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Mariah Carey Carries Off Television Show With Ease

Mary Campbell Associated Press

Mariah Carey has had so many hit records it would be hard to predict which would get the most applause in a concert.

At the concert Oct. 10 which was shot for her second TV special, it was “One Sweet Day” and the surprise announcement that Boys II Men was there to sing it with her.

The special, “Fantasy: Mariah Carey at Madison Square Garden,” airs at 9 tonight on the Fox network.

Twice, a song had to be repeated and sometimes there were pauses for scenery changes. To entertain the audience, Carey said, she brought one of her four dogs on stage - Jack, a tiny Jack Russell terrier. She held up a small stuffed animal, said, ‘Get it, Jack,’ and he jumped.

“They filmed it. I’m trying to fit it in there,” she says.

Most of the special will be her singing at the concert, the hits since she started making records five years ago and songs from her new album, “Daydream.”

The last song will be “Joy to the World,” filmed last Christmas when she sang it at New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine to benefit the Fresh Air Fund.

There also will be brief interviews and footage of the singer with children at Camp Mariah last summer. The camp was named after her after she pledged $1 million to the Fresh Air Fund’s camp at Fishkill, N.Y.

Carey said her televised concert couldn’t be only new songs.

“We have to do certain songs the fans really want to hear. When I’m watching an artist I like, and they don’t do my favorite song, I’m disappointed,” she said.

Some of the hits were given new arrangements for TV, Carey says. Backup singer Melanie Daniels arranged for the choir from La Guardia Performing Arts High School to sing on “Hero.”

Carey says, “A lot of kids tell me they’re inspired by that song. It has been done at graduation ceremonies. I think the song is for anyone who feels like they need a little bit of strength and they need to look inside themselves and find it because they’re not getting it from any outside sources.”

Thought she wasn’t affluent growing up, Carey says, “I did have my mother who really encouraged me to pursue my dreams. A lot of people don’t have that.”

She adds, “My mom is a vocal coach. She got me started singing. Now I do what I feel.”

She keeps concert tours short, to keep from straining her voice. Next year she’ll tour in Japan, Europe and America.

She feels no pressure because she is the best-selling female recording artist of the 1990s, she says. “It makes me feel great and happy that people are responding to what I’m doing. It really is a dream. I can only do the best I can do.”

Carey resents suggestions that her marriage to Sony Music Entertainment president Tommy Mottola has led to her success. She would prefer that her talent and her songs speak for themselves on the special.

“I’ve always been very focused and tried to stay as down-to-earth as I can and not let the person inside of me change just because my life has changed,” she said.

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