Mariah Carey is no stranger to controversy. From her early marriage to record industry mogul Tommy Mottola to her now-infamous public meltdown on MTV’s TRL, the top-selling diva has always reserved her place in the headlines. Now, she’s clogging newsfeeds around the world thanks to her viral New Year’s Eve performance.
Carey was the headline performer for ABC’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest. Just minutes before midnight, she took the stage performing the holiday classic “Auld Lang Syne”. Then, the problems began.
She started to perform her number one hit “Emotions”, but spent most of the song making comments about the sound. She skipped out on singing and her rehearsed choreography. The song’s backing track, complete with Carey’s full vocals, could be heard throughout the “performance”.
The disaster continued during “We Belong Together”. Carey eventually left the stage flustered. During the problematic show, she was heard uttering phrases such as “I’m trying to be a good sport here” and “We didn’t have a sound check for this New Year’s, baby”.
Her NYE showcase was quickly deemed a meltdown and went viral. Twitter users claimed Carey’s career was the official last victim of 2016. The next day, the first official scandal of 2017 erupted.
Mariah Carey Points Finger at Dick Clark Productions
A very public blame game has ensued since Carey’s performance became a viral sensation. First, her team accused Dick Clark Productions of attempting to sabotage her performance for a shot at viral success. DCP fired back, saying that allegation was unfounded and offensive.
Next, her team gave a very detailed interview to Entertainment Weekly about what happened. According to them, they’d outsourced sound technicians for this particular event instead of using their own team. Carey’s in-ear monitors didn’t work during the sound check earlier that afternoon nor did they work before she took the stage. Her team tried to have the performance cut from the West Coast feed but DCP refused.
On Jan. 4, Carey opened up to EW saying DCP was definitely at fault. She told the magazine, “I’m of the opinion that Dick Clark would not have let an artist go through that and he would have been as mortified as I was in real time.”
However, it was announced that same day that she’d fired her creative director, Anthony Burrell. It seems someone on the inside was responsible as well.
This Has Happened Before
In 2014, Mariah Carey struggled through a live rendition of her Christmas standard “All I Want for Christmas Is You”. The vocals from that performance were isolated and shared online. She could be heard hitting the wrong notes and losing her voice at points. The clip of her vocal feed has more than 2 million YouTube views.
It seems like this New Year’s Eve fiasco is starting to die down. However, it’s likely not the last time Carey has a live television meltdown.