Mariah Carey. Glitter. No other combination of words evokes images of four-inch stilettos, dresses of about the same length, and a near-shattering fall from grace quite like those three. The past few turbulent years in Carey's career have made it difficult to believe that one of the media's biggest punching bags was also named best-selling female artist ever by the World Music Awards and most successful artist of the 1990s in the United States by Billboard magazine. The singer's five-octave vocal range and five hard-earned Grammys have been largely overshadowed by a very public emotional breakdown, commercial failures, and a flagrant increase in the hoochie department. But recently (and largely owing to the well-received release The Emancipation of Mimi) the embarrassing stain that Glitter and other public mishaps have left on Carey's otherwise successful career have been almost completely washed away. Emancipation marks a return to inspiration after a notably dry season. After sixteen years, fourteen albums, and incredible highs and lows, the ever-evolving queen diva has regained a supportive audience willing to worship her in all her vocal glory.
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