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Countdown to Mariah Carey’s Vegas Spectacle: The Celebration of Mimi

Mariah Carey The Celebration of Mimi

With only four days left until Mariah Carey’s anticipated Vegas show, “The Celebration of Mimi,” in homage to The Emancipation of Mimi, excitement is building. Carey took to social media to share the news: “Vegas, I’m coming back to town with a new show! ‘The Celebration of Mimi’ Live in Las Vegas, April 12-27 at Dolby Live at Park MGM!

Despite tickets being 96% sold out, there’s still a chance to snag a last-minute ticket if you find yourself near Las Vegas. Carey has been documenting her rehearsals on Instagram and has already been spotted in West Hollywood, just a four-hour drive from the venue.

But why the sudden focus on this particular album? We don’t know. It’s the 19th anniversary of its release, not a milestone typically celebrated. While Carey has hinted at new music, dedicating a two-week Vegas residency solely to this album seems unexpected. But then again, it’s Mariah—her plans are always full of surprises.

While we’re left in the dark regarding Mariah’s motivations for this surprising array of live performances, let’s take a step back to reflect on the significance of The Emancipation of Mimi in Mariah’s journey.

The Genesis of ‘The Emancipation of Mimi’

In 2001, Mariah Carey faced a series of challenges—critically, commercially, personally, and professionally—following the disappointing reception of her debut film, Glitter (2001). Critics lambasted the movie, which earned less than eight million dollars at the box office. Subsequently, Carey shared a candid letter on her official website before seeking treatment at a Connecticut hospital for what was described as an “emotional and physical breakdown.”

Mariah carey glitter hospitalized magazine

Amidst the aftermath of Glitter’s failure, Virgin Records America opted to terminate Carey’s groundbreaking $100 million recording contract, offering her $28 million as a settlement. Following a two-week hospital stay, Carey retreated to Capri, Italy, where she spent five months gathering inspiration for her next album.

Upon her return, Carey signed with Island Records and established her own label, MonarC Entertainment, paving the way for her anticipated “comeback” album, Charmbracelet. While critics viewed Charmbracelet as an improvement over Glitter, it fell short of catapulting her back into the spotlight of her earlier career. It was written everywhere in sight: Mariah’s career was over.

After enduring years of criticism and doom, Carey never gave up and embarked on her musical resurgence. On November 18, 2004, she announced the title of her upcoming album: The Emancipation of Mimi. During the recording process, Island Records executive L.A. Reid shared with Carey that her close friends affectionately referred to her as “Mimi.” He encouraged her to embrace this persona, recognizing it as the uninhibited, carefree aspect of her personality that the public seldom saw. For Carey, the use of “Mimi” in the album title represented a deeply personal gesture, signifying her willingness to lower her guard and allow her fans to connect with her on a more intimate level.

Against All Odds: The Epic Comeback

Mariah Carey It's Like that

She said it herself: “dem chickens is ash and I’m lotion”. Despite skeptical reviews from critics, influenced by her previous perceived “underperformers” by Carey’s standards, the album’s commercial success stunned detractors. “The Emancipation of Mimi” emerged as Carey’s highest-selling album in the US since “Daydream” (1995). It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 in its first week, selling 404,000 copies, marking the highest first-week sales in Carey’s career until “E=MC²” surpassed it in 2008 with 463,000 copies sold.

This album became her fifth number-one album in the country and her third to debut at the top. It reclaimed the top spot in its eighth week after selling 172,000 copies and remained in the top ten for many months before eventually dropping to number eleven. However, with the release of the Ultra Platinum Edition, the album soared back to number four, selling 185,000 units. In 2005, it was the best-selling album in the US, with nearly five million units sold. By October 2013, it reached six million sales in the US, and in September 2022, it was certified seven-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, and estimated to have sold over 12 millions worldwide.

“The Emancipation of Mimi” garnered numerous awards and nominations, including ten Grammy Award nominations, winning three, including Best Contemporary R&B Album, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, and Best R&B Song for “We Belong Together.” Additionally, it won Soul Train Awards for Best R&B/Soul Album and Best Female R&B/Soul Album, as well as a Vibe Award for Album of the Year. It was also highly ranked by Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly on their respective lists of the best albums. Moreover, the hit single “We Belong Together” received multiple awards, including a Teen Choice Award, a World Music Award, five Billboard Music Awards, four Radio Music Awards, and 14 weeks at the number one spot in the US and over 50 other countries, becoming Song of the Decade. To this day, the song is Mariah’s second most streamed song with over 500 million streams, even though it was released way before the streaming era.

Wait, who’s career was over?

So, What Surprises Await at Mariah Carey’s Emancipation Vegas Show

We’re uncertain about what lies ahead, but one thing’s for sure: in this mini residency dedicated to the Emancipation era, we anticipate hearing some songs live for the first time.

Recently, Mariah shared rehearsal moments of the song “It’s Like That,” so that won’t come as a surprise. “We Belong Together” is a staple in her live performances, so it’s a given. But what else can we expect?

Shake It Off,” initially intended as the lead single, holds a special place in Mariah’s heart, as she’s mentioned in numerous interviews. Despite its peak at number two, blocked by “We Belong Together” for fourteen weeks, it remains one of her favorites.

Say Somethin’,” released as the album’s fifth single, saw Mariah jetting off to Paris to film the video with Snoop Dogg and Pharrell, amidst glamorous surroundings. Despite being a relatively high-budget production for a song with modest expectations, its allure remains undeniable.

Don’t Forget About Us,” although lesser-known among her number ones, topped the charts for two consecutive weeks. Mariah’s portrayal of her beloved muse Marilyn Monroe in the film “Something’s Got to Give” suggests that this song holds a special place in her heart.

Your Girl: In several music-focused interviews, Mariah Carey’s disappointed tone has expressed her affection for “Your Girl”: “What about Your Girl? We love Your Girl!“. We share that sentiment, Mariah, and eagerly anticipate hearing it performed live if the opportunity arises.

Get Your Number: Featuring a recognizable sample from Imagination’s “Just an Illusion,” this song is undeniably catchy. Despite being the European counterpart to “Shake It Off,” it didn’t achieve significant success in the US. Nonetheless, we’re enthusiastic about the prospect of experiencing it live.

Fly Like a Bird: Mariah’s choice for a memorable performance at the Grammy Awards brought the audience to its feet. It’s almost certain she’ll deliver another electrifying rendition.

Circles: With a recent remix by e-lie reigniting interest and respect for this track, it’s highly likely that Mariah won’t let this moment slip by without treating her fans to a live performance.

Certainly, she’ll include other timeless classics, along with perhaps a few more hidden gems from the Emancipation era. As for why she’s chosen this album and this moment for this endeavor, that remains a mystery for now. However, what we can anticipate is the unveiling of the setlist in just a few days—hopefully, just in time to celebrate Mariah’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Until then, we’re streaming this gem as we write and recommend you do the same:

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