Mariah Carey knows how to make an entrance.
The Grammy-winning singer arrived at the TV critics summer meeting accompanied by a bevy of shirtless men who escorted her to a gold-trimmed chaise lounge covered in royal purple velvet. That’s where she sat to field questions – using a blinged-out microphone – about her new reality series on E!.
“Mariah’s World” is an eight-episode, one-hour series that offers a behind-the-scenes look at Carey as she begins her “Sweet Sweet Fantasy” tour of the United Kingdom, Europe and Africa. At the time of the interview in August, the series was to also include Carey planning her wedding to Australian business mogul James Packer. Since then they have parted ways.
“We are going on tour, and I haven’t been on tour in Europe in at least, like, 10 years,” Carey says as if talking to one of the crowds who have packed her sold-out shows. “For real. I was, like, let’s just show the behind the scenes, what it really takes to do a tour, what it really takes for all these people to, kind of, get together and work together and become a family and mainly, you know, watch how the music evolves, watch the process, and watch how the different personalities interact.
“But it’s also, I mean, it’s my life, and I figured, if I don’t document this right now, I’m not sure when I’m going to go on tour again. The reason why we call it more a docu-series is because it feels like a documentary. I don’t even watch reality.”
That’s because she doesn’t have time to watch TV. Carey, who is known for hits such as “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” “Honey,” and “We Belong Together,” is a five-time Grammy Award winner, 32-time Billboard Music Award winner, 21-time World Music Award winner and 10-time American Music Award winner.
She’s the best-selling female artist of all time, with more than 220 million records sold and 18 No. 1 singles – the most for any solo artist in history. She has sold out arenas around the world and is a Congressional Award recipient. Then there’s her work for Save the Music, World Hunger Relief, the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
As she reclines on the fancy sofa in a dress that looks like it probably cost more than the combined weekly salaries of all the TV critics in the room, Carey talks about the biggest misconception the world has about her: no one knows the real Mariah Carey.
“If somebody just sees me on TV or a video or this or an interview, it’s not enough time to get to know somebody. If you know somebody for 10 years and they are your friend, you kind of know the real them,” Carey says. “Hopefully, they’ll see other sides of me that they either find entertaining or does something good instead of bad.”
Carey says she has a difficult time describing who she really is. She acts differently when she’s with friends. There’s a bit of a jokester in her, and she can be a bit bossy. She says she always tries to be a nice person.
“That is a boring answer, but I don’t know how to explain that there’s just things that happen where you just go with it because it’s not scripted,” Carey says. “Somebody asked me something about scripted or whatever. It’s not scripted.”
- 9 p.m. Sunday, E!