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Mariah Talks To Popnography

Yesterday, Mariah Carey released her twelfth studio album Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel. After hearing a few tracks from the album a month ago in LA Reid's office (one of the most surreal experiences of my life), I knew that Mimi had another winner on her hands. The album, written almost entirely by Carey, The-Dream, and Tricky Stewart, harkens back to days of a big, bolder, ballad-y-er Mariah Carey and around the office we can't get enough of "H.A.T.E.U (Having A Typical Emotional Upset)," "Up Out My Face" (featuring possibly the most over the top ridiculous lyrics ever, "If we were two lego blocks, even the Harvard University graduating class of 2010, couldn't put us back together again") and "Standing O."

Intrepid Popnographer Justin Ocean managed to catch a few moments with Mariah to find out how she feels about being one of many divas releasing albums this fall and get the scoop on Memoirs' Michael Jackson dedication.

Out: This is turning out to be quite the Autumn for divas. In addition to you we have Whitney and Madonna, Streisand and even Lady Gaga coming out with new albums...
Mariah Carey: That's an interesting package you just put together... [Laughs] It's kinda interesting... the first one and the last one... all right.

Yeah, we have the established and the upcoming. So do you feel competition at this point or do you not even sweat it anymore?
No, nah, I mean, I kind of just.. it's sort of.. I don't even want to say it's competing with myself because I'm not. I'm competing with myself on an artistic level. And what I feel is better is not always what everybody else feels. But I'm really really happy with this album. I feel like it takes you through numerous emotions. It's got segues and different moments that take you from one emotion to another. And as a songwriter, which I feel like not a lot of people give me credit for, and that's maybe because I'm not sitting behind a piano or a guitar, but for women, you're looked at as a quote "diva" and it's really hard to be taken seriously as a songwriter or to even be acknowledged. So as a songwriter, I love this album. And as a producer.

I noticed in the liner notes that you dedicated this album to Michael Jackson. What did he mean to you?
He was an inspiration my entire life. My entire life, as long as I can remember. Like, ever, always on the radio. Since I was a baby.

So his performing... his all around artistic contributions?
Honestly, it was his voice. He had an angelic voice as a kid. People used to tell me when I was little that I have a quality, something similar to him. I don't know what it was, but... and I'm not even sure that I'd say that because that's an arrogant statement and I don't mean it in that way, but people did used to tell me that [Laughs]. I mean like older, older adults. When you're a little kid, who knows if they're lying?

Previously > Calling All Doll Divas

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Noah Michelson