23 May 2014
Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse is the fourteenth studio album by American singer-songwriter and producer Mariah Carey. It was released on May 23, 2014, through Def Jam Recordings. The record had been in development since 2011; during its production, Carey hired friend and collaborator Randy Jackson to manage her career, before replacing him with another frequent collaborator, Jermaine Dupri. The album consists of guest appearances from Nas, Miguel, Wale, and Fabolous, as well as gospel and R&B duo Mary Mary, in addition to Carey's twins Moroccan and Monroe. On the deluxe edition of the album, R. Kelly and Mary J. Blige respectively make appearances on remixes of two songs - "Betcha Gon' Know" and "It's a Wrap" - taken from Carey's twelfth studio album Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel (2009). These remixes were originally intended to appear on Carey's cancelled remix album, Angel's Advocate (2010).
Previously titled The Art of Letting Go, the album was originally scheduled for release in 2012 following the single, "Triumphant (Get 'Em)" featuring Rick Ross and Meek Mill. However, after the song's underperformance, additional songs were recorded for the album, causing the release date to be pushed back several times throughout 2013 and again in 2014. Together with Bryan Michael Cox, Carey and Dupri executively produced the album. It is named after a self-portrait that Carey drew at the age of three-years old that she captioned "Me. I Am Mariah". "The Elusive Chanteuse" part of the title is one of Carey's many monikers.
After its release, the album was critically appreciated but was commercially unsuccessful, becoming the lowest selling release of Carey's career. Me. I Am Mariah… was promoted through a number of media appearances by Carey as well as The Elusive Chanteuse Show. Three singles were released from the album including, the Australian top-ten and US Billboard Hot 100 top-twenty song "#Beautiful" (a duet with Miguel), as well as "The Art of Letting Go" "You're Mine (Eternal)", and "You Don't Know What to Do" featuring rapper Wale; all of which were all less successful than "#Beautiful". Although the re-release of her 2002 album Charmbracelet was issued with a Parental Advisory warning in some territories, Me. I Am Mariah… is Carey's first studio album to bear the warning in the United States. Alternate edited versions were also released for the standard and deluxe versions of the album.
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