Mariah Carey Records Duet For This Week’s ‘Empire’

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

At long last, it appears Mariah Carey is finally coming to “Empire.” The show has teased her potential guest spot seemingly since its inception, but now, at last, it appears the R&B legend is finally coming to the silver screen.

Carey will take on the role of Kitty, an expert musician enlisted to help Jamal, played by the incomparable Jussie Smollett, regain his mojo as a singer. Smollett told Entertainment Weekly that “[Working with Mariah] was great. She’s a sweetheart. She’s a professional and, you know, this is a long time coming.”

Listen to Smollett and Carey’s duet, “Infamous,” recorded for next week’s episode, below.

Carey’s new E! show, “Mariah’s World,” debuts December 4 at 9 PM EST.

“Empire” airs Wednesdays at 9 PM on Fox.

All the Stars Were Nearly Naked at the Billboard Music Awards

Photo: John Salangsang/BFAnyc.com

If the dress-wearing celeb isn’t nearly-naked, did she even walk the red carpet? These days, the more skin we see, the bigger the star. Think Beyonce at the Met Gala, or look to Taylor Swift — she of previously demure and sweet attire — with her sexy Balmain cutout jumpsuit at Sunday night’s Billboard Music Awards. Tay Tay wasn’t alone: Rita Ora went hypersexy Marilyn; Jennifer Lopez went predictably bare; Mariah Carey showed off a few of her assets; Celine Dion chose a dress with a thigh-high slit and interesting circular reveal; Meghan Trainor went for a soaring slit; Iggy Azalea got in on it; Zendaya even dared to bare her midriff. Check out the hottest looks from the 2015 Billboard Music Awards — skin is definitely in.

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Photo: John Salangsang/BFAnyc.com

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Photo: John Salangsang/BFAnyc.com

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Photo: John Salangsang/BFAnyc.com

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Photo: John Salangsang/BFAnyc.com

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Photo: John Salangsang/BFAnyc.com

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Photo: John Salangsang/BFAnyc.com 

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Photo: John Salangsang/BFAnyc.com

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Photo: John Salangsang/BFAnyc.com

STYLE SCOOP: Mariah Carey’s Itsy Bitsy Snow Bikini, Shopping Dover Street Market

Because she’s Mariah Carey, the singer wore a red bikini to walk her puppies in freezing cold Aspen, Colorado.

Now you can wear your mood on your sleeve. Everybody, meet the mood sweater. Say it all without saying a thing, etc. etc.

Everybody shopped New York’s new Dover Street Market. If you’re in the market for a last minute holiday gift, head to 160 Lexington Ave for mass chaos (seven floors of mass chaos).

Net-a-Porter’s sticking their print mag on newsstands. Expect to see Porter (rhymes with snorter) in the new year.

A Nail Polish By Any Other Name…

A plethora of OPI polished came across my desk this week; the Mariah Carey holiday collection, with color names reminiscent of the singer’s songs and her affinity for glitter. I’m an avid fan of mid-90s Mariah (HoneyFantasy!) so there’s an automatic love for certain shades. And while I’m not normally into more matte polish, I kind of can’t get enough of All I Want for Christmas (is OPI) because, really, who isn’t in a festive mood when that song comes on the radio? So a polish by by any other name, would it look as sweet?

One of the best nail polish names of all time has to be OPI’s I’m Not Really a Waitress, the comedy of which was lost on my 12 year-old, Colorado born- and-bred self. I thought it was flirtatious: a young woman pretends to be a waitress to talk to the cute guy at a nearby table – it was something I would have done with my friends. It wasn’t until I moved to California for college and met an abundance of “not really waitresses” that I realized the true meaning… but anyway.

Painting on that shimmering red meant instant sass, the power of which was felt before the top coat could even dry. The words were equal to, if not more powerful than, the color itself.  Like the slightly angst-y power that comes with Chanel’s dark, dark purple Vendetta, or the more ladylike hand gestures that are inherent with Butter London’s Tea with the Queen. The name gives the color context, and like with all of beauty and fashion, provides a little extra fantasy for a more beautiful life.

Have you ever held two basically identical colors together, and struggled for more than a few minutes over which to get? (While the manicurist looks impatiently on…) The better name always wins out.

It’s also why I’ve avoided some otherwise perfectly nice colors – like Sugar Daddy… ugh – for fear that my personality will pick up on something I’m not fond of.  I mean, just imagine the girl who picks up Sugar Daddy at the nail salon and is like “This is totally me!” Do you want to be her? No.

So the next time a chill rolls into town, I’m reaching for Warm Me Up, a glossy, pearly warm gray color that should help just as much as a giant cup of espresso. And yes, you read that right.

And just because it’s Thursday:

 

Mariah Carey and Miguel Make #Beautiful Music Together

Daft Punk and Pharrell may have some competitors in the annual race to determine the song of the summer. And that competition is Mariah Carey and Miguel, who may have the upper hand in actually creating a hazy summer love song whose title, “#Beautiful,” is a curiously strong reflection on The Way We Live Now, because only in 2013 would there be a pop song with a hashtag seemingly unironically used in the title.

And it’s actually kind of sad that this song will get a lot of attention because of the hashtag, when the real story should be that a) kids, there was a time once when Mariah Carey actually made amazing hit songs and wasn’t just an American Idol judge married to Nick Cannon, b) she can still make it songs, as it turns out and c) Mariah Carey and Miguel working together is a fantastic idea.

