Reached by Billboard Wednesday (April 8) morning, Berger confirmed that the decision to split was hers, and that Carey was notified on Tuesday (April 7). “We’ve been through a lot together, and I care very deeply for her personally,” says Berger, “But this was the right time.”
Carey, 45, is currently between personal publicists, and recently reunited with former Island Def Jam chairman L.A. Reid at Sony’s Epic Records. Epic’s Laura Swanson, exec vp, media and strategic development, will handle Carey’s publicity in the interim. She is also between managers, having most recently been consulted by KWL Enterprises CEO Kevin Liles, another former Def Jam associate, after splitting with Jermaine Dupri? last summer. “I put my all into every project. But when I’m not allowed to do what I do, then I know it’s time for me to move on,” Dupri told Billboard at the time. Carey has also been managed by Randy Jackson, Irving Azoff and Red Light’s Bruce Eskowitz over the last three years, preceded by stints with executives Chris Lighty, Benny Medina and Randy Hoffman.
But good news for the Lambs: Carey has several high-profile projects on the horizon. On May 6, she begins a Las Vegas residency at The Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace, the same venue where Celine Dion will return on Aug. 27 after a year-long hiatus. Also expected later this year is a newly repackaged greatest-hits set to accompany her Vegas show, #1’s, that will likely combine her 15 Billboard No. 1’s under Sony with her three (“We Belong Together,” “Don’t Forget About Us,” “Touch My Body”) under Island Def Jam, along with new material. Though it’s been six years since her last top 10 (2009’s “Obsessed”), Carey ranks second to The Beatles in time spent at No. 1, 79 weeks total, and also holds the record for longest-running Hot 100 No. 1 single (for 1995’s “One Sweet Day” with Boyz II Men, 16 weeks at No. 1), although she hasn’t had a Top 10 single since 2009’s “Obsessed.”
Also on Tuesday, Deadline Hollywood confirmed Carey’s next project: a Christmas movie, in development with New Line. Her seminal holiday hit “All I Want For Christmas Is You” remains a frequent chart-topper on Billboard’s four-year-old Holiday Songs chart, more than 20 years after its initial release.