Mariah Carey: Butterfly

Nine Network Australia special presentation

Saturday 16th November 1997

Featuring a world exclusive interview with Ian "Molly" Meldrum

[Shot of Molly Meldrum in a lounge room.]

Molly: ... Now would you believe, in just seven years, Mariah has sold more than 80 million albums. So that not only makes her the biggest female superstar of the 90s, but one of the most successful recording artists of all time. Mariah Carey. Who is she? She's a singer, producer, songwriter, video director, diva and definitely a superstar.

[Super VFX: In golden lettering: "Mariah Carey" (top centre); "Butterfly" (bottom right). Shots of Always Be My Baby (Mr Dupri Mix) video clip. Crossfade to shot of Honey (Bad Boy Remix). Crossfade to Always Be My Baby. Crossfade to Vision Of Love. Crossfade to Someday. Crossfade to Emotions. Crossfade back to Always Be My Baby (Mr Dupri Mix), Always Be My Baby, Honey and then Butterfly. Audio is Honey (Album Version).]

[VFX: Butterfly album cover zooms up, crossfaded with animation reading "Mariah Carey" above "Butterfly" (centred). Image of a butterfly (centre bottom).]

[Cut to Molly.]

Molly: There are clearly many reasons for Mariah Carey's success. Her incredible voice, her exotic looks and of course the brilliant songs she's cowritten with the likes of Jermaine Dupri, Puffy Combs and Boyz II Men, just to name a few. But there's something else that sets Mariah Carey apart. She straddles the worlds of white pop music and black R&B. Hey, she may live in a penthouse, but, believe me, her feet are definitely on the street.

[Fade to interview situation. Mariah is lying on a couch, laying with her head to the left of screen, perched on her hand. She is wearing a strapless wrap around top (very short) and a matching skirt (also very short). Tan or brown in colour.]

Molly: A lot of people wouldn't understand... or probably comprehend that there's the one Mariah Carey that's the performer singer (and, well, you know, the'd think the "glam" and everything else)... would find it hard to imagine that your mixing with all these urban music people, rap people... um... have complete knowledge of it...

Mariah: I know I have this image, as like, in some ways I guess, is unreachable. Whatever this Cinderella thing that <chuckles> someone made up, and they stuck to it. Um, I didn't grow up in that. I came from a very difficult upbringing. You know and um, went through a lot and saw a lot of things. And a lot of people that I'm working with, um... we have a lot in common in terms of that. So it's not like <little girl voice> I was this little girl, and it was like, "Oh, rappers. Yay! I can't wait to go work with some rappers and then <thumb up> I'll really be cool." You know, it's not like that. It's not like that I had this sheltered upbringing, you know. It's actually further away from my personality to be this removed princess thing, than to be with people my own age doing the type of music that I listen to, that I love... that are successful, creative people. So it only makes sense to be working with like... Puffy and Q-Tip and Missy... I mean... Jermaine, Brat... All the people that are... Boyz II Men... because we all have a common bond, you know, and its like, um, I'm influenced by R&B. I've always been influenced by R&B and urban music. I grew up in New York listening to urban radio. You know, from the beginning of hip-hop to now, to... you know, to beyond. So, it's not like suddenly I'm like, "She's, like, changing" or it's like this big deal. It's what I've always loved to listen to.

[Cut to Fantasy (Bad Boy Fantasy) video clip. Super VFX: White, over a butterfly banner: "Fantasy (Remix)" (centre bottom).]

[Cut to Always Be My Baby (Mr Dupri Mix) video clip. Super VFX: White, over a butterfly banner: "Always Be My Baby (Remix)" (centre bottom).]

[VFX: Butterfly album cover zooms up, crossfaded with animation reading "Mariah Carey" above "Butterfly" (centred). Image of a butterfly (centre bottom).]

[Cut to Molly.]

Molly: ... was introduced to the world with a brilliant first single entitled Honey. Here Mariah talks about the work that went into making that amazing video.

[Cut to Honey video clip as Mariah speaks.]

Mariah: This video was my concept. The whole thing...

[Cut to interview situation.]

Mariah: I went to Paul Hunter with it and then he kind of came up with a couple of different things. I mean I could've said... We could have codirected. I could've said I wanna get a DP and directed, but I... it's too stressful sometimes, especially for the first single. I just really felt like, you know, being... participating in it and contributing creatively, but not having the full pressure on me.

[Honey continues.]

Mariah: I did my own stunts, I'll have you know. There was no stunt girl on that shoot... I didn't jump off the building in the first one...

Molly: ... That's pretty... believing... though... Off the building- that look's pretty good.

Mariah: Yeah, that one was good. But I did dive in the pool off apple boxes in Gucchi pumps <indicates fingertip to end of thumb, probably four inches> that high. <prissy voice> So I deserve a little bit of recognition for that.

Molly: Yeah... I mean, they're hardly flippers, are they?

Mariah (in total agreement): Yeah. Exactly. They're like steel heels.

[Honey restarts. Super VFX: White, over a butterfly banner: "Honey" (centre bottom).]

[VFX: Butterfly album cover zooms up, crossfaded with animation reading "Mariah Carey" above "Butterfly" (centred). Image of a butterfly (centre bottom).] [Shots of Love Takes Time. Super VFX: White, over a butterfly banner: "Love Takes Time" (centre bottom).]

Molly: It's easy to look at Mariah, and see a fairy tale come true. But behind the scenes, Mariah Carey has had her fair share of troubled times.

[Fade to interview situation.]

Mariah: Because I started doing this so young, and because I've been dedicated to being in this business for my whole life. Like, yes it happened very early on, you know... And I know that, and it's like I'm totally grateful for that but (a) I would never have given up if it had taken 10 years (b) I've been wanting to do this since I was four years old, and I went through, like, prior to even getting my record deal, a lifetime of crazy experiences and struggles and things... that I just don't even really talk about or address, um, because, I don't think it's like my place to get up on a soapbox and say <fake moaning>, "Woah's me." I mean it's like I'm here, I'm alive, I'm happy. You know, I'm doing the music that I want to do. I'm living my life the way I want to live it. And, um, the place where I'm at now is a good place.

[Cut back to Love Takes Time.]

[Fade to Molly.]

Molly: In a career of such amazing success, one negative moment still hovers. That was the night, at the 1996 Grammy Awards when Mariah and Boyz II Men failed to win one single award for their worldwide smash hit One Sweet Day. It was a night Mariah will never forget.

[Fade to One Sweet Day video clip.]

[Cut to interview situation.]

Mariah: Yeah, I had six nominations, which was the most nominations of anyone there. Which I didn't expect or like look for, or think would even happen. I was prepared for that. I wasn't expecting it. But what I... what really disappointed me was that One Sweet Day didn't get recognition just because of the fact that so many people wrote to me about how it helped them...

Molly (sincerely): It did.

Mariah: You know, and the people who had lost friends and things. And I just felt that it was really kind of important, you know. Yeah, it was an R&B, but it was a pop record... so it wasn't as... I guess they were more into an alternative thing that year, whatever was going on. But I just would've thought that could have gotten a little recognition. So I was disappointed about that. But, you know, what can you do. It's not what it's about. You know, it's about the people that were moved by the song and that were inspired or helped by the song.

[Fade to One Sweet Day video clip. Super VFX: "One Sweet Day Featuring Boyz II Men".]

[VFX: Butterfly album cover zooms up, crossfaded with animation reading "Mariah Carey" above "Butterfly" (centred). Image of a butterfly (centre bottom).] [Shot of Molly.]

Molly: The Mariah story started way back in the late 1980's when the singer was discovered by her future husband Tommy Mottola.

[Fade to Vision Of Love video clip. Super VFX: "Vision Of Love"; Mariah Carey album (bottom right corner, slightly angled).]

Molly: In 1990, Mariah Carey released her self-titled debut album, with singles like Vision Of Love, Love Takes Time and Someday. The album sold an incredible 12 million units.

[Cut to Someday video clip. Super VFX: "Someday".]

[Cut to Emotions video clip. Emotions album (bottom right corner, slightly angled); Super VFX: "Emotions".]

[Cut to I'll Be There clip. MTV Unpluged EP (bottom right corner, slightly angled); Super VFX: "I'll Be There, MTV Unplugged".]

[VFX: Butterfly album cover zooms up, crossfaded with animation reading "Mariah Carey" above "Butterfly" (centred). Image of a butterfly (centre bottom).]

[Shot of Molly.]

Molly: It appeared Mariah Carey couldn't get any bigger...

[SFX: Without You plays. Super VFX: Music Box album (bottom right corner, slightly angled).]

Molly (continues): But then along came the album called Music Box. With monster hits like Dreamlover, Hero and Without You. And the album went literally through the roof. Twenty-four million albums later, Mariah had well and truly arrived as the biggest star of the 90's.

[Fade to Without You clip. Super VFX: "Without You".]

[Fade to Dreamlover video clip. Super VFX: "Dreamlover".]

[Fade to Hero clip. Super VFX: "Hero".]

[Cut to All I Want For Christmas Is You video clip. Super VFX: "All I Want For Christmas Is You"; Merry Christmas album (bottom right corner, slightly angled).]

Molly: Christmas albums are usually regarded as footnotes in an artist's career. But not with Mariah. Her 1994 Christmas album titled Merry Christmas was a worldwide smash hit in its own right, selling eight million copies.

[Cut to One Sweet Day video clip. Super VFX: Daydream album (bottom right corner, slightly angled); "One Sweet Day featuring Boyz II Men".]

Molly: In 1995, Mariah Carey released her fifth studio album Daydream. It was another amazing album full of brilliant pop songs: Always Be My Baby, Fantasy and her extraordinary duet with Boyz II Men, One Sweet Day.

[Cut to Always Be My Baby video clip. Super VFX: "Always Be My Baby".]

Molly: In the course of her career, Mariah has won five Billboard awards, an American music award, three World music awards, three Soul Train awards and two Grammys.

[VFX: Butterfly album cover zooms up, crossfaded with animation reading "Mariah Carey" above "Butterfly" (centred). Image of a butterfly (centre bottom).]

[Shot of Molly]

Molly: Mariah Carey's second single Butterfly paraphrases Elton John in his song Butterflies Are Free To Fly. And that's exactly what she's doing, as she enters a whole new phase of her career.

[Cut to Butterfly video clip. Super VFX: "Butterfly".]

[Fade to interview situation.]

Mariah: I came up with the idea for Butterfly and it was originally gonna be a house record. I was gonna just do it with David Morales and then I started working on it a little further and I said, "You know, this really should be the title of the album," and, "This should be a ballad." So, I went to Walter and I had already written most of it and I, you know, just said this is the song, basically. And we did the bridge, and stuff.

Molly: When you are writing something... with you and Walter... do you arrange it then or does it happen within the studios when you hear the backing arrangements?

Mariah: With that particular song I knew it before I went there. "This is the song. It's gonna be these background vocals, I wanna do a really simple verse." I wanted the verses kind of... to be much more inward, you know, feeling, like small and quiet and subtle. And then the choruses really open up, and they become so big. And the vocal arrangements were basically on my mind, but then on the bridge we did the vocal arrangements on the spot as we were recording... Melonie Daniels and I.

[Cut to Butterfly video clip.]

[Fade to interview situation.]

Molly: So... the inevitable question is... Are you coming to Australia? I know everybody says yes, definitely, but I want to hear it directly from Mariah Carey.

Mariah: I am most definitely coming to Australia. I am totally looking forward to coming to Australia. I've always wanted to come to Australia. And now I will be there in January, definitely.

Molly: As I say, congratulations on the Butterfly album, and um, this has blown me away.

Mariah: Thank you.

Molly: And I'll take you back and give you a barbecue... prawns off the barbie in Melbourne when you're down. Alright thanks a lot.

Mariah: I can't wait. Thanks.

[Cut to Fantasy (Bad Boy Fantasy) video clip. Super VFX: "Fantasy (Remix)".]

Exit: The Mariah Carey Newsgroup FAQ; Kasoft Typesetting; Archer

Transcription: Kade "Archer" Hansson; e-mail:

Last updated: Saturday 18th April 1998