Fox is once again betting on an aging superstar diva to revitalize “American Idol.”
One of the most commercially successful pop performers of the 1990s, vocalist Mariah Carey was the third child of black/Hispanic aeronautical engineer Alfred Carey and Irish opera singer/voice coach Patricia Hickey -- a mix that made her the target of persistent racial prejudice throughout her childhood. The hostility against mixed marriages still persisting in New York at the time ultimately brought about her parents' divorce in the early 70s, putting Hickey in the position of having to keep multiple jobs in order to support her children on her own. By the age of 3, Mariah had already begun to show an enthusiasm for singing, and would sometimes accompany her mother while she rehearsed; taking note of her daughter's interest, Hickey initiated her vocal training soon afterwards. Singing quickly became the center of the young Mariah's existence. Her first public performance took place at the age of 6, and her schoolwork went largely ignored in favor of anything that could further her dream of becoming a star.
Mariah Carey, who in her heyday was one of the most popular singers on the planet, has been tapped to replace Jennifer Lopez as a judge on the musical talent show.
In a moment of faux drama, Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly called the pop star Monday on his phone during the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Beverly Hills to share the news with television journalists.
“I think it’s the biggest recording artist that any of these shows have ever had,” said Reilly.
Carey, who is wrapping up production on her latest album, said she can’t wait to join the show.
“It’s going to be fun,” she said, adding that it will be rewarding to “help find new talent and give back with ‘American Idol.’”