Mariah, Unwrapped

Having a Christmas music moment, Mariah Carey regifts the love of her loyal gay fans — and stuffs our stocking with the truth about her night with Lindsay Lohan.

BY Brandon Voss

December 13 2010 1:05 PM ET

To use her words, Mariah Carey is having a Christmas music moment. Merry Christmas, her 1994 holiday album, yielded the seasonal staple “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” "Oh Santa!,” the first single from the 40-year-old Grammy-winner's successful new yuletide sequel, Merry Christmas II You, is perched atop Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart like a perfect angel. Before she gets festive this week in her ABC holiday special Mariah Carey: Merry Christmas to You, Carey, expecting her first child with husband Nick Cannon, regifts the love of her loyal gay fans — and stuffs our stocking with the truth about her night with Lindsay Lohan.

The Advocate: No one does contemporary Christmas pop like you, Mariah. Do you really love the holidays, or are you just faking it?
Mariah Carey: You can’t really fake that. I don’t think people who don’t love Christmas could translate that into a great Christmas song. People ask me, “How do you make these songs feel like they’re already classics?” The point is that I do love the holidays so much, and I love writing songs and making records, so it seems like a natural fusion for me. I did the first Christmas album so long ago, and then every year I’d listen to it and pick it apart. So I needed to make a new Christmas album for myself as well as for the fans. I wanted an album that I could listen to during the holidays.

I’ve read reports that your holiday repertoire might be made into a Broadway musical about your life as early as next year. What’s the real story?
It definitely wouldn’t be about my life; start that rumor and they’ll never lose it, so make sure people know it’s not about my life. Right now we’re working on finding a script. We’ve been in discussions with HBO for over three years now. Everybody’s been very supportive of the project, but nobody wants to accept a script that’s not amazing. Anybody out there reading this who’s a writer or writer-in-training, we’re definitely accepting different ideas right now. Because it’s so important to me, I don’t want to make a mistake and have the script not be as good as the music. I want the script to be better than the music.

You’d rather debut your musical on TV than on Broadway?
A long time ago, the first idea I had was for it to be on Broadway and hopefully become a perennial. Then we spoke with HBO and got into discussions about making a movie musical. So it wouldn’t be a TV movie, because it’s not TV, it’s HBO.

Marc Shaiman, who worked as a writer-producer on Merry Christmas II You, would certainly be an asset on that musical project.
I love Marc Shaiman. He’s amazing, and I’d love to work with him again. Randy Jackson introduced me to him. When we sat down to write at the house in L.A., it was an amazing experience. After that, I was like, “He has to do the orchestrations for the entire album, because nobody else is coming close to what he’s doing, even in his demos.” And he’s hilarious. Being with him in person is almost as good as his e-mails.

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