In a candid interview with Oprah Winfrey, Mariah Carey finally opened up about the tumultuous events leading to her widely publicized breakdown in 2001. She revealed that after leaving her husband and parting ways with her old record company, she found herself working at an unsustainable pace. Carey disclosed that, without a manager who truly cared for her well-being, she was unable to set healthy boundaries and ended up getting only one or two hours of sleep per night for months.
Overwhelmed by her responsibilities and overworked, she never learned to say no to the relentless demands placed upon her. Ultimately, the immense pressure and exhaustion took their toll, resulting in the now-infamous breakdown that sent shockwaves through the entertainment industry.
A Commercial Disappointment
As if the film’s disastrous release was not enough, the soundtrack to “Glitter” was also a massive failure. This album became the diva’s least successful album ever; in fact, the sales reached an all time low that ultimately forced Virgin Records to end their contract with Carey. It was a truly devastating moment for her.
The singer went from being one of the world’s most famous music stars to having fewer and fewer contract prospects. With no musical collaborations or job opportunities in sight, Carey was in a very tough spot. Undoubtedly, it was one of the hardest moments of her entire professional career.
A Terribly Timed Release
Another contributing factor to the failure of the “Glitter” soundtrack was its incredibly unfortunate and ill-timed release date. The album hit the shelves on September 11, 2001, one of the darkest and most tragic days in modern history. The events of 9/11 understandably overshadowed the album's debut as the nation and the world grappled with the shock, grief, and fear that ensued.
During such a somber and devastating period, there was little appetite for an upbeat pop album, which seemed incongruous with the public's mood. The disastrous timing of the soundtrack’s release could not have been worse, and it undeniably played a significant role in the album's lack of commercial success.
A High-Profile Feud Begins
2002 marked Carey’s changing fate – her new album “Charmbracelet” had been released to commercial success, and she was definitely becoming the center of attention for the press. Why? Because of her infamous conflict with rapper Eminem. It turns out that Slim Shady had been spreading a rumor that he and Carey had been together for half a year and said he left because of the singer’s personal issue with alcohol.
Carey was furious – she denied everything. She said she had never been romantically involved with the rapper, nor did she have any issues with alcohol. The conflict kept escalating, and the back-and-forth went on for years.
Crushing a Rival's Claims
Mariah Carey staunchly denied ever being in a relationship with Eminem, and she took her rebuttal a step further with the release of the brilliantly scathing song "Obsessed." In the track, Carey portrayed Eminem as a delusional stalker who had a pitiable crush on her. Moreover, Carey displayed her quick wit during a talk show appearance when the host challenged her to say three nice things about Eminem.
Without missing a beat, she cleverly responded, "They come in a package you can take anywhere; they come in peanut and chocolate…" This masterful play on words further established Carey's ability to shut down her rival and show that she wouldn't be easily intimidated or defeated.