I still hope she goes nuts again

Mariah Carey Climbs Charts, but Long Way to Go
LONDON (Reuters) – Dumped by music giant EMI Group, pop diva Mariah Carey is proving her singing career is not all washed up. But she is still a far cry from her platinum-selling glory days.
The multi-octave singer’s comeback album “Charmbracelet” has outstripped her last flop “Glitter” in its first week, entering the U.S. charts at No.3, while clinging to the No.1 spot in Japan’s international charts in a brutally competitive period.
However, the new album, her first under Universal Music’s Island Def Jam label, is no match for previous big-time hits such as “Music Box,” critics say. It has also drawn a mixed reception in key markets such as Britain where it failed to crack the top 50.
All eyes have been on “Charmbracelet’s” sales after a traumatic year for Carey. She suffered an emotional breakdown and was then paid $28 million to walk away from her EMI contract, worth an estimated $100 million, after the failure of “Glitter.”
Carey, who still ranks as one of the best-selling female artists of all time thanks to her early successes, subsequently signed to Island Def Jam in a three-album deal that some estimate to be worth a more modest $20 million.
The question on many music executives lips now is whether Universal will be able to make her comeback pay off.
“We never expected to explode Mariah back onto the public scene. We always thought this album would be a slow burner, and it may take two or three singles to take off,” said Max Hole, senior vice president of marketing and A&R for Universal Music International, a division of media giant Vivendi Universal.
Universal Music says it has sold more than two million copies of “Charmbracelet” to retailers globally, including one million in the U.S.
Actual over-the-counter sales have reached 241,000 copies in the United States and 320,000 in Japan.
By comparison, Glitter, released on September 11, 2001, has sold two million copies. However, Glitter was doomed from the start, given that it was a soundtrack to a film that bombed.
Despite an aggressive marketing campaign that has involved some of Universal’s top talent and seen Carey splashed across posters and magazines, Universal executives say “Charmbracelet” only needs to sell three million copies to break even.
So, should EMI have dumped Carey?
“EMI was wrong to drop her because there are very few talented artists in the world who are household names. Whether you’re in Thailand, Finland or Milwaukee, everyone knows who Mariah is,” said Universal’s Hole.
The problem for EMI was that it was saddled with an expensive deal, one it would always have struggled to make pay without consistent blockbuster sales.
EMI, the world’s No.3 music company, also shed Carey at a time when it was under pressure to slash costs and pare back its roster in an industry suffering from tumbling sales.
EMI declined to comment.
In any event, Carey is unlikely to sell the 20 million copies that “Music Box” sold, industry experts say.
But Universal said Carey could certainly rank in the 10 million bracket — a good return under her current deal.
“Mariah could definitely be a big seller again. She’s only had one disappointment and that was a soundtrack. Lots of big artists have disappointments,” one executive said.
As for Charmbracelet, Universal plans to revist markets where the album is flagging.
“People like a comeback. They like someone to overcome adversity. Mariah has had a rough time, but she’s perceived to have not run away from it,” said Universal’s Hole.