Mariah Insists Her Greatest Work Isn't Always Most Popular

Diva says new Greatest Hits should not be confused with 1998's #1's.

Despite her headline-grabbing split with Columbia Records last year, Mariah Carey has no beef with them cashing in on her success by releasing a Greatest Hits double LP on December 4.

And though a collection of Carey's highest-charting songs, #1's, was released a mere three years ago, she says that collection didn't include all of her best work.

"The difference is the #1's record only had [songs that reached #1] on it, therefore I wouldn't let them call it Greatest Hits,' " she said. "I made a huge deal out of it: 'You may not call this a greatest-hits [album].' I think people are going to like this Greatest Hits because there are songs on it that were not necessarily singles.

"These are songs that needed to be really heard, and I'm happy about it," she continued. "There's a song, 'Vanishing,' that's on the record that I really love, and there's a song called 'Underneath the Stars' that I always kind of fought for. ... There's a lot of songs that I'm happy are gonna see the light of day."

Greatest Hits also includes "Fantasy," "Heartbreaker," "Thank God I Found You" and "One Sweet Day," among others.

On the same day that the double album hits stores, Carey will release a maxi-single that features "Never Too Far," "Hero" and "There for Me." Proceeds from the single's sales go to the Heroes Fund, which benefits the families of relief workers lost while trying to save lives during the World Trade Center disaster.

"I started [performing] at different charity events where I did a combination of 'Never Too Far' and 'Hero,' " she said. "We made it into a medley and kinda put them both in the same key and just made it work, and people responded really well to it. It's been interesting for me, since the events of September 11, the way people have been playing 'Hero' and talking to me about 'Never Too Far,' 'cause that song is also about loss.

"I figured that it would be a nice thing to do, to put them both out for Christmas. ... I feel like it's our responsibility to do what we can right now in terms of music, just being artists and being human beings."