Monday, April 22, 2024

Mariah Carey Book Biggest Omissions: “American Idol,” Nicki Minaj, JLO, All the Publicists and Managers Who Saved Her


“The Meaning of Mariah Carey,” the book, is out now. You can read it if you want the fiction version of Mariah’s life.

There is so much omitted from this “memoir” that you wonder if Mariah has Alzheimer’s. She should cover the old hit, “Remember What I Told You to Forget.”

Not mentioned by name anywhere in the book are the series of managers who kept her alive. Not the first one, Randy Hoffman, who was partners with first husband, Tommy Mottola (who Mariah trashes in the book).

Glaringly omitted is Louise McNally, a lovely woman who managed Mariah for years after she left Mottola. McNally got Mariah through the “Glitter” debacle and into her comeback at DefJam with L.A. Reid and Jermaine Dupri. There isn’t even a mention of McNally in the acknowledgements.

“American Idol” judge Randy Jackson was Mariah’s friend going back a long way. He saved her ass after “Glitter” by putting together the “Charmbracelet” album. Then he got her a job on “Idol” as judge, where Mariah crossed horns with Nicki Minaj. Jackson gets short shrift, even though he briefly managed her. The whole “American Idol” experience is left out of the book, along with Minaj.

Mariah’s arch nemesis has always been Jennifer Lopez, aka JLo. It was Lopez and Ja Rule who swiped a sample from Carey, thanks to Mottola, and sent her into a frenzy over the “Glitter” soundtrack. Then Mariah got Lopez’s manager, Benny Medina, to manager Mariah as well. How crazy is that? And yet Lopez and Medina are absent from the book.

Also AWOL from “The Making of” is Stella Bulochnikov, the more recent manager who isolated Mariah from her old crowd, and made some poor decisions. One of them was to file a sexual harassment suit against Carey, settled out of court. The whole Stella story could take up its own book. Stella, who has a lot of reality TV producer credits on the imdb, has gone silent since the break up and settlement.

At one point, Jermaine Dupri– who wrote and produced a lot of Mariah’s “comeback” hits at Def Jam, was named her manager in 2013. That lasted about a minute. Again, no mention of it in the book.

And then there were all the publicists. The longest lasting, and the one who turned things around for Mariah, was Cindi Berger of PMK. But eventually Berger actually dismissed Mariah as a client when Bulochnikov made things impossible.

Are there other omissions? Michael Richardson gets a shout out in the acknowledgements, but it’s telling that he doesn’t even merit an anecdote or a reference in the book. For eons Michael was Mariah’s aide de camp, her reliable go to guy who got everything done, went everywhere with her, and made it all possible. Maybe one day he’ll write his own book.

How about Jerry Blair, the marketing guy at Sony for 12 years who did all the hard work to make Mariah’s singles magically get to number 1? He gets nothing even though in 2002, after “Glitter,” it was Blair who put together a label deal with DefJam for Mariah so she could save face. Blair helped create MonarC Entertainment with Mariah. But eventually she stiffed him, and he had to sue her.

The funny thing is, Mariah thinks we forgot all this stuff. But if I made a compilation of stories I wrote about all this stuff in the 90s and 2000s, we’d really get the Meaning of Mariah Carey!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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