Mariah Carey has finally escaped the hold of her controlling manager, Stella Bulochnikov. Congrats to music’s ditzy-est diva. But what next for Mariah, who can never be controlled for long by anyone?
The tabs say her on again, off again boyfriend, the much younger dancer Brian Tanaka, is now in charge. But the problem is, no one is ever in charge of Mariah. Before Stella, Carey was briefly managed by her pal Randy Jackson, and then by Jermaine Dupri. Neither of them could set her on the right track.
Mariah’s career is a roller coaster unlike any other. It went completely off the tracks when her marriage to Tommy Mottola careened. Mottola then set about to undermine Carey at the time of her movie “Glitter.” She had a breakdown but bounced back with her monster hit album “The Emancipation with Mimi” in 2005, guided by LA Reid.
But then Nick Cannon happened, and twins, and so on. Mariah hasn’t had an actual hit record in a decade. A whole album–a pretty good one–“Me. I am Mariah: The Elusive Chanteuse” had a terrible title. And it stiffed upon release in 2014. The rest, as thy say, is misery including the Cannon divorce, the “romance” with billionaire James Packer, Mariah’s cancelled reality show, etc.
What has saved her completely is her 1994 Phil Spector-ish “All I Want for Christmas Is You” co-written with Walter Afanasieff. It’s her biggest hit, re-recorded and re-released over the years, a chart hit every holiday season. It’s now even got an animated film to go with it.
But Mariah is definitely in trouble. She wasted those years with Bulochnikov, who indulged the star rather than move her career forward. In that time, Mariah’s record label savior, LA Reid, has departed the business after a scandal at Epic Records. It’s unclear now who would record her, and what they would record. She insists on making hip hop records as she turns 50. Her famous “eight octave” voice has been squandered.
So now what? Who will manage Mariah? And how will Mariah manage? This story is not over.