. She might have been upset about me still being around, but it was never a situation where I was like, "This is bad; I have to move because of this." Janet was handled through L.A. He chased her because he wanted to get her on the label so bad, and when things didn't go right he had a scapegoat for her whole album [not doing well]--me. But what people don't know is that Janet's whole album was designed and made by him. He picked every song. I produced two songs on the entire album. I had a better track record with her at Virgin.
"Vision of Love" on USA Today's Top 10 Tracks
Posted by Lynn on Monday, 12-Jan-2009, 7:40PM EST
USA Today music critic Elysa Gardner highlights 10 of the most intriguing tracks, new or old, found during the week's listening.
"Lovesick Mistake," Eric McCarley "I Want to Belong to You," Katie Herzig "The Tale of Solomon Snell," Duncan Sheik "Route 12," Revolutionary Road score "Meteor," The Bird and the Bee "Carey," Ann Hampton Callaway
"Vision of Love," Mariah Carey: This lush debut vehicle -- on Mariah Carey: The Ballads, available next Tuesday -- still ranks with the diva's best.
"Genie in a Bottle," Christina Aguilera: A breakthrough for one of Carey's canniest imitators, and an enduring guilty pleasure. "All Night Long," Aretha Franklin "Respect," Otis Redding
My Christmas adventure began in New York where I had 24 hours before my annual trip to Aspen with MC (Mariah Carey). I used the time to cram in plenty of fun: brunch with Tracy Cloherty, former head of New York hip-hop radio station Hot 97; a visit The Ritz Carlton at Central Park to see my former boss/ surrogate older sister Kim Luck; and a visit to Estelle's stunning Brooklyn apartment, where she was cooking for some of her peeps!
The next morning I met MC's family and we headed to Aspen, where we arrived to be greeted by a lovely dinner. As we held hands and prayed for our festive blessings, I should've prayed for luggage, coz mine didn't arrive until the following day!
Next, after doing our Christmas shopping in quaint yet horrifically expensive Aspen town, we arranged a men vs women snowman building competition, with both teams trash-talking each other and making 'secret SAS snow plans'!
Later, we had our traditional two-horse sleigh ride through the snowy packed mountains, where MC and hubby Nick (who from hence forth are to be referred to as 'Mr and Mrs C') are still so loved up only months after being married. Their clothes complement each others' most days and they hold hands whenever they're together. Mr C clearly adores her and I've never seen her looking so at peace and smiling so much. I'm not surprised though. Nick really is a very entertaining, multi-faceted guy who always makes us laugh in fun moments, as well as engaging us in deep and educational debates. They really are a match made in heaven.
We had fun trying to out-sing each other with Christmas songs where Mr C brought a whole new flavour to the game this year by remixing many of the songs into dancehall beats, complete with DJ-style "rewind selector and come back again" chants. It was hilarious!
On Christmas Eve, we wrapped our gifts whilst sat by the fire and Mrs C's brother Shawn was heckling all sorts of things that were, shall we say, not exactly in the name of Jesus! Ironically, we later headed to church for midnight mass, which was led by Nick's best friend, 'Minister' Kase. He did a fine job of reminding us that God has his own plan for us all. He was the flyest sneakerwearing pastor I have ever witnessed!
Christmas day began with me wanting to kill someone who was banging on all our doors yelling "ho ho ho" early in the morning. When I emerged to see who was causing the commotion, there was Nick dressed as Santa, complete with beard and boots!
We all had breakfast then pulled our cards out of our personalised stockings and began opening presents. I must have been on Santa's good list, as I got great gifts including a Gucci top, O Neal purple ski goggles, an ipod Nano and diamond earrings. But my best gift was a beautiful photo album of Mr and Mrs C's wedding, with stunning photos of the day and a personalised message that I will treasure forever!
After opening gifts, we jumped into our bikinis and splashed into the outdoor hot tub. Mrs C and a couple of the fam rolled in the snow, but Mr C and I were ok in the sanctuary of the boiling water!
That night, we wore red to our traditional Christmas dinner where this year we had 'fried' turkey. Apparently, it's a San Diego thing (where Mr C is from). It tasted just as good as roast turkey and only took 45 minutes to cook!
The next few days for me were full of relaxation - and yoga. At one point whilst, going into my sixth sun salutation on my yoga mat, I felt so content and at peace.
Working out whilst hearing Mrs C cooking her annual clam linguine just yards away in the kitchen, and hearing laughter and conversation bubbling away was a great moment.
On December 29, we got up bright and early and took the private jet to St Martin en route by boat to St Barts for the second part of our magical annual adventure. As we touched down at Princess Juliana International I thought: how appropriate!
Will Mariah Be at Sundance?
Posted by Lynn on Sunday, 11-Jan-2009, 12:30AM EST
Sundance bigwigs, including Robert Redford and festival director Geoffrey Gilmore, have done what they can to discourage the celebrity- and paparazzi-laden sideshow that's become a real distraction from the Sundance Film Festival.
But despite their best efforts, the so-called star-gazing continues to remain as big a presence as the films themselves.
Films playing in the dramatic and documentary competitions aren't exactly small potatoes.
Spectrum films may bring Mariah Carey, Mary Tyler Moore and Robin Williams to the festival. (They are the stars of "Push," "Against the Current" and "World's Greatest Dad," respectively.)
It should be mentioned that not every one of these actors and filmmakers will be attendance. But the festival usually does draws big names - and sometimes hangers-on, such as Paris Hilton, who was in Utah last year for the parties.
Mariah's Big Payday for NYE Show in St. Barts
Posted by Lynn on Saturday, 10-Jan-2009, 6:01PM EST
Mariah Carey is available for parties -- provided you have the green.
One of the sons of Libyan strongman Moammar Khadafy paid Miss Mimi a small fortune to sing at his New Year's Eve party in St. Barths, according to sources.
Our spies initially said the host was Saif Khadafy. Turns out that Saif, who's been instrumental in the compensation of past terrorism victims and is often called "the new face of Libya," was not on St. Barths but rather in Asia.
According to several party guests, the Nikki Beach bash was hosted by Saif's younger brother, Moatessem-Billah Khadafy, a lieutenant colonel in his father's army.
Moatessem, who with his brother, Saadi, reportedly recruited Enrique Iglesias to perform at their 2006 New Year's bash on St. Barths, is said to have paid Carey as much as $1 million to sing three or four songs.
A Khadafy spokesman declined to say whether Moatessem hosted the elegant blowout. Carey's rep said she didn't know whether the "Glitter" star was paid, but noted that Carey gave big-time to charity this Christmas.
The Grammy winner certainly seemed to be having fun with hubby Nick Cannon. Continuing to contradict pregnancy rumors, Carey wore a tight dress that didn't give a hint of a bulge. She also downed one glass after another of Champagne, having gobbled a dozen raw oysters -- a prenatal no-no -- a few days earlier.
After counting down the seconds to midnight, Carey turned over the mike to Timbaland, who was also said to have received a cool mil. (His wife, Monique, declined to comment on his contract.)
Among those enjoying the show were Jay-Z, there with the lovely Beyonce. "I've never seen Jay and Beyonce having such a good time," says a spy. "They were hugging and waving their arms. It was out of control." (Beyonce, too, was drinking Champagne, tummy-watchers.)
MDJ Singing Contest The M Factor Winners
Posted by Lynn on Saturday, 10-Jan-2009, 12:00PM EST
The response to this year's The M Factor singing competition has been amazing! Our sincerest thanks to everyone: our loyal visitors, ardent judges and talented entrants for making this contest such a success. It is now time to reveal the winners of The M Factor.
Two weeks ago, the Top 3 Finalists, singing their selections from Mariah's 18 #1 songs, were presented on our site so our visitors could personally decide who the rightful winner would be. 5,037 votes were cast and Rocky Heron from USA was officially proclaimed The M Factor winner for 2008! The final results were as follows.
Grand Prize: Rocky Heron (USA) "Vision of Love" - 2,022 votes, 40.14%
Second Prize: Carlos Baez (Mexico) "Always Be My Baby" 1,626 votes, 32.28%
Third Prize: Kara Hess (USA) "My All" 1,389 votes, 27.58%
The Top 6 Finalists: Rocky, Carlos, Kara, Dzulfadzly, Petr and Petya have provided us with some personal information about themselves. You can check The M FactorProfiles page to get to know more about them!
