The end of Mariah Carey. On how America’s last music legend tarnished her own legacy (Ariana Grande) and On the importance of the male figure -Tommy Mottola

Mariah Carey/Credit: Unknown

I am, what you could call, a second generation Carey fan. I was preceded by the many men and women who began to follow her since 1990. I was born in 1991 and was way too young to remember her in the early 90s but old enough to follow her in the late 90s to early 2000s. Actually in June 2021, I will be celebrating my 20th year of Mariah Carey fandom. I have lived it all, before the existence of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat. The Glitter era, the lukewarm Charmbracelet times and the glorious come back with the Emancipation of Mimi. I was always a great supporter of Carey for she had always, through her music, helped me going through hard times. I identified with her as I felt a connection through her own demise as well, until I decided to stop blaming others for my issues, moved forward, fixed my life by battling my inner issues and be stable, one thing Carey has failed to do despite her message of encouragement as I will explain later on. Despite all the classic albums she made and the emotions she shared for thirty years, I would have never thought in my life that I would witness her downfall right before my eyes. By October 2020, the younger generation of fans who have only discovered her between 2012 to 2018, were excited to see she would be performing with Jennifer Hudson and Ariana Grande.

Deep down in my mind, I prayed that the A.G. letters would rather refer to someone else or that Grande would be invited in her Christmas Show while singing her own song. To my biggest sadness, Grande would be harmonizing and whistling along with Carey. As I refused to listen to the song, I asked myself how could Mariah stoop so low, lower her standards and tarnish her legacy for Grande and Hudson? In this matter, Ariana Grande is not even a problem. She, like Hudson, is not an artist but an industry gimmick, a product made to become the poor man’s Mariah Carey, just like Clive Davis has been pushing Hudson to become the new Whitney Houston as early as 2009, the year Michael Jackson passed away. There again, in this trio, I saw an indication. I know how the industry plays the game and since the deaths of Jackson or Kobe Bryant recently, I have refused to listen to new musical acts or pay attention to the mainstream culture as this industry has become, over the past 12 years, extremely dark and occult. Beyoncé was one luminous spirit who changed for the worst. The deaths of many beloved black celebrities was not a coincidence but surely the foul play of this industry. Encouraging Mariah to collaborate with a poor manufactured version of hers and Whitney’s -especially when Carey was always protective of who she collaborated with- could also be interpreted as a sign. Maybe in the new future, Carey would also be replaced by Grande forever. Hudson and Ariana becoming the new divas of this generation.

Carey’s Memoirs “The Meaning of Mariah Carey” were a disaster. I am no 14 year old fan and not a yes-girl. The book was not well directed by Michaela Angela Davis who failed to encourage Mariah to dig deeper into the origins behind her siblings’ behavior. The problem with this book relies in the lack of reflexion from Carey who mostly blames everybody for her problems. This particular trait is very common in any hurt human being who refuses to grow up, mature and move on. Over the years, Carey hasn’t stopped pulling out the card of the “poor biracial” girl, which is a real trauma to her. If she wrote a lot of songs about mental elevation, perseverance and strength, she never seemed to have applied such scheme when it comes to her behavior. Most Mariah fans, are messed up or have issues, either sexual, racial, mental or other. I was a part of them. Problem is, having issues is one thing, surpassing them is another one and Mariah does not want to surpass them but to nurture her own problems and dwell in it forever. She believes pain equals authenticity. Yet, as I grew up I rejected this idea. My life has changed and I do not want depression anymore but success, joy and I crave stability. The fans connect through her music because of this along with the present theme of dreaming. As I grew older, I have faced events in my life which prevented me from dreaming and forced me to wake up, face my problems and move on. Carey, on the contrary, still wants to be carried, when she has all the keys in her hands to eradicate the consequences of her mental issues. In reality, Mariah’s career was done a long time ago but her antics proved us wrong. After the collaboration with Grande, one question remains: what does Mariah love the most? Does she want to make great music or does she want to remain under the spotlights?

How did Carey manage to tarnish her own legacy?

And that’s where Tommy Mottola becomes an important figure. Throughout the book, Mariah makes it clear. She hates male authority. Her father, with whom she did not grow up, was described as a strict Black man while her mother was more of a free spirit and bohemian. When speaking about Mottola, the latter is directly introduced to the reader as being extremely evil and hostile. There’s not one single passage in the book which paints the mogul under a good light. I found this issue to be extremely strange especially when the guy helped her get more than 10 number ones by the end of the 1990s.

