Discouraged by poor sales for the first release in Mariah Carey's reported four-album, $80-million deal with EMI's Virgin Records, the label is in discussions to buy the pop diva out of the rest of he

Discouraged by poor sales for the first release in Mariah Carey's reported four-album, $80-million deal with EMI's Virgin Records, the label is in discussions to buy the pop diva out of the rest of her contract, according to the Los Angeles Times. The paper reports EMI has lost $10 million on Carey's label debut, "Glitter," which has sold just 478,000 copies in the U.S., according to SoundScan, and about 2 million units worldwide. Carey's U.S. sales with her former label, Sony Music, totaled nearly 40 million over seven studio sets and two hits packages.

According to the Times, the deal called for a $20 million advance for each of the four albums, a music video production fund of $6 million, and about $1.5 million for the promotion of four singles. New EMI head Alain Levy, who came on board following the release of "Glitter," is now hoping Carey will accept a multi-million dollar lump sum payment to exit Virgin entirely.

"Glitter," the soundtrack to the Carey-starring film of the same name, vanished from U.S. theaters barely a month after its Sept. 21 release and grossed less than a fifth of its reported $22 million budget. The arrival of both the film and the soundtrack was delayed several weeks after Carey was hospitalized for an "emotional breakdown" in late July.

But despite poor notices for both projects, the single "Loverboy" wound up as the best-selling single of 2001 and is No. 47 on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles Sales chart in its 23rd week on the tally. Carey's latest single, "Never Too Far"/"Hero," debuted at No. 81 on The Billboard Hot 100 and at No. 3 on Hot 100 Singles Sales last week.

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