ANTIBES, France — Mariah Carey is a woman of great range.
She demonstrated that musically during a private concert Tuesday night, as well as during a conversation with USA TODAY right after that performance.
The singer took to the stage at the swanky Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc during a fete put on by Clear Channel Media and Entertainment and advisory firm MediaLink. Party guests, which included top business executives as well as celebrities such as Courtney Love and Kanye West, swayed and sang along to Carey's old and new songs, such as Always Be My Baby and Cry.
Carey, dressed in a low-cut black gown, gave shout-outs to Clear Channel executives she's worked with, such as CEO Bob Pittman and Entertainment Enterprises President John Sykes.
Pittman, Sykes and many of the other attendees were in the South of France for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, which is the marketing industry's biggest awards competition and trade show.
During Carey's post-performance sitdown with USA TODAY, she would spontaneously break into song, singing lyrics from her first demo tape or belt out parts of conversation in song. She discussed her early beginnings as a singer, her 3-year-old twins, her new album, her Twitter use and the social media use of her husband, Nick Cannon.
• Social media. Carey deemed TV host Cannon's Twitter use "excessive," with a laugh, and went on to say that the social media service helped her to stay connected with others when she was pregnant.
"All I did when I was pregnant was take a bath and tweet," she says.
Carey, who wore a sparkling butterfly ring, says that she named an earlier album Butterfly because it was representative of "when I took control of my life."
Butterfly is also the name of a new drink that was created with her collaboration. The drink, from company Go N'Syde, comes in a pink bottle with a label that says it is "a melodic beverage inspired by the magic of Mariah Carey."
People magazine polled drinkers on the taste, and wrote that the "closest flavor approximation" was that it tasted like a liquefied Ring Pop.
• Her children. Carey talked of the "guilt" she feels when she has to be away from twins Monroe and Moroccan.
"I don't like to leave them," says Carey, who took them with her to France.
She talked of her son's athletic abilities, saying that the first time he tried on skis he got right up. "He's a natural," she says.
She says her daughter has a big personality and "has far surpassed me as a diva."
• Her new album. The voices of the children are featured on the Supernatural song on her new album, Me. I am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse.
Carey says each of the songs was carefully curated, but the song Cry is "the one that meant the most to me."
"I don't think it's a hit. I just know that it's honest," she says. Carey says she hopes that folks will listen to the album as a whole "body of work."
"I wanted people to hear from start to finish. … It's really an emotional journey," she says. "I worked very hard on the sequencing of this album." But if a single song is played on the radio, that is OK by her, too. When she was younger, "my dream was to hear myself on the radio," she says. And even now, she says "I still get butterflies" when she hears herself on the radio. And then she laughed at herself for using the butterfly reference.