Mariah Carey sets sights on an Academy Award!

Dearest Academy,

Secure your wig. Clutch your pearls. Get your life all the way together. Do what you must to prepare, because Mariah Carey is coming for you. She is coming for the GOLD, to snatch something that has been LONG overdue: an Academy Award. Yes, an OSCAR. Go on and re-read that if you must, but there are no typos in this font. It is QUITE clear that Mariah Carey is hellbent to get her long deserved Oscar trophy. I’m not talking about for her acting performance in a film, though. I am talking about the coveted Best Original Song award; every songwriter’s dream.

Mariah Carey + Academy Award = ?

The music industry’s best kept secret, and unrightfully so, is how unbelievably talented Mariah Carey is as a songwriter and producer. (Perhaps it’s so unbelievable that its literally not believable? I don’t know). Somehow, her talent goes painfully unacknowledged by just about everyone. Yet, this QUEEN has been the primary writer for every song she has set her pipes on, save for three film songs and her covers. One of those aforementioned film songs, “When You Believe,” is an Academy Award winning duet with Whitney Houston. Up until that point in her career, it was the ONLY original song she ever sang that she did not write. I can only imagine how livid Mariah was upon realizing she missed her first chance at an Academy Award.

Mariah Carey + Marc Shaiman = !

Never fear, though, because the Empress of Christmas has found the perfect storm for her next best shot at it, and it’s called “The Star.” The song finds her once again teaming up with legendary composer Marc Shaiman. His work most notably includes Broadway’s Hairspray and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Previously, the pair composed two gorgeous new Christmas originals boasting fabulous orchestrations for her second Christmas album in 2010. What’s that you say? You want to see what? Oh, okay, sure enough.

“Christmastime is in the Air Again,” Exhibit A: 

Written and produced by Carey and Shaiman

The film, The Star:

“The Star” is the theme song for the film of the same name, The Star, to be released this fall. The film is an animated, comedic retelling of the Christian Nativity story, and boasts an impressive voice cast. The Columbia Pictures distributed film features voice talent from Kelly Clarkson, Kristin Chenoweth, Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Anthony Anderson and Steven Yeun, to name a few. It is helmed by various big-name production companies, including Franklin Entertainment (Miracles from Heaven), Walden Media (Chronicles of Narnia), The Jim Henson Company (The Muppets) and, of course, Sony Pictures Animations.

So, who better to write and sing the theme song for a star-studded film about Christmas, than the Empress of Christmas herself? That’s right… Mariah Carey. No matter what goes on during the year, it is always guaranteed that come December 1st, Mariah Carey’s image morphs from “dramatic diva” to essentially, the Spirit of Christmas. That, of course, is thanks to her ubiquitous classic “All I Want For Christmas is You,” released 23 years ago, which gained steam and easily became most popular Christmas song over the last 15 years.

“All I Want For Christmas is You,” Exhibit B: You might not know it, but this isn’t the first time Mariah penned a Christmas classic for another huge Christmas film. Faith Hill’s, “Where Are You Christmas?,” the pop version of the signature song from 2000’s The Grinch was actually co-written by Mariah. However, due to a series of unfortunate events (Tommy Mottolla), she was not allowed to sing it. Seventeen years later, Mariah is coming for what’s hers.

“Where Are You Christmas?,” Exhibit C: Mariah has already written two phenomenal, original Christmas songs about the Nativity story. “Jesus Born on this Day” (1994), and “One Child” (2010) are both Christmas-themed gospel songs that deal with that very topic. Both songs sound like timeless classics, and exquisitely tell the story. Her beautiful lyrics, lush arrangements and signature vocals are undeniable on both songs. 2010’s “One Child” was also a collaboration with Shaiman, so Mariah is sure to impress with yet another reimagining of the age old tale. Don’t believe me? Take a listen. To be honest, it should’ve been awarded an Emmy for her very pregnant performance of it for the Obamas at 2010’s Christmas in Washington. 

“One Child,” Exhibit D: Think she can’t still churn out a Christmas classic? That song might be seven years old now, but it’s not like she’s tried since. Well, sort of. Less than two years ago, Mariah took the stage of her sold out Beacon Theatre Christmas residency show (because who else does a Christmas residency show but the Empress of Christmas?) and freestyled a new song off the top of her head. WHO ELSE?! Don’t believe me?

“Christmas in New York,” Exhibit E: This isn’t the first time Mariah penned a song specifically for a film, though. In 2008, she co-starred in an independent film directed by Lee Daniels entitled Tennessee (long before his Precious/Empire fame) and penned a song based on the character she played. That song, “Right to Dream,” is a beautiful, guitar-driven country ballad composed solely by Mariah, though she did consult with Country legend Willie Nelson for some advice, to make it sound authentic. Not only is it a gorgeous song, but it showcased Mariah’s extraordinary prowess as a songwriter. It proved just how well she could embody the essence and story of a character and turn it into a song that fit both the plot and the sonic atmosphere of the film perfectly.

“Right to Dream,” Exhibit F: So yes, she indeed has a right to dream of an Academy Award. She is more than deserving. I truly feel the cards have aligned. She has put all the necessary pieces together for what is her best and first shot at winning an Academy Award. Of course, I have not heard the song, but what better to have for a song about the Nativity story than a little faith, eh? So, to our friends at the Academy, please… act like you know. You might as well order her statue now.


The Lambily


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