Actually, though Mottola was proven to be a racist and an abuser by Michael Jackson among many others, the reason for Carey’s anger towards Tommy comes from elsewhere. She was abused and I would never deny this. But she could have left him years ago and not wait for 6 years. She didn’t for she had her best interests. The real reason behind her hatred for him lies behind his male authority and the excellent results which came from it. Mariah is fully aware that there will forever be a before and after Tommy Mottola. He was the strength behind her marketing, and he knew how to channel her emotions, drive. He took the best from her and knew how to perfect it and market it like no one else. There is always a male figure behind the excellence of a woman. Other women in the industry, though I do not compare their talents, owe their careers to their fathers or male-figures. Beyoncé was made by her father or even Céline Dion who would not have that discipline without René Angelil. An excellent singer always needs the rationality of a man to channel her and perfect her for men will forever be more rational. They know about the essence, game and tactics of power and their thoughts surpass the uber-emotivity which characterise us, women. It is more than probable that Tommy Mottola saw, in early Mariah, how she would be all over the place and mostly attracted to Hollywood and the spotlights than to the dedication of her music. Another male figure crafted her and was able to reinforce her excellence. Though Carey never acknowledge him, Walter Afanassief was her main co-composer from 1992 to 1997. Even if no one really explains why they parted ways, Carey seems to have never forgiven him for unknown reasons. Afanassief and Carey created a chemistry and a depth she has never managed to reproduce on her own. Mariah, whether she likes it or not, has always failed at being independent and needs intelligent men to maintain her excellence. Mentally unstable and bipolar, she deserves to be clearly guided.

After she divorced from Mottola, and on her own, she enjoyed her “freedom” by taking off her clothes, dressing sexily, being provocative and drinking heavily, partying with Hollywood celebs for years instead of focusing on her craft. Tommy forced her to do something right which is focusing on her job and make good music, yet, she was attracted to the glitters and Hollywood festivities, not to the dedication of music. For this reason, Carey’s last good album dates back to 2005– the last year of R’N’B- with The Emancipation of Mimi. Though musically and lyrically wonderful, her public image was plagued by her excessive and unnecessary diva antics and desire to be spotted by the paparazzi. While on her own, she surrounded herself with yes-people and never had the discipline of Céline Dion who somehow goes to extreme measures to protect her voice before her shows, does not drink alcohol and follows a hard regime. Though Dion does not write or compose she has managed to protect her legacy unlike Carey.

After she let go of Tommy, Carey was then free to do what she wanted and she proved that his authority, though abusive in some ways, was not always bad. She made him an enemy for he refused to give into her delusional desires for the Hollywood lifestyle. By 2006, upon the success of TEOM, she became lazy, rested on her laurels, was more interested in getting drunk and going to parties -drunk- dressed with garter belts and high heels. The following albums, Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, Me I Am The Elusive whatever, the singles such as Triumphant and such were a disaster and so was her voice. Even if the fans refuse to say so, Carey has never been able to perform decently since at least 2006. If the performance is not lipped, her voice cracks and has become extremely thin for she neglects it and keeps drinking. Tommy eventually controlled her to prevent her from being on her own and become a disaster. He knew. And she has proven over the past 14 years what independence meant for her: disaster. Indeed, all the acts Carey has put out over the last years evolve around the maintenance of her Hollywood image. She tarnished her image more than once, especially with the reality TV show she did in 2016. She was living her principal dream, becoming mundane, a new Marilyn Monroe.

Mariah Carey is now 50 and has destroyed her legacy for lack of discipline and work. Worst, after five decades, she still refuses to step away from Hollywood to do the necessary therapy to cure her past issues she would rather try to face with alcohol. Her new army of yes-fans does not help neither. They would always encourage the craziness of her acts, as they themselves want to live through their dreams and being passive in their own lives. Carey wanted to gain independence yet, she proved on her own, that she would never be able to stand alone. The classics she released from 1990 to 2005 are now destroyed by a collaboration with a poor version of hers. As she is scared to be forgotten, she would do anything to be remembered. Going back to the backstage means facing the real mental issues she is trying to avoid. Darkness and loneliness would mean that she will never be above her sister Allison at all. She too, though not a prostitute and a crack addict, has a drug issues which is alcohol. In reality, both Mariah and Allison are pretty much the same. Actually, as long as Mariah refuses to face her issues Allison will always follow her like a shadow. She is not better at all. Choosing the side of good music would mean isolation and self reflection. She doesn’t want that. Tommy kept her in isolation too and allowed her to create the best music of her catalogue.

By collaborating with her two mini-hers, Carey chose the camp of Hollywood and not music. She has damaged her own heritage andwill never be able to reverse it.

A 50 year old woman who loves to blame others and never succeeded in fixing her own life will never be satisfied and always want more. No matter what.

VKY, All Rights Reserved

One of her best renditions of this Jackson 5 classic

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s