Move over, Courtney Love — and make way for Mariah Carey!
Yes, apparently the pop diva has more in common with the grunge queen than you might think. In the 1990s – when Carey was dominating the charts with monster hits like “Dreamlover”, “Fantasy” and “Honey” – the octave-leaning singer recorded a secret alternative rock album.
Now Carey plans to release the 1995 LP that was buried by her label. But Mimi dug up her version of “Someone’s Ugly Daughter,” which originally featured her lead vocals before being replaced by her friend Clarissa Dane in the band Chick.
“We actually have it,” Carey revealed in a Rolling Stone podcast interview with Brian Hiatt. “I’m working on a version where another artist will be collaborating with me.”
Although Carey produced, wrote and sang backup vocals on Someone’s Ugly Daughter, which was released the same year she released her blockbuster album Daydream, her involvement was kept secret by her then-Columbia Records label.
“That was my valve, and no one knew about it,” Carey said. “I honestly wanted to get the record out at the time … and let them discover it was me, but that idea was crushed.”
Carey described “Someone’s Ugly Daughter” as “like a group moment for girls on Green Day. And, of course, Hole’s Courtney Love era was underway at the time. I even did the artwork – it was a dead cockroach and some lipstick.”
On the Rolling Stone podcast, Carey also reflected on the 25th anniversary of her Butterfly album, which fell from pop heaven on September 16, 1997. She said the LP was musical therapy for her towards the end of her marriage to her then-label boss Tommy Mottola.
“Having the strength to break away from that wasn’t easy,” she said, “so I put everything into the music.”
In fact, Carey broke down the deeply personal lyrics to the “Butterfly” chorus: “If you should return to me/We really were mean to be/So spread your wings and fly.”
“That’s kind of what I always hoped Tommy would say to me,” she said. “Like, you know, ‘Here’s all you have to do and everything will be fine.’ But it was actually too late for that.”
Carey also spoke about the scripted series about her life that Precious director Lee Daniels is planning. As for casting the actress to play her, she said, “I’m really more interested in the acting than the person being a singer. It’s really important that the actress pulls off this role… It’s going to be an interesting job, also because the person who’s ambiguous, looks and is of mixed race will be important to me.”
But Carey wants to — in true diva fashion — sing for the role herself. “I did my vocals and I can now repeat any of my vocals,” she said.
The 53-year-old star, who will take the stage at Central Park’s Global Citizen Festival on Saturday, also spoke about the music she’s been working on during the pandemic.
“It’s about three or four different things,” Carey said. “One is a project I’m almost done with and I’ve done some backing vocal adjustments. one is [new] Songs that could be for the scripted series or a documentary. And then there is a themed album. It’s something people have been asking me for years, but it’s not done in the traditional sense. It’s not finished yet, but I’m really looking forward to it. I am working [on that album] with some very eclectic newer artists as well as some legendary people.”