While you are processing that bit of information (what – you mean that she has sold more than Madonna?!!!) it’s worth mentioning that the New York songstress has returned to the European stage this spring with her ‘Sweet Sweet Fantasy” tour. Tonight’s appearance is hot on the heels of a sell-out Las Vegas residency and one of the most exciting years of her eventful career.
The global superstar performed her biggest, career-defining hits in one of six city gigs in the UK ,in preparation for taking on mainland Europe. Incredibly these dates were Mariah Carey’s first on this side of the Atlantic since the European leg of her celebrated, groundbreaking “Charmbracelet” tour concluded in Milan in November 2003!
By any stretch of imagination, and regardless of your favourite genre and style, Mariah Carey is a music icon, for many a true soul legend, and, of course, a pop and celebrity phenomenon. She has an undisputed reputation as a live performer, built on an astronomical number of record sales; over 220 million at the last count.
In the USA she has charted eighteen times in the Billboard Hot 100; seventeen of those being self-penned tunes, which is unusual in today’s crowd-sourcing hot-house of song writing. ‘Fantasy’, ‘Always Be My Baby’, ‘Hero’, ‘Touch My Body’, ‘One Sweet Day’, and ‘We Belong Together’ are staples of her live show and a sample of that chart success – more than any other female artist.
The say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – witness countless talent show copyists – but with a distinct five-octave vocal range, her song writing and producing record, and diva-tastic reputation Mariah Carey has played a big part in defining the modern pop artist. I wonder who Andy is going to get next?
Photographs: Andy Watson