The Los Angeles Times
LAS VEGAS Ã‚â€” The photographers were screaming for Mariah Carey on Tuesday night the way they used to. They jostled to catch her eye backstage at the Billboard Music Awards, and she vamped and smiled while holding a metal bouquet Ã‚â€” she had won five awards, more than any other artist, and she was clearly thrilled.
She has the most played song of the year, We Belong Together
, and the second-bestselling CD, The Emancipation of Mimi
, a reference to her new sense of freedom and the nickname her friends still use for her. At midyear, she became the first act since the Beatles to have the No. 1 and No. 2 songs on American radio in the same week. In recent weeks, she circled the globe Ã‚â€” London, Berlin, New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas Ã‚â€” to collect awards and a measure of satisfaction.
"I'm not going to miss a moment of this," she said "I have a lot to celebrate."
Carey's comeback arc can be viewed as a tale of personal redemption or as another lesson in the mercurial nature of the music business. There have been many pop comebacks before, but Carey's is most comparable to Frank Sinatra's tumble to the career carpet in the late 1940s and his mid-1950s return to grace. Like Carey, Sinatra's fall was met with glee in many quarters, and he was written off despite his world-famous voice.
"Like Sinatra, Mariah has a voice for the ages," said L.A. Reid, chairman of Island Def Jam Music Group, which includes Island Records, where Carey's comeback has taken place. "I never doubted that she would have success again. With that instrument, it's just a matter of getting the right music and the right moment."
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