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  • Muzik First

ARTIST OF THE MONTH: MARIAH CAREY

in 2005, the best-selling album was by Mariah Carey's "The Emancipation of Mimi." Thanks to its success, which sold six million copies in the U.S. alone and helped garner Carey a whopping 10 Grammy nominations. Determined to reclaim her momentum after "Glitter" had almost destroyed her movie ambitions and 2002’s return to music, "Charmbracelet" failed to yield any major hits the disastrous Mariah set about recording "The Emancipation Of Mimi" with a renewed focus. As on many projects, Mariah turned to many producers and writers, but Jermaine Dupri shaped the collection’s signature tracks.

The first single, "it's Like That" returned Mariah to the US Top 20 on its release in January 2005. The song was very different: a swaggering, of-the-moment, Run-DMC-sample that featured rapper Fatman Scoop on top form. But the real comeback was the follow-up would elevate "The Emancipation Of Mimi: to a new level. "We Belong Together" the second single, echoing the pop-soul smashes that she was famous for a decade earlier. It spent a staggering 14 weeks on top of the US Hot 100 that spawned her 16th No. 1 hit, and Billboard declared it the most popular song of the decade.

The 14-track tracks on the album lean on the signature ballads that Carey’s known for, but the dance-oriented “On The Floor and “Get Your Number” (again featuring Jermaine Dupri) remain standout tracks. In the US, "Get Your Number" was coupled with the Bryan-Michael Cox song "Shake It Off," which nicely bridged the gap between the previous two singles and made it all the way to No.2. It was kept off the top spot by the massive hit "We Belong Together." The album is also notable to fans and critics for Carey’s use of her personal nickname “Mimi,” which symbolized Mariah pulling back the curtain a bit after spending over a decade in the spotlight.

More importantly, the album’s title was a direct nod to Carey’s redemption following her previous studio efforts, which received less than favourable reviews. So naturally, when TEOM opened to the second-highest first-week sales of Carey’s career, it was immediately pinned as her comeback album. But no matter what you think, "The Emancipation Of Mimi” still holds up as a classic album. But more than anything, it proves that Carey will never be written off, no matter how much people try to bring her down.