It would be pathetic if it weren’t so terribly sad. A mentally unstable Mariah Carey went on Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest show to perform her chart topping hit songs over the course of the last 26 years on New Years Eve, and somehow decided that her attitude should come first before her fans. The incident is certainly not the first for the Long Island icon.
Carey doesn’t see anything wrong with putting her diva-ish priority over professionalism because her personality doesn’t allow it. She doesn’t think about the people who value her craft and decades of contributions. She doesn’t connect with her core fan base like other artists, such as Taylor Swift and Beyonce. Until recently, she didn’t do anything but pop up on a random program to promote her latest project, in this case during 2016, her ‘reality series’ (that feels more like a ME-ME-fest, pun intended) “Mariah’s World” airing on the E! network.
The healthy ego, at its peak, ranks as one of the largest egos in the world, even higher than commander-in-chief’s of the world.
After 26 years as a star in the ever-changing music industry, Carey has recently wrapped up assignments such as Las Vegas residencies and reality series to maintain her presence with casual fans. As is often the case with artists at the crossroads of their careers, Carey is still chasing the ghost. She thinks she competes with the Taylor Swift’s and Camila Cabello’s of the world, even though no millennial driven platform feels that Mariah appeals to the interests of a 21 year old fan looking for an artist they not only can relate to, but who also looks like them.
Of course, Carey’s reps have released a statement blaming not only Seacrest, but the entire production team, stating it was the show’s fault she couldn’t perform with dignity and pride. The performances of other artists, however, weren’t in any question and proceeded without any major visual issues. When all else fails, blame the production staff and use the “S” word (sabotage).
So this is Carey’s transition from music superstar to bumbling diva. Suffice it to say, it doesn’t seem to be going very well.
Leaving the golden age years as a pop artist (17-38 years old), as we’ve become all too aware of recently, can be brutally tough, especially for the highest-profile artists with the longest, most accomplished careers. In their minds, it is never time to hang up the chase to appeal to young audiences. A star of Carey’s stature with even moderate hit-making ability (not likely, as what is considered her moderate hits are still chart toppers) is still better than just about everyone else in the business at 100% (i.e. a modest Mariah Carey hit song is likely still better for business than a successful Ariana Grande hit song).
That is how their minds work. They wouldn’t have become great artists otherwise.
In most cases, the artist is always the last to know. And when it begins to fade, a harsh reality sets in. No more telling fans what to do at will. No more adulation. No more awards show performances that focuses on younger viewers. No more dictating the media and core audience.
Going from being an artist that had more power than some Prime Ministers to being an older and ‘retro’ act means becoming something you’ve never been: just another artist positioning in the pecking order for media time. Some handle it better than others. Even after a year of personal turmoil, Carey doesn’t seem willing to concede that her transition to a contemporary artist has already begun.
She is chasing, and it is sad. It is sad that Carey feels that ‘Mariah’s World’ is a great way to re-live her MTV 1990’s glory. It is sad that Carey was married to one of the most powerful music executives in the modern era, which defined her status, power, and ego.
And it is incredibly sad that, after hitting the other side of the golden age years, Carey has refused to accept that she is no longer competing with Taylor Swift and Camila Cabello herself.
The transition is hard enough.
And even if you do accept it, it is very, very difficult to accept blame for what your ego started. In this case, the New Years Eve performance is a perfect example, and as long as her fingers have the ability to point, they will, to someone else for her troubles.