Despite earlier denials, Virgin Records has ended its relationship with Mariah Carey. In a brief statement released today (Jan. 23), the label’s EMI parent announced the multi-album contract, which would have paid the singer a reported $100 million, was amicably settled for $28 million. Carey also retains $21 million “paid to her or for her benefit” at the onset of her contract with the label.
“This is the right decision for me,” Carey said in the statement. “I look forward to the many new and exciting opportunities, which have now been presented to me. I wish Virgin well.”
“We have decided that this is the most prudent course of action for EMI,” EMI Recorded Music chairman/CEO Alain Levy added. “We wish Mariah the best.”
“Glitter,” the soundtrack to Carey’s debut film project, was her only album released through Virgin. Although the set debuted at No. 7 on The Billboard 200 last September, it has sold less than 500,000 copies in the U.S. to date, according to SoundScan, and EMI has reportedly lost $10 million on the project. A single from the album, “Loverboy,” reached No. 2 on The Billboard Hot 100 and was the top-selling single of 2001, according to SoundScan.
The album and film suffered delays after Carey’s hospitalization last year for an emotional breakdown. She was unable to fully promote the film’s debut, and it earned just $2.4 million in its late September opening weekend. “Glitter” is currently available in VHS and DVD home video formats.
Carey was in attendance last week when her second film, “Wisegirls,” was screened during the annual Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The Lions Gate Films/Leading Pictures/Intermedia Films feature, in which Carey stars opposite Mira Sorvino and Melora Walters, is due to open later this year in U.S. theaters.
As previously reported, Carey will be among those taking part in the pre-game activities prior to Super Bowl XXXVI, Feb. 3 in New Orleans. The singer will have the honor of performing the National Anthem before an expected worldwide audience of more than 900 million.
— Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y