UPDATE I’m told that Carey dined last week in L.A. with Reid and Epic’s new Marketing/PR whiz Laura Swanson, who worked for Reid and Carey at DefJam previously. “The band is getting back together,” joked an insider. It’s a done deal.
EXCLUSIVE Mariah Carey is coming back to Sony and Epic Records. Carey, I am told, is basically done at Universal Music Group and DefJam Records. Her last release, last June’s “Me.I. Am Mariah,” was a spectacular sales flop, not crossing the 250k mark. (It was actually lower.) The elusive chanteuse has never really equaled her DefJam hits “The Emancipation of Mimi” and “E=MC2.” And all of her loyalists from the DefJam days are gone, starting with former label chief L.A. Reid.
Reid left DefJam for Epic, where he had a slow and bumpy start after an unfortunate detour into “American Idol.” But now he’s on roll with mega hit Meghan Trainor, not to mention Sara Barielles, Bonnie McKee, Fifth Harmony, A Great Big World, The Fray, and Kongos. Reid is the only one in the biz who could relaunch Carey as an adult star– no more hip hop– and may be the only one wants to.
More importantly, Sony has incentive. Most of Mariah’s classic catalog of albums is still there from her Tommy Mottola days. Reid’s first move might be to do a Mariah-and-guests duets album of her hits like “Dreamlover” and “Vision of Love” a la Barbra Streisand.
One source tells me: “It’s in the works and should be done shortly.”
Another sign: a blind item on hitsdailydouble claiming a major legacy pop star just dissed his/her record execs backstage at her show. Carey held court at the Beacon Theater in December for about a week. Just sayin’…
And don’t forget: Carey is about to take over from fellow Epic star Celine Dion at Caesar’s in Las Vegas. The Butterfly singer is ready for a resurgence. The only thing she still needs: a manager. Someone she actually listens to. She’s been through several in the last couple of years.