Los Angeles – Leave it to super singer Mariah Carey to make a grand entrance.
Dressed in a sexy, cleavage-revealing, body hugging gold mermaid glittery gown, Mariah performed her latest Christmas song, “The Star,” for the press and guests at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. She co-wrote the song with Broadway composer Marc Shaiman (“Hairspray,” “Catch Me If You Can”) for her latest animated movie helmed by Timothy Reckart.
Mariah, who voices the hen Rebecca, is featured in the computer-animated Christian comedy film, “The Star,” which tells the story of the Nativity of Jesus through the eyes of a donkey named Bo (voiced by Steven Yeun) and his animal friends who became the unsung heroes of the first Christmas.
She performed the song with her twins Moroccan and Monroe, 6.
“It is their first public performance onstage and I am so proud of them,” she told us. “They love the song so much that they wanted to sing it with me.”
The kids, dressed in colorful Christmas outfits, sat on high chairs and gave musical backup to their mom.
So how was her collaboration with Marc Shaiman on the song and what was her inspiration for this song, we asked.
“First of all, I was approached about writing a song for the movie ‘The Star,’” she said. “I love Christmas obviously and I thought it would be a great opportunity to work with Marc Shaiman again. We have written two other songs, both holiday songs. So we got together. The greatest thing about that experience for me was learning from him. He’s written and scored so many films. What I really enjoyed was watching the film itself while writing the music together.”
What did the kids think of her doing the voice of the hen?
“I don’t think they recognized me when they heard that particular section,” she replied. “But they loved the movie. They really did. They sat through it and they enjoyed it.”
On what “follow the star” meant to her, she said, “It’s about the true meaning of Christmas. I felt the way it was portrayed in the movie was something that we really wanted to make sure that the song reflected the spirit. We tried to really stay on top to make it a message that the kids could relate to because the film is obviously animation. It’s great. We saw the movie and took the kids to the screening.
“If you saw my kids on stage and also my friend’s son Jaden, it was rock and roll. Jaden and all of them are singing on the record with me and doing the background vocals. They wanted to sing on stage today. So after they saw the movie, they fell in love with it and they played the song over and over. Today, they got their professional debut. They had been on stage with me before but this was the most important.”
How about her “Hollywood star”? Does she want to pursue her acting career on top of her successful music career?
“I worked with Lee Daniels on the movie ‘Precious,’” she said. “That was such a therapeutic experience for me. I really enjoyed the process as well. I just spoke with Lee last night. We did a few projects together. I would love to get back to doing some good work in film as well. Music is my first love but I do love acting too.”
So does she have a tradition that she has begun with her children for Christmas?
“I have so many traditions,” she admitted. “Everything from live reindeer and Santa Claus comes. This is true. We are in Aspen and there is snow. There is always snow. We have been doing that with my extended family for years. Now I tried to just make sure that the kids have a great experience as well. It’s really about making them happy. Before I had my own kids I would try to do that for other people’s kids, for my friends and for myself. I want a good holiday too, selfishly I will say it.”
What drives her to work hard?
“This project is about the holiday season and I love Christmas. I just enjoy this,” she disclosed.
“I am doing a Christmas tour this year and I have another project called ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ which is inspired by the song. Then we did a children’s book as well, too. So it’s just something that I look forward to all year long. Even if it’s work and it’s the holiday season, I prefer to take time off and do what everybody else does. It’s what I love. I love music. I just want to spend my time having a good time during the holidays, with friends and family.”
Asked what she does when she is not busy performing, Mariah revealed, “I love cooking. Cooking is fun. I like to have a sous chef. I do that as well, because to be candid, it makes it easier for me. But the truth is, I do most of that around the holiday season. So I cook for everybody and force them to eat whatever I make.”