Mariah Carey should ditch her advisers and “hire more seasoned and respected professionals” in light of her disastrous New Year’s Eve performance. That’s the line according to her ex-husband, Tommy Mottola.
Mottola, the one-time Sony Music chairman who helped guide Carey from a 19-year-old backup singer to one of the most popular singers on the planet, weighed in on her awkward appearance at Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest. Carey should take some of the rap for her epic-fail, but only for choosing the wrong support team, he suggests.
Describing Carey as a “global icon and a treasure with incredible talent,” Mottola admits the snafu “could’ve happened to anyone.” And it should never have happened in the first place. And nor should her participation in the reality TV show Mariah’s World.
“My only advice is that she should hire more seasoned and respected professionals to surround her and help her with her career,” he wrote in a letter to the New York Post’s Page Six column.
Carey made global headlines with her headlining set which, leading up to midnight, went careening downhill as she got to “Emotions” and “We Belong Together.” With the pop star apparently unable to hear through her in-ear monitor, she removed it completely. Then, unable to follow the backing track over the noise of the crowd, Carey eventually abandoned singing and lip-syncing all-together as she became frustrated, addressing the crowd, “I’m trying to be a good sport here.”
Both camps deflected blame and presented conflicting explanations for what went wrong. The singer and her reps said the in-ear monitors were faulty (and that action wasn’t taken on prior warnings) and BWR-PR’s Nicole Perna told Billboard that “production set her up to fail.”
Dick Clark Productions issued its own statement claiming, “To suggest that dcp … would ever intentionally compromise the success of any artist is defamatory, outrageous and frankly absurd,” and insiders previously told Billboard that Carey’s tech team had her in-ears “set to the wrong frequency” and that she had used a body double for rehearsals earlier in the day.
Mottola, who recounted how he romanced, wed and later divorced Carey in his tell-all 2013 book Hitmaker: The Man and His Music, argued that Mariah’s World was an unnecessary distraction which “does absolutely nothing for her integrity, her credibility, or her massive talent.”
He added, “She should take a step back, think carefully and figure out what to do next.”
Carey’s manager Stella Bulochnikov reportedly fired back: “Really? Tommy is a relic. Did he give you that statement from a rotary phone?”
Billboard reached out to a rep for Mottola for additional comment.