TGJ’s Top Mariah Carey ‘Emancipation’ Era Performances

Published: Sunday 17th Apr 2016 by Sam
The-Emancipation-Of-Mimi1

For the modern era, commercial comebacks don’t come any bigger than Mariah Carey‘s powerful return to prominence with ‘The Emancipation of Mimi.’

As widely documented, the songbird’s career was in precarious position prior to the April 2005 release.

Mimi’s music had not been flying off the shelves for years. Indeed, the bombastic bombing of 2001’s ‘Glitter’ effectively tombstoned her huge Virgin Records deal and 2002 follow-up ‘Charmbracelet’ (her first release for Island Def Jam), while embraced by critics, did not deliver commercially.

The latter would prove to be the calm before the storm, though. Because, following the one-two punch thrown by ‘Emancipation’s preceding singles ‘It’s Like That’ and ‘We Belong Together,’ Mariah would go on to enjoy one of the hottest streaks of her illustrious career.

She earned her 16th and 17th #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, was certified 6x Platinum in the US (sales not streams), and sold 12 million copies of the LP worldwide. Very much a Tina Turner ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’ moment for the 00s.

Beyond the music, the era was especially memorable for Mariah’s promotional omnipresence and the performances that brought along with it. Join us below as we count down our top  live showings from the ‘Emancipation of Mimi’ era…

6) ‘With You I’m Born Again’ (w/ John Legend) At VH1 Save The Music 2005

Though not a song on the ‘Emancipation,’ this duet cover of Billy Preston and Syreeta’s hit easily serves as one of the era’s most sensational showings. An exquisite blending of talent by two of music’s top titans at the time.

5) ‘We Belong Together’ At MTV Movie Awards 2005

As one the most successful songs not just of the ‘Emancipation’ era – but of the decade, ‘We Belong Together’ performances are plentiful.

However, Mariah’s reliance on pre-recorded vocals to perform it (given its dangerous demands on her voice) have rendered most showings impressive but “samey.”

Still, the grandeur of the MTV Movie Awards rendition cannot be denied. Vocally on-point and visually stellar, this is one offering of the song that is permanently etched in the mind.

4) ‘Make It Happen’ At Live 8

Mariah sprinting? Who’d have thought it!

At her uninhibited best, the diva let go and let rip with the Children’s Choir Of Africa at Bob Geldof’s world-watched fundraiser.

Charging across the stage with power and purpose, the songbird soared with the 1992 single.

3) ‘It’s Like That’ At VH1 Save The Music 2005

If ever there’s a performance’s modern Mimi needs to reference from a “working the stage” standpoint, it’s this!

Oozing confidence, she visually captured the carefree air of the song; she strutted, she danced, and she felt every whip of that wind machine.

In the years since, she would clam up and seem unsure of herself on-stage. However, after recently catching her on her ‘Sweet Sweet Fantasy’ tour, we witnessed the return of “this” Mariah and it was a welcome pleasure.

2) ‘Vision of Love’ At BET Blueprint

Music critics will agree that ‘Vision’ is one of the most vocally taxing songs in modern memory. A reality which makes Mimi’s rendition of it at the ‘Emancipation’ BET Blueprint special that much more impactful.

A beacon of brilliance, the showing re-affirms the wonders embedded in Carey’s “new voice” when warmed and conditioned.

1) ‘We Belong Together / Fly Like A Bird’ At Grammy Awards 2006

Beyond delivering a double helping of our favorite tracks from the ‘Emancipation,’ Mariah’s 2006 Grammy showing is memorable 11 years on for a multitude of reasons.

Sonically, visually, and lyrically, it encapsulated everything the era represented. Redemption, vindication, resilience, and the rising (like a phoenix) of a star many had considered dimmed.

Vocally, it wasn’t flawless, but in this case even the imperfections added positively to the performance narrative. Mariah was in a war for her career, which when viewed this way, almost makes it natural to have scars of imperfection along the way.

Watching this was like witnessing the (re)coronation of a Queen after her victory in battle. And in many ways it was exactly that.

Your thoughts?

Posted under:

Comments 25

Please Post Your Comments & Reviews

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Dustin April 17, 2016

    ALL HAIL THE QUEEN MARIAH CAREY!

  2. King B April 17, 2016

    ????. ? ?

  3. Beystan_ Since 1997 April 17, 2016

    Grammy performance HANDS DOWN! One of the few times she has performed “Fly Like A Bird” (which is one of my favorite songs off that album). This was back when I still cared for Mariah. After the M=MC2 I got bored… So thanks TGJ for this trip down nostalgic lane with MOO MOO!

