Like a Virgin: Mariah's New Deal
by Mark Armstrong (E!)
Apr 3, 2001, 9:30 AM PT
Mariah Carey isn't quite touched for the very first time (no Tommy Mottola jokes, please), but the Grammy-winning diva is definitely feeling like a Virgin.
The pop superstar and freakishly high-pitched songstress has left Columbia Records and signed a multi-album, multi-million dollar deal with Virgin Records, the label announced Tuesday.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but various published reports contend the payday is significant: The New York Daily News claims Carey's deal is 'the biggest recording contract of all time,' more expensive than even the $20 million-per-album forked over to artists like Janet Jackson and R.E.M. Music site CDNow, meanwhile, claims the final figure is closer to $17 million.
Either way, it's not too shabby for the New York-born songbird, who just turned 30 last week. With the deal, Carey joins Virgin's stable of music heavyweights that includes the Rolling Stones, Lenny Kravitz and another diva-esque pop queen making loads of cash, Janet Jackson.
Said Carey in a statement: 'I am elated about my new partnership with Virgin Records and I look forward to being a part of their uniquely creative musical environment. Hallelujah!'
Reports had been swirling for some time that Carey planned to leave Sony's Columbia Records--her home since 1990 and the label that helped turn her into a multiplatinum megastar. Carey's self-titled debut for the label spawned four number-one singles and two Grammys, including one for Best New Artist. She was also the biggest female artist of the '90s, selling more than 140 million albums worldwide and putting out a near-unending string of hits including 'Heartbreaker,' 'Fantasy' and 'Always Be My Baby.'
Columbia also is where Carey found her first husband. Sony Music chief Tommy Mottola, the then-head of Columbia who signed the high-powered singer after hearing her demo tape at a party, married Carey (20 years his junior) in 1993.
But their professional relationship lasted longer than their wedded bliss. Carey and Mottola divorced in 1998, and many speculated the split would end Carey's relationship with the label.
Columbia's parent, Sony Music, released a goodbye statement Monday. 'Mariah Carey is one of the most talented artists in the world. We have shared many commercial and creative successes, and we wish her only the best as her career continues to grow and evolve,' the company said.
Sources told the New York Daily News that Carey went label shopping with a $25 million-per-album asking price. No word on whether she got her wish.
Meanwhile, Carey's first album for Virgin will likely be the soundtrack for her upcoming film, All That Glitters, a story developed by Carey about a young singer from the projects who gets her big break when a DJ hears her demo, eventually sparking a romantic relationship. (Sound familiar?) Carey insists, however, that All That Glitters is not an autobiography.
The film, released by 20th Century Fox, is due to hit theaters Labor Day weekend. Her first single is due out in June and the album will make its way to stores in August.
I really hope it all goes well for her after this and she just keeps going up!
She is extremely talented, well that is what I think!
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