We’ll give him this much: Mariah Carey’s co-manager and producer Jermaine Dupri has a good poker face. When we interviewed Dupri on Wednesday at the ASCAP Awards, he said Carey’s album was still coming out in May (any maybe it is, given the timing of today's Billboard cover story on Carey) and he got a little feisty with us about the singles released so far not doing particularly well. Apparently, he just wanted to save his cannon fire for the Billboard story, which comes out in full on Monday. He did tell us that she will tour behind the new album, so there's that...
Today, billboard.com teased several items from Monday’s story. Here are five things we learned:
*The album's release will be a surprise. There’s a reason we haven’t heard anything more about the previously announced May 6 release date or an album title: that’s because Carey now plans to drop the album, the track listing, cover art, and title all at once to a digital provider…kind of like what Beyonce did with “Beyonce” or what Skrillex did. Except that in some ways it’s not like that at all since Carey’s now revealed that’s what she plans to do. So the only surprise is what date the album will drop, as opposed to being shocked that there’s new material at all. The album will come out on CD a week following the digital release.
*The album title has a very personal meaning: The album title, whatever it may be under God’s green earth, is named for “a personal possession of mine that’s part of an entity that I’ve had almost all my life,” Carey told Billboard. Hmmm. I’m guessing it’s called “Dancer” or something like that from a musical jewelry box Carey had with a little twirling ballerina in it. Plug in your suggestion in the comments below.
*She’s cut how many songs? In the Billboard piece, she says that a friend made her a playlist with “1,000 of my songs on it.” What? Come again? Carey has put out 13 studio album, so that’s around 130 tracks. Add in her guest appearances on other people’s songs, all the remixes, and assorted other things and we still can’t figure out how she got to 1000. Can you?
*It takes a village to make a Mariah album: In addition to Dupri and her long-time collaborator Rodney Jerkins, the album which shall not be named also includes contributions from Hit-Boy and Mike Will Made It, and feature such guests as Wale, Nas, and Trey Songz. Plus, she teases that there’s another special guest “I’m not allowed to reveal.” It’s her record… she may not WANT to reveal it, but it’s not that she’s not “allowed to.” Regardless, we don’t reckon it’s Nicki Minaj, although that would be awesome!
*Going back to the well: Unbelievably, given how much she hated her time on “American Idol” with her arch nemesis Minaj, Carey says she won’t rule out returning to reality TV, but this time she’s be in control. She told Billboard she has TV talent competition up her sleeve and she will serve as executive producer. “I’m so very excited that’s finally coming to fruition.”