The result is a golden summer love montage in song form, all windows down and wayfarers and starry-eyed glances from across a Fourth of July picnic. Maybe it feels a little, I don’t know, Bud Light commercial soundtrack-ish, but it’s still a joy to listen to. You’d almost wish someone had thought of it sooner. Listen below and get excited for summertime, y’all.

Imagined Production Numbers From the ‘Mean Girls’ Musical

Tina Fey devotees all ‘round the Internet have been rejoicing since last night, when during the Screen Actors Guild Awards red carpet interviews, Fey mentioned to E!’s Giuliana Rancic that the Mean Girls musical may actually become a thing, and she doesn’t appear to be trolling. We hope. Maybe. Please?

"I’m trying to develop it actually with my husband who does all the music for ’30 Rock,” she told Rancic. “I think Paramount’s on board. Yeah." A bit later, when Rancic asked about the fight American Idol judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey had over Mean Girls on the show, Fey expressed her admiration for Carey and suggested that she could play Mrs. George, Amy Poehler’s cocktail-sipping, slang using, implant-donning “Cool Mom.”

If it’s not even fully in development yet, the Mean Girls musical is a long way off, much like “Fetch” as a popular slang term. And musicals adapted from popular films are always sort of hit-and-miss territory (see Legally Blonde: The Musical, Shrek: The Musical, TRON: The Musical*) But with Fey helming the project and the right casting, this could actually be pretty excellent. And you’d see it regardless of whether or not it was good, obvs. Because it’s a Mean Girls musical. And what would the Original Broadway Cast soundtrack look like? A sampling of imagined musical numbers:

  • “Out of Africa”
  • “Navigating the Cafeteria” (This would be a big dance number featuring the different cliques/lunch tables each showing off their moves, a la “Mambo” from West Side Story)
  • “She Keeps Me Young (Song of the Cool Mom)” (Mariah’s big number)
  • “The Burn Book Tango”
  • “Damn, Africa, What Happened?”
  • "The Secret In the Projection Room Above the Auditorium”
  • “And None For Gretchen Wieners” (a tender moment in which Gretchen Wieners laments her second-banana status, in the style of “Valjean’s Soliloquy”)
  • "Kevin Gnapoor’s Rap (Full Version)”
  • “Jingle Bell Rock”
  • “Damn, Africa, What Happened? (Reprise)”
  • “The Burn Book, Revealed” (instrumental dance number/staged fight)
  • “Oh Hell No, I Did Not Leave the South Side For This!” (duet between Ms. Norbury and the principal with a few Chicago in-jokes, with love, from Tina)
  • "The Limit (Does Not Exist)”
  • “Girl World, At Peace”

*Yes, it exists. Thanks, UCB! 

‘American Idol’ Deathwatch: Just Die Already

If you asked me before I got on the Internet this morning who the current hosts of American Idol are, I would have guessed 50 Cent, Kim Kardashian and a Hanson brother, with Colin Meloy filling the Ryan Seacrest role. Turns out, though, that Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj are on it now? And some white guy sits between them? (For real: do not attempt to explain to me who that guy is.)

Thing is, the ratings for this season so far are bad: Entertainment Weekly points out that viewership of the premiere dropped 19% from the last season-opener, and apparently the show’s numbers have been plunging since 2008. 2008! That is five whole years of a televisual juggernaut sliding into pop cultural irrelevance. In fairness, I guess The Simpsons is still on.

But if I’m not watching it—never did—and you people aren’t watching it either, then just who are these last 16.2 million American Idolwatchers? When are they going to stop getting in the way of progress, by which I mean Fox freeing up its schedule for some reruns of When Animals Attack!? Stop being selfish. You’ve had your fun laughing at crappy, deluded singers. Why not criticize yourself instead?

Follow Miles Klee on Twitter.

Tommy Mottola Describes How He Abused Mariah Carey In New Memoir

The New York Post got its hands on the new memoir by music honcho Tommy Mottola and the paper’s most depressing article today is a long piece detailing all the ways Mottola outlined his abuse of ex-wife and ex-employee, Mariah Carey. Mottola first came into contact with then-18-year-old singer through a mix tape. He might have fallen in love with — and set his sights on making money from — her voice, but he very quickly turned their relationship into a sexually exploitative, controlling and emotionally abusive one.

As the Post explains, Carey had just graduated from high school and was working as a backup singer when Mottola set his sights on her, promising to make her bigger than Madonna and Michael Jackson. But first he made Mariah break up with her boyfriend, who was also her collaborator; he assumed control of all her producers and song writers; and he refused to allow her time off to relax and enjoy her success.

After the couple married, the abuse only worsened. She couldn’t collaborate with who she wanted to work with; she was forced to do albums she didn’t want to do. In a classic move of isolating her from her friends and family, he relegated her to a home in New York suburbs, which she referred to as "Sing Sing."

The Post describes how at one point early in the relationship, Mottola bragged that his therapist warned him to stay out of Mariah Carey’s pants, shrink-ishly pointing out both that he was married and that the singer was basically still a teenager. (She is still basically a teenager, kind of.) Instead, he trotted Carey out on his arm at an awards show where she took home several awards just because he knew his shrink would be watching. This fits perfectly with what we know about abusers: instead of being remorseful, they’re actually quite proud of themselves for getting away with it. 

The Post quotes directly from Mottola’s memoir, Hitmaker, out later this month about how little remorse he feels — nay, he feels justified:

“If it seemed like I was controlling, I apologize. Was I obsessive? Yes. But that was also part of the reason for her success.”

What an asshole.

Contact the author of this post at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter.