That new album Mariah Carey has been recording on the down low has finally landed a home ... on her own label.
The Universal Music Group announced Wednesday (May 8) that they have signed the biz's most highly touted free agent to a new deal that will see one of its branches, the Island/Def Jam Music Group, distribute the music released by Carey's yet-to-be-named company.
"I'm incredibly happy," Carey said in a statement. "It's a tremendous and unprecedented opportunity to be working in tandem with [Universal Music Group Chairman/CEO] Doug [Morris], [Island/Def Jam President/CEO] Lyor [Cohen] and [Interscope Geffen A&M Chairman] Jimmy [Iovine], and to have the benefit of their powerful international forces led by [Universal Music International Chairman] Jorgen Larsen. They have collectively helped redefine pop music, and I am excited to be part of their family."
"Despite offers from many of our competitors, we are delighted that Mariah has chosen Island as the place to begin the next phase of her unprecedented career," Lyor Cohen offered in a statement. "The hallmark of Island Records has always been to take the current model of bringing music to the fans, turning it on its head, and redefining it for a new generation."
Although Cohen has described Mariah as entering a new plateau with her career, the superstar singer is somewhat sticking to the script for her new project. On the set of the video for the "Welcome to Atlanta" remix in New York on Wednesday, longtime collaborator Jermaine Dupri said that he has contributed five songs to the new Mariah project.
"It's hot," a never-shy Dupri boasted. "We ain't doing nothing different. I just wanted to make sure we kept to the same [familiar sound]. A lot of people don't know I did one of the biggest records she ever had, 'Always Be My Baby.' I wanted to make sure we stuck to that. That's what the fans want."
Producers DJ Quik and 7 Aurelius have also come forward in recent weeks to say they've helped to create soundscapes for Carey's new album (see "Mariah Carey Records In Bahamas With Live Band, Strips Down With 7,"
There is no official word on when Carey's LP will be released. The New York Daily News has reported that her new deal is for three albums, with each being worth between $7 and $8 million. A spokesperson for Def Jam was not at liberty to either confirm or deny the report. No matter what the sum, Mariah shouldn't be hurting for cash, of course.
In April of 2001, Carey signed with Virgin Records for close to $82 million and was paid $21 million up front. After the movie and the soundtrack "Glitter" flopped, EMI, Virgin's mother company, decided to cut their losses and paid Carey $28 million in January to sever ties with the singer (see "Mariah Carey And Virgin Part Ways").
For a feature interview with Mariah, check out "Mariah Carey: Looking Out For #1."
Shaheem Reid, with additional reporting by Sway Calloway