While ringing in 2017, Mariah Carey claimed the dubious honor of spawning the first viral post of the year. The multiplatinum artist was set to close out Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve (now with more Ryan Seacrest!) with what should have been a three-track prerecorded medley, but quickly devolved into a three-ring circus. The diva started off with “Auld Lang Syne,” but stumbled not long after launching into her 1991 hit “Emotions”. Carey told the audience and production team that she couldn’t hear the backing track or vocals, and claimed there had been no sound check. She then stuck to ad libbing, preferring to describe the success of “Emotions” instead of singing it: “It went to number one. We’re missing some of the vocals, but it is what it is.”
Next on the list was the Emancipation Of Mimi single “We Belong Together,” but the problems persisted, and Carey eventually took her leave of the audience. “I wanted a holiday too. Can’t I just have one?,” she sighed. But not long after, she shrugged the whole thing off, posting to Twitter that “shit happens.”
Carey’s publicist Nicole Perna told The Associated Press the singer reported problems with her earpiece to the production team, who assured her they would be resolved before she hit the stage. The issue reportedly wasn’t fixed, though. Carey tried to tough it out, but “unfortunately, there was nothing she could do to continue with the performance, given the circumstances.” Perna even told the AP it was “[a] shame that production set her up to fail.”
The AP reports that all this talk of technical problems has reached Dick Clark Productions, which puts on the celebration every year. The company issued a statement denying it had any hand in Carey’s underwhelming performance.
As the premier producer of live television events for nearly 50 years, we pride ourselves on our reputation and long-standing relationships with artists. To suggest that dcp (Dick Clark Productions), as producer of music shows including the American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, New Year’s Rockin’ Eve and Academy of Country Music Awards, would ever intentionally compromise the success of any artist is defamatory, outrageous and frankly absurd.
So far, Carey hasn’t responded to Dick Clark Productions’ volley.