General News

EMI: We aren't paying Mariah Carey to leave

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Jan 07, 2002 | 10:15am EST

British recording conglomerate EMI Group Plc squelched reports which suggested they agreed to pay off pop diva Mariah Carey to leave the Virgin label--to the tune of $50 million--after her last album Glitter flopped.

"EMI wishes to make clear that it had made no such payments or agreement," EMI said in a released statement.

The record giant was criticized last year when they signed a multimillion deal to produce four albums with the 31-year-old singer, worth an estimated $81 million U.S. At the time, EMI lauded the deal as building up a much needed U.S. market share with Carey, who has sold more than 120 million albums in her career.

Rumors then began swirling of Carey's imminent departure when Ken Berry, the executive who put the recording deal together with Carey, was ousted and replaced by Alain Levy, who immediately began slashing costs after a tough year in the music industry.

Analysts, however, said the $50 million payoff would seem a tad premature, Reuters reports. Carey had only produced one album under the contract, an album immediately struck with a string of bad luck, including Carey's ill health, which delayed the release of the album.

The music industry as a whole suffered its worst year ever in 2001 due to the Sept. 11 attacks and a steady decline in CD sales. Many music groups have already had to get rid of high-profile artists who do not sell enough albums to warrant costly contracts.

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