  4. Lake Erie April 17, 2016

    I loved number 1 and 3. I felt like number 3 was her “I’m Back MF” performance. She had the crowd and her presence was just booming! I just loved it. With that performance, she gave us a sneak peek of what her tour (Adventures of MiMi) was going to be like. Like many others, I wanted more after watching that performance.. you can tell she was having fun too. Perfect start to the era.

    .
    Performance number 1 was soo good because for 1, she sang her heart out! Also with the era coming to somewhat an end around that time. She excelled it on a high note! I remember hearing nothing but rave reviews about her grammy performance everywhere after that. I’m glad TGJ recognized this because every blue moon to this day, I go back and watch that performance of her. It’s so moving and gets me pumped! Lol. I got a feeling with the way she’s been performing overseas from what I’ve been seeing. (Performance wise) we are going to get another era like the emancipation of MiMi era. I hope so if not.

  5. Stephon Jackson April 17, 2016

    Vision Of Love Blueprint >>>>>>>>>>>>>

  6. Vivian Luckett April 17, 2016

    I honestly didn’t care for any of the performances, but that era slayed.

    • SCALPING THOTS April 17, 2016

      SIS ONLY LAMES GET LIFE. THE EMANCIPATION ERA WAS HER LAST GREAT ONE, BUT MARIAH’S NOT KNOWN FOR GIVING GREAT LIVE PERFORMANCES. SHE MAY HAVE 3 OR 4 TO HER NAME. MARIAH’S USUALLY STIFF & STANDING IN ONE SPOT LOOKING AWKWARD.

  7. JOHNVIDAL April 17, 2016

    She´s the last mega queen of real music slayage. There has not been anybody as big as her and Celine since the 90s and until Adele. And Adele can clearly not compete with such huge musicianship and uniqueness. So Mariah is truly the last one from a type of artist that were just something else.

    • Teflon Boy April 17, 2016

      I have to say, I come on this site a lot and I love how much you appreciate and champion actual talent.., Mariah gets a lot of criticism but she is Hands Down the most gifted singer and all-round artist in the business. She wrote the book on it and it’s all her, the voice, the melodies, the songwriting, the producing. The world will one day lose her and the heavens will ball their f**king eyes out. #AppreciateLegends

      • JOHNVIDAL April 17, 2016

        So nice. Thank you.

  8. SCALPING THOTS April 17, 2016

    REALLY SAM? OF ALL PEOPLE TO CHOOSE FROM FOR THIS TOP 5 PERFORMANCE POST U PICK MARIAH. SHE IS PAINT DRYING WHEN U SEE HER PERFORMING. SHE HAS NO PERSONALITY & I CAN’T THINK OF ANYONE MORE VANILLA THAN HER ASS WHEN IT COMES TO ENTERTAINING. U COULD HAVE DID A POST ON MARIAH’S #1’S OR SONGS SHE’S WRITTEN. THIS IS JUST SOMETHING TO BUILD UP THE INSECURE LAMES. MARIAH LACKS SEVERELY IN THIS DEPARTMENT, PATTI MUST HAVE REALLY BUMPED HER HEAD WHEN SHE CLAIMED HER AS A GOD DAUGHTER. SAD.

  9. JOHNVIDAL April 17, 2016

    The one at the VMA was the one I think brought the era to the next level in general. Until that point it had been an amzing comeback numbers wise in an industry that is almost impossible to fight with once it has let you on the side. But after those performances for We Belong Together… it just showed what type of classic that song was and of course the monumental quality and uniqueness of her voice once again. From that moment on the year was hers. I also agree the performance at the grammys was just the perfect way to close the era on a high. It made the album sell again thousands and thousands of copies the following week and it was praised everywhere.

  10. True Lambily April 17, 2016

    I feel Mariah could have another Emancipation type album BUT 1ST she has to reconnect with the fans Primarily the reason I’m for her touring oversea’s I see these tours as a opportunity for her to reconnect however for sum reason she is not touring the U.S as of yet and it’s like surely if anywhere to reconnect it would be home not everyone wants to visit Vegas even if she did a U.S spot date tour I’d be kool with that

  11. Queen Ci April 17, 2016

    Empress Legendriah: Gimme another Emancipation or Daydream era, muvva. I know you’ve got it in you.

  12. Spoken Reason April 17, 2016

    A living legend.

  13. Citi April 17, 2016

    I would’ve picked WBT from Blueprint over Movie awards, since that climax was live and showed