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Miss Moon
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Postby Miss Moon » Mon Jul 09, 2001 2:41 pm



Virgin Records recently took to the Big Apple (6/27) to introduce what could be categorized as one of the music industry's biggest free agent acquisitions. Mariah Carey is now a Virgin Records recording artist, signing a multi-year, multi-album deal with the label that is also the home to superstar Janet Jackson. Many industry heavyweights gathered high atop the Hudson Hotel in NYC to hear what might be the one of the most anticipated new music releases of the year, other than Michael Jackson.
Virgin Sr. VP/Promotion Michael Plen introduced Mariah, who appeared a little after nine o'clock and was greeted with a warm welcome from a who's who from the world of radio and record promotion. Mariah immediately teased those in attendance with a few accapella bars of 'Hero' and then proceeded to give her sincere thanks to radio for not only their support in the past but for sticking by her and supporting her current single, 'Loverboy,' from her forthcoming new album and movie Glitter. It's Mariah's first starring role in a motion picture that is scheduled to open Labor Day weekend. MC made it a point and let it be known once and for all that she has not forgotten about Pop radio, as many have whispered. Mariah commented, 'Pop radio has helped to make me who I am today, and I am truly grateful.'
Mariah then worked the room like a new artist, but with ten years of experience and 150 million records sold under her belt, using a wireless mic to introduce a couple of tracks from the new album. The first was a remake of the Robert Palmer hit, 'I Didn't Mean To Turn You On'. Mariah noted that many might not know that back in the eighties it was R&B singer Cherrelle who originally recorded the song that was produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. She also said she had acquired the original music track after speaking with Jam and Lewis who also have produced most of this album.
Then came a song that many had been asking for, a Mariah ballad, 'Never Too Far' that was very reminiscent of her 'Vision Of Love' days, which she also teased the crowd with by also singing few accapella bars. Then it was another remake of a Dance classic, 'Last Night A DJ Saved My Life', this time featuring Busta Rhymes and produced by Fabolous. Mariah's vocals remained true to the original while Busta added that extra edge that made it a perfect fit for today's music.
Then Mariah played 'Let Love Lead The Way', another ballad that was really what most have come to expect and what many have missed from this superstar talent. Mariah then encouraged the DJ (Rich P) to not only play the rest of the album, but other artists too. 'It's a Party' she said, and Mariah ended by saying how much she appreciated people coming, noting that 'you all have lives and families and I really do appreciate you coming to listen - thank you so much!' Then Mariah took the time to meet and greet every last person and then some, taking photos and making small talk. It's something that seems to be often missing from the music business, and most superstar artist of late.
Having said that, there have been notable exceptions, that being Janet Jackson and Jennifer Lopez. It's amazing what a little time and effort on the artist's part can do for the long term. It in no way ensures that an artist will have hit single, but it does seem to provide a better opportunity for that artist to have a chance at succeeding by cultivating a relationship with radio. Radio knows it can be frustrating for the record company, but it's just as frustrating for radio programmers who show true support and then catch the burden of another station's failed commitment. But isn't it amazing how accessible an artist is when they need radio? It's an argument that rages on, and the relationship must improve between all three: radio, records and the artists. We need superstar artists to keep the format healthy. Everybody knows that, but few ever speak about it publicly. It is great see an artist such as Mariah Carey taking the time to reconnect with radio. Nearly everyone I've spoken with has asked the same three questions 'How did she look?' 'Was she nice?' and 'How was the music?' Let me just say this and I'll start by stating that I am a fan of Mariah and her music and I have been since day one. So - Mariah looked great and she was more than gracious with everyone. It wasn't until a little after 1:00am that Mariah finally called it a night, having taken the last photo and signing the last autograph. It was another truly special evening with one of music's premier super divas who's more than ready to prove that she still has what it takes. So what about the music? The hits are there, but only time will tell. When you really think about it, Mariah's track record, which speaks for itself, has earned her the benefit of the doubt at radio. Once the records hit radio, the audience will ultimately decide if indeed Mariah still... glitters!


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