Mariah kicks off spectacular new Las Vegas residency |

Saturday 13 April 2024

Mariah kicks off spectacular new Las Vegas residency

Mariah Carey and Las Vegas belong together. On Friday, April 12, the musical icon kicked off her third Vegas residency, Mariah Carey: The Celebration of Mimi Live at Dolby Live at Park MGM. And though Carey, 55, is no stranger to performing residencies in the Nevada city, her latest spectacular show was a definite crowd pleaser.

Celebrating the anniversary of her hit album, The Emancipation of Mimi, the show featured tracks from the 2005 record, as well as many of her most well-loved songs. Carey energetically tore through her catalog during the 90 minute show, singing hits such as "Vision of Love", "Emotion", "Hero", and "Always Be My Baby". Throughout, Carey often hit the high notes, showing off the vocal range she's known for.

At one point in the show, the musical icon thanked her audience and asked them how they were feeling, before she revealed, "I'm feeling good, too." The singer also used the large stage and graphics to make the show even more spectacular - a blue waterfall flowed behind her during "Can't Let Go", and that water eventually turned into smoke.

Donning a bustier covered up with a feathered bathrobe, Carey later sang a medley of songs while perched on a couch in the middle of the stage. Despite the large venue, the performance still felt intimate due to the floor-to-ceiling curtain that surrounded her. A montage of behind-the-scenes videos also played on an oversized screen, giving a glimpse into Carey's three-decade career.

Mariah kicks off spectacular new Las Vegas residency |

Carey often gave short introductions to the songs, including 1993's "Dreamlover", which included a story about Aretha Franklin. She described she was set to perform a show "in honor of Aretha Franklin, the queen of soul," but she had felt things weren't going well after seeing a flustered producer.

Franklin, according to Carey, said, "Mariah they're playing games and I'm not having the games, so we won't be rehearsing tonight."

Eventually Carey met with Franklin in her trailer to rehearse together. "She's like, ‘Mariah, what are all these people doing that's making them so, so hot? I don't understand it'," Carey told the audience on April 12, adding that Franklin "hated" air conditioning because she felt it was bad for her voice.

"It was so funny that she'd be cracking jokes left and right in that moment she said, 'I really like your song Dreamlover.' So in honor of Miss Franklin, let's do Dreamlover," Carey said, before launching into the hit track.

At various moments during the show, Carey was heard in pre-recorded voiceovers speaking of her life, as her words also flashed on a large ring the hovered over the stage. And, during one section of the show, she told fans to, "Protect your dreams." Along with the music, the show included seven outfit changes and three different hairstyles, with Carey nodding to her fabulous attire during the night.

"Does it matter that I need someone to hold my dress for me? It's because it's bejeweled darling, it's bejeweled," she joked at one point, while walking on the stage in a shimmering sliver dress.

Mariah kicks off spectacular new Las Vegas residency |

Carey's makeup artist Kristopher Buckle recently told People exclusively that, "The show is a celebration of Mariah's music throughout her career. The production is slick energetic and sexy. Mariah's look represents her now, but with nods to the different eras and iconic glamorous looks she is known for."

During the April 12 performance, Buckle himself stepped out on stage during Carey's performance of "Shake It Off" to touch up the superstar's makeup. Carey also had some famous supporters in the audience. Singer Anitta caught the "Hero" singer's first residency show and has previously spoken about being a huge fan of Carey, including during a 2022 appearance on Watch What Happens Live.

Meanwhile, on her Instagram page, Carey later celebrated the show with three posts that each included shots of her from the night. "The Celebration of Mimi. Opening night at Dolby Live," the music icon captioned each of the three posts, along with outfit, styling, hair and makeup credits.

Las Vegas residencies are nothing new to the pop icon. In 2015, she launched her #1 to Infinity show at Caesars Palace, which ran through June 2017. In it, Carey performed her 18 No. 1 songs in chronological order. She returned to the Caesars stage in December 2017 for a run of Christmas-themed concerts.

Then, in July 2018, Carey kicked off a second full residency show in Vegas titled The Butterfly Returns. That show, also at Caesars Palace, ran through February 2020, ending just before the COVID pandemic shut the city down. For fans who haven't yet nabbed tickets to Carey's latest residency, the singer has just announced eight new dates this year: July 26, 27 and 31 as well as August 2, 3, 7, 9 and 10.


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