(Note: Strong language in second paragraph.)
By David Ingram
NEW YORK Grammy Award-winning singer Mariah Carey shrugged off a botched New Year’s Eve show in New York’s Times Square, telling fans and critics on Sunday that life does not always go as planned.
“Shit happens,” Carey, the world’s million-selling female singer, wrote on Twitter. “Have a happy and healthy new year everybody! Here’s to making more headlines in 2017.”
Carey, named the Grammy’s Best New Artist in 1991, was the final musical act on ABC’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest,” taking the stage just before midnight.
In addition to the television audience, the program was watched in person by the hundreds of thousands of people who gathered in what is called the “Crossroads of the World” to mark the beginning of 2017.
Carey’s opening song, a rendition of Robert Burns’ “Auld Lang Syne,” seemed to go as planned. But then the singer, surrounded by dancers and a sea of humanity, appeared flustered and complained of technical difficulties.
“We can’t hear,” she said, as the music from her 1991 hit song “Emotions” began to play. “It is what it is,” she said. “Let the audience sing, OK?”
But the awkwardness persisted, prompting Carey to say: “I want a holiday, too. Can I not have one? I’m trying to be a good sport here.”
The next song, “We Belong Together,” Carey’s 2005 hit, went awry as well. Carey dropped her hand-held microphone to her side and the song went on playing, revealing that she may have been only syncing her lips to the words.
“It just don’t get any better,” a frustrated Carey said after the song.
After the debacle, some fans came to Carey’s defense on Twitter, while others were less than kind. Several tweets compared her to the disgraced pop duo Milli Vanilli, who lost their Grammy for Best New Artist in 1990 when it emerged they had never sung on their records.
A spokeswoman for Carey said later on Sunday that there was no lip-syncing. “It is not uncommon for artists to sing to track during certain live performances,” spokeswoman Nicole Perna said in a statement.
Carey’s ear piece was not working before or during the performance and technicians could not fix it, but she took the stage anyway “essentially flying blind” so she could honor a commitment, Perna said.
A spokesman for ABC declined to comment.
(Reporting by David Ingram; Editing by Alan Crosby and Sandra Maler)