Congratulations to the winners, and for everyone else, be sure to keep checking back to MariahDaily.com for future contests!
Photos: Mariah at Jasmine's Birthday Bash, Jan. 6
Posted by Lynn on Friday, 09-Jan-2009, 6:36PM EST
Below are photos of Mariah at her friend Jasmine Dotiwala's birthday party at the Japonais Restaurant in New York City on Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2009.
Source: Richard | Nancy
Mariah's Make-Up Mosaic
Posted by Lynn on Friday, 09-Jan-2009, 5:37PM EST
This portrait of Mariah Carey must have taken a lot of bottle. Literally.
Not content with a paintbrush and oils, American artist Jason Mecier has come up with a whole new way of portraying famous folk.
John's Mariah creation consists entirely of make-up products like lipstick, nail varnish bottles and eyeliner. Remarkably, the picture could be mistaken for a real-life snap of the star.
Note: This Mariah mosaic was originally featured in Suede's Winter 2004 issue, as reported here on Nov. 12, 2004.
Push's Screening Schedule at Sundance
Posted by Lynn on Friday, 09-Jan-2009, 3:26PM EST
The Lee Daniels-directed Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire, in which Mariah plays a small role as a social worker, is one of the entries for U.S. Narrative Feature Films at the 25th Sundance Film Festival that runs from January 15-25, in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.
Below is the screening schedule for Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire:
Friday, Jan. 16, 8:00pm at Racquet Club, Park City Saturday, Jan. 17, 12:00pm at Broadway Centre Cinemas VI, Salt Lake City Tuesday, Jan. 20, 3:15pm at Eccles Theatre, Park City Wednesday, Jan. 21, 11:30pm at Prospector Square Theatre, Park City Friday, Jan. 23, 2:15pm at Racquet Club, Park City
Posted by Lynn on Friday, 09-Jan-2009, 9:46AM EST
Below, find Mariah's chart positions in Billboard magazine issue dated January 17, 2009.
"Right To Dream" Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks: #25 (Re-entry)
"I Stay In Love" Billboard Hot Singles Sales: #26 (Last Week #27) Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs: #96 (Last Week #92) Billboard Hot Dance Club Play: #19 (Last Week #31)
E=MC² Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums: #57 (Last Week #48) Sales this week: 2,502 (-63%) Total sales: 1,223,814
The Adventures of Mimi Billboard Top Music Video: #17 (Last Week #36)
Source: Billboard | MariahDailyJournal | Ritcher
Sundance '09 Interview with Push Director Lee Daniels
Posted by Lynn on Thursday, 08-Jan-2009, 5:48PM EST
Please introduce yourself... I grew up in the inner city in Philadelphia. I was the oldest of five children, each about a year apart, and my mother, bless her heart, had her hands full. My father, a police officer, was brutally shot and killed trying to break up a robbery when I was 13. I can not even imagine where my life was headed, when through luck and maybe a little manipulation from my incredible mother, I began to attend a prestigious prep school in the suburbs of Philadelphia.
Education changed my life and I am forever grateful for that experience and to my many wonderful teachers. Obviously, education is an important theme in my film and one I personally relate to on every level. In high school, I lobbied hard for the part of Max Detweiler in the "Sound of Music" and convinced my drama teacher that a black student could do this role. That took a lot of fast talking! (And that was also something that left an lasting impression on me; namely that roles should be cast based on talent and not color.) I definitely caught the acting bug, but that lasted for about two seconds when I found my way to LA and found that my talents were better suited behind the cameras.
What were the circumstances that lead you to become a filmmaker? In LA, I was a talent manager for many years. I represented many African-American actors. After a while, I became disheartened over the shortage of roles for African Americans. I decided I was going to do something about it by producing my own films that included meaningful and compelling roles for black actors. So, I jumped into producing with my first film "Monster's Ball."
While I am not a musician, I love music. I have over 15,000 songs on my ipod. Everything from hard core rap to the soundtrack from the original Cinderella. I believe my love for music has made me partial to working with musicians in my films. I find musicians to be wonderfully talented and soulful. I think you will also find that my broad range of musical interests finds its way into many of my films.
How did you learn the "craft" of filmmaking? I did not go to film school. I learned by spending hundreds of hours on sets with the actors I was managing and watching and listening. One of my greatest joys in filmmaking is working with the actors and I use to run lines endlessly with them to perfect their performance prior to their auditions.
How or what prompted the idea for "Push" and how did it evolve? After reading "Push" many years ago, I always wanted to make this book into a movie. This is an incredible work by Sapphire and I love every syllable of the book.
Please elaborate a bit on your approach to making the film... I do not believe in over rehearsing. I encourage my actors to take liberties with the script.
What were some of the biggest challenges you faced in developing the project? Why would anyone care about a poor, 300-pound, uneducated black girl as dark as night? The answer to this question is what this film is ultimately about. Two of the first people who did care are my incredible producers, Sarah-Siegel Magness and Gary Magness who have contributed immeasurably to bringing this film to light.
What are some of your favorite films? "The Goddess" with Kim Stanley (a favorite actress), "Pickup on South Street" (way ahead of its time), "The Professional", "In the Mood for Love", "Bonnie and Clyde", and "Ladies Sings the Blue" are a few that come to mind. This year has been an incredible year for movies. I particularly liked "Defiance" and even made my kids watch it.
How do you define success as a filmmaker, and what are your personal goals as a filmmaker? To make movies that are honest and real and show the full range of human emotions and the human condition. To breakdown color barriers both in front of the screen and behind cameras so that hopefully one day people will not say someone was "unbelievable" in a film simply because of the color of the actor's skin.
What are your future projects? I am still searching for this answer. My family and friends want me to direct a big studio action movie; my boyfriend wants me to make a musical; my investors have expressed interest in a childrens's movie; but I do not know...I still feel drawn to dark movies with endless human carnage...so maybe a drug movie!
Lee Daniels' "Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire" is described by the Sundance catalog as the story of "Precious Jones (Gabourey Sidibe), a high-school girl with nothing working in her favor. She is pregnant with her father's child--for the second time. She can't read or write, and her schoolmates tease her for being fat. Her home life is a horror, ruled by a mother (Mo'Nique) who keeps her imprisoned both emotionally and physically. Precious's instincts tell her one thing: if she's ever going to break from the chains of ignorance, she will have to dig deeply into her own resources."
Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire Sundance Film Festival American Spectrum Director: Lee Daniels Screenwriter: Damien Paul Executive Producers: Lisa Cortes, Tom Heller Producers: Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness, Gary Magness Coproducer: Mark G. Mathis Associate Producer: Asger Hussain Cinematographer: Andrew Dunn Editor: Joe Klotz Cast: Gabourey Sidibe, Paula Patton, Mo'Nique, Mariah Carey, Sherri Shepherd, Lenny Kravitz
Dupri Out As Head of Island Records Urban?
Posted by Lynn on Thursday, 08-Jan-2009, 12:45PM EST
AllHipHop.com has received an exclusive report that Atlanta-based producer Jermaine Dupri's tenure as President of Island Records Urban Music has come to an end. A formal announcement of his departure from the position, which he has held for nearly two years, may come as early as Thursday (Jan 8).
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a source close to the situation confirmed to AllHipHop.com that Dupri has in fact been terminated effective immediately.
The Island Records Urban Division was created within the Island Def Jam Music Group a short time prior to Dupri's hiring in February 2007. In the position, he oversaw the label's entire urban music operations, reporting directly to label Chairman Antonio "L.A." Reid and Steve Bartells, President of Island Music and COO of the Island Def Jam Music Group.
Having enjoyed tremendous success with Island Records songbird Mariah Carey on The Emancipation of Mimi, Dupri's duties also included providing production for the Music Group's entire roster.
"My Love" Featuring Mariah to Impact Radio on Jan. 27
Posted by Lynn on Thursday, 08-Jan-2009, 2:41AM EST
The-Dream's new single "My Love" featuring Mariah Carey, from his sophomore album Love Vs. Money, is scheduled to go for adds at Top 40/Mainstream radio on Tuesday, January 27, 2009, according to the newly-updated New Releases list from All Access.
Love Vs. Money is due out in stores on Tuesday, February 17, 2009.
Video: Mariah Leaving Japonais Restaurant, NYC
Posted by Lynn on Thursday, 08-Jan-2009, 12:05AM EST
Mariah & Nick Leaving Japonais Restaurant, Jan. 6, 2009 Download video from: [ TMZ TV | TMZ Online]
Lee Daniels Ready For Big 'Push' At Sundance
Posted by Lynn on Wednesday, 07-Jan-2009, 7:30PM EST
Filmmaker Lee Daniels gears up to take his latest movie, 'Push,' to the Sundance Film Festival next week. The eagerly anticipated film, based on the best-selling book of the same name, boasts an all-star cast including Mo'Nique, Paula Patton, Lenny Kravitz, Mariah Carey, Kimberly Russell, and Sherri Shepherd of 'The View.' Newcomer Gabourey Sidibe is playing the starring role.
Daniels, who produced the critically acclaimed film 'Monster's Ball' has established a reputation of pushing the envelope with creative casting choices. In 'Shadowboxer,' Academy Award winners Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Helen Mirren played assassins with hearts of gold. For 'The Woodsman,' Kevin Bacon battled his pedophilia past, as rappers Mos Def and Eve portrayed unrelenting police officers. And in 'Tennessee,' pop diva Carey plays a country & western singing waitress on the run.
For 'Push,' the super-sized comedienne Mo'Nique will be seen as she has never been seen before. The former star of 'The Parkers' plays an abusive, pig-feet and collard greens eating, lazy, nappy-headed, pot smoking, brush throwing, welfare queen who is the epitome of poor parenting and dastardly deeds; a sad and shameless stereotype in living color.
Though she already has garnered a strong buzz, 'Push' actually tells the story of a confused, overweight African-American girl named Clareece Precious Jones. Verbally and sexually abused by her family, her troubles lead to problems in school. Precious, as she is known, has no friends, no money, two kids (from her father), and she's illiterate. After being accepted into an alternative school where a teacher (played by Patton) helps her find an alternative path in her life. Along her journey, she comes across a concerned social worker (played by Carey) and a nurse (played by Kravitz) who shows her much kindness.
'Push' is set to make its world premiere at "The 2009 Sundance Film Festival," which takes place in Park City, Utah from Jan.15 through - Jan. 25.
In Related News... Film.com lists Push as one of the "Six Movies to Look For" at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival:
Big Fan Brief Interviews with Hideous Men Adventureland Brooklyn's Finest Manure Push
Push: Based on the novel by Sapphire. Yep, that's the title. The novel in question was a highly acclaimed work of fiction about a poor black teenager who's pregnant by her own father (for the second time!) and coping with a hellish life at home and at school. Can the movie possibly capture the raw, fierce energy of the book's protagonist? Can it tell a harrowing story without being exploitative? One of the best things about film festivals is that you get to discover these gems -- or, as the case may be, these train wrecks -- before anyone else.
Mariah Receives an NAACP Image Nomination
Posted by Lynn on Wednesday, 07-Jan-2009, 5:42PM EST
This morning at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, nominees for the 40th NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) Image Awards were announced. Congratulations to Mariah for being nominated in the Recording category: Outstanding Female Artist.
Photos: Mariah Carey 2009 Calendar
Posted by Lynn on Wednesday, 07-Jan-2009, 9:40AM EST
Below are photos of the official Mariah Carey 2009 Calendar. This 12-month wall calendar, featuring new photos of Mariah, can be purchased for $19.99 only at the official store.
Posted by Lynn on Tuesday, 06-Jan-2009, 7:46PM EST
BRAZIL Brazilian fans are invited to celebrate the release of The Ballads on Saturday, January 10 at Rio de Janeiro's Le Boy club. The party is being organized by Fan Party in cooperation with labels SomLivre and Sony BMG. See flyer (front & back) below for more information.
MALAYSIA Malaysian fans, here's your chance to win a limited edition 8GB iPod Nano along with Mariah's latest album, The Ballads. Sony BMG and the New Straits Times are having a contest in conjunction with the release of The Ballads in Malaysia. All you need to do is answer a question and complete a sentence. Click here for further details on how to enter. Contest ends January 31.
TURKEY The January 2009 issue of Billboard Turkey comes with a Mariah poster. The picture is one that can be seen in The Ballads booklet. Grab a copy today!
In today's edition of the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet, music critic Kutlu Ozmakinaci wrote his review of The Ballads and gave it a rating of 4 out of 5 stars. View a scan here, translation is below.
"The Ballads," as the title suggests is a compilation album consisting of Mariah's biggest ballads of the Sony era and the EMI one from which she departed after one album. For most people, especially those in Turkey, Mariah means "Hero," "Without You" and "My All" so a compilation like this was actually necessary. And it is not really an easy job to come up with a brief summary from an artist with such a rich catalog. From that aspect, I have to say that the songs that made the album are generally fine but one might wonder where the masterpieces like "Love Takes Time," "Underneath The Stars," "When You Believe," "Can't Take That Away," "Never Too Far" and the non-singles "Melt Away," "Alone In Love," "Till The End of Time" and "Music Box" are.
The Sony Music Turkey-sponsored The Ballads contest at Mariah Turkiye has concluded. Congratulations to the 20 winners who will be receiving their CDs this week!
The Mariah DVD Collection, featuring Fantasy: Mariah Carey at Madison Square Garden and #1's, is now available. In-store price is 29 TL, and online for 23.20 TL at D&R.
Rolling Stone Turkey has "The 100 Greatest Singers" in its January 2009 issue. Mariah, as we already know, is at #79. View a scan here.
27. Mariah Carey, E=MC² Mimi went to R. Kelly School! Here she is, videotaping sex on "Touch My Body"; hankering for a key in her ignition on "I'm That Chick"; cribbing a Da Nang hooker's catchphrase on "I'll Be Lovin' U Long Time"--goodbye butterfly, hello freak. And that's only part of her grooming: She's shorn her lines of melismatic paroxysms, favoring clipped, bouncy phrasing and staccato, minimal beats. It's her sleekest, sultriest record yet.
Download "Migrate," "Touch My Body," "I'll Be Lovin' U Long Time"
Source: Blender | Scans: MariahDailyJournal
Mariah Re-Sings, Shoots Video for "Hero"
Posted by Lynn on Monday, 05-Jan-2009, 2:45PM EST
In anticipation of the upcoming release of The Ballads, Mariah has shot a brand new video for "Hero," just one of the many #1 hits featured on The Ballads. The video, available exclusively at Amazon, features Mariah in the studio and some great shots of New York City.
The Ballads will be released in the U.S. on January 20th and is currently available for pre-order at Amazon.com.
The M Factor Update
Posted by Lynn on Monday, 05-Jan-2009, 1:18PM EST
Due to an unavoidable and much-needed server maintenance in the last couple of days, we are postponing the announcement of the The M Factor winners to Saturday, January 10. The poll is still open and will close promptly on Friday, January 9 at 12:00pm ET. Please evaluate the Top 3 performances here and cast your votes for your favorite contestants in our poll located on the right sidebar. Thank you for your patience.
Posted by Lynn on Monday, 05-Jan-2009, 12:40PM EST
Below are scans from the January 12th issues of Jet, OK!, Us, In Touch, People, Star, and Life & Style magazines.
Videos: Mariah in St. Barts, Dec. 30-31
Posted by Lynn on Sunday, 04-Jan-2009, 12:31AM EST
Dec. 30 - having lunch with husband Nick Cannon, and Dec. 31 - at Nikki Beach with Nick, Beyonce, Jay-Z, L.A. Reid.
Posted by Lynn on Saturday, 03-Jan-2009, 12:16PM EST
Below, find Mariah's chart positions in Billboard magazine issue dated January 10, 2009.
"I Stay In Love" Billboard Hot Singles Sales: #27 (Last Week #4) Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs: #92 (Last Week #87) Billboard Hot Dance Club Play: #31 (Last Week #31)
E=MC² Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums: #48 (Last Week #47)
The Adventures of Mimi Billboard Top Music Video: #36
"All I Want For Christmas Is You" Billboard Hot 100 Recurrent Airplay: #2 (Last Week #1) Billboard Hot Singles Recurrents: #8 (Last Week #1) Billboard Hot Holiday Songs: #2 (Last Week #6) Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Recurrents: #2 (Last Week #6) Billboard Hot Digital Songs: #84 (Last Week #19)
Downloads this week: 47,519 (-10%) Total Downloads: 1,215,663
Billboard Austria Top Singles: #10 (Last Week #4) Billboard European Hot 100 Singles: #23 (Last Week #24) Billboard Greece Top Singles: #6 (Last Week #6) Billboard Netherlands Top Singles: #9 (Last Week #5) Billboard Norway Top Singles: #6 (Last Week #5) Billboard Portugal Top Singles: #9 (Last Week #1)
Merry Christmas Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Catalog Albums: #5 (Last Week #2) Billboard Top Holiday Albums: #39 (Last Week #31)
Source: MariahDailyJournal | bks
Photos: Mariah in St. Barts, Jan. 1
Posted by Lynn on Saturday, 03-Jan-2009, 12:12PM EST
Photos: Mariah Rings In the New Year in St. Barts
Posted by Lynn on Friday, 02-Jan-2009, 2:30AM EST
Below are photos of Mariah ringing in the New Year at Nikki Beach restaurant in St. Barts with husband Nick Cannon, Beyonce & Jay-Z, Def Jam chief L.A. Reid & wife Erica, and Marc Jacobs.
The Ballads Taiwanese Edition
Posted by Lynn on Friday, 02-Jan-2009, 1:04AM EST
The Taiwanese edition of The Ballads, released on December 30, comes with an exclusive writing notebook with purchase while supplies last. The CD is priced at NT$368 (US$11.20) and available to buy online at G Shopping, Books or Five Music.
The U.S. edition of The Ballads is due out on Tuesday, January 20, 2009. Pre-orders are accepted at Amazon.com.
More Photos: Mariah Skiing in Aspen, Dec. 27
Posted by Lynn on Friday, 02-Jan-2009, 1:00AM EST
Mariah is Top-Selling Female Artist of SoundScan Era
Posted by Lynn on Thursday, 01-Jan-2009, 2:15AM EST
The Nielsen Company has announced its 2008 U.S. year-end sales and performance monitoring data for the 52-week period December 31, 2007 through December 28, 2008.
Nielsen SoundScan (the entertainment industry's data information system that tracks point-of-purchase sales of recorded music product): Mariah remains the top-selling female artist of the SoundScan era.
TOP TEN SELLING ARTISTS OF SOUNDSCAN ERA (1991-12/28/2008)
Artist - Units Sold 1. Garth Brooks - 68,143,000 2. Beatles - 57,088,000 3. Mariah Carey - 51,569,000 4. Metallica - 51,136,000 5. Celine Dion - 50,571,000 6. George Strait - 40,619,000 7. Tim McGraw - 37,591,000 8. Alan Jackson - 36,520,000 9. Pink Floyd - 35,213,000 10. Shania Twain - 33,707,000
And according to Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems (Nielsen BDS), the music industry's leading music performance monitoring service, Mariah's "Touch My Body" was #1 in Music Video Internet Streams with 7,399,000 streams; and #8 in Internet Streamed Songs with 8,675,000 streams.
In Other Year-End News... Tonight's premiere of "Notarized Music Video Countdown" on BET counted down the Top 100 Videos of 2008. Three of Mariah's music videos made it on the list.
70. "Bye Bye" 54. "I'll Be Lovin' U Long Time" (feat. T.I.) 38. "Touch My Body"
Mariah and hubby Nick Cannon were also mentioned as one of 2008's cutest couples along with Nelly & Ashanti, and Chris Brown & Rihanna.
In this week's Chart Beat Chat with Fred Bronson at Billboard.com, Mariah was mentioned in the Hot 100 updates for 2008: "No. 1: 'We Belong Together': Mariah Carey (14 Weeks) - untouched since 2005!"
Paul Grein's Chart Watch at Yahoo! Music lists the top albums of 2008. Mariah is at #18.
18. Mariah Carey, E=MC², 1,221,000. This sold reasonably well, but it didn't match the sales punch of Carey's previous studio release, The Emancipation Of Mimi. That comeback smash was the #1 album of 2005 with sales that year of 4,969,000.