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Friday, 28 December, 2001, 12:03 GMT
Virgin to 'sever ties' with Carey
Mariah Carey in her film Glitter
Carey's movie Glitter was slammed by the critics
Mariah Carey is reportedly on the verge of being dropped by her record label Virgin after poor sales of her last album.

The troubled star signed to EMI's Virgin label in 2001 for a reported record-breaking $100m (69m) deal for five albums.

But following the disappointing sales of Glitter and the singer's personal problems the Los Angeles Times reports Virgin are desperate to pay off the contract.

Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey's early success saw her become one of the US's biggest artist
Carey has suffered several set-backs since she signed in April, most notably an emotional breakdown which saw her check into a clinic to recover.

The breakdown delayed the release of her first major movie Glitter and an album of the same name.

But when the film was finally released it was to fierce criticism of Carey's acting, along with that of her co-star Max Beasley.

Ex-husband

The album had worldwide sales of two million, compared to 20 million for her 1993 release Music Box.

Virgin signed Carey in April after quitting the Sony label owned by her ex-husband Tommy Mottola.

Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey has tried to revamp her image
Now it is reported Virgin will offer Carey a substantial lump sump to release itself from the contract as it tries to turn around its own fortunes.

Parent company EMI reported pre-tax losses of 2m for the first six months of 2001, compared with a profit of 59.1m for the same period last year.

The company said "difficult and unpredictable" market conditions were to blame for the slump in profits.

Mariah Carey in Glitter
The Glitter soundtrack did not perform as well as expected
Carey began to write songs while she was at school and soon after graduation had broken into the recording industry, making her debut on Columbia Records in 1990.

She was the biggest-selling artist of the 1990s and is best known for hits I'll Be There, Without You, Fantasy and Open Arms.

Her single Heartbreaker made her one of the most successful artists ever in 1999, when it became her 14th American number one single, a feat rivalled only by the Beatles (20) and Elvis Presley (17).

See also:

20 Sep 01 | Showbiz
Mariah to perform again
27 Feb 00 | Entertainment
Mariah Carey wows the stars
05 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Mariah released from hospital
02 Aug 01 | Showbiz
Mariah Carey in psychiatric care
05 Sep 01 | Showbiz
Mariah not ready for public return
08 Aug 01 | Showbiz
Mariah leaves clinic
07 Sep 01 | Reviews
Glitter fails to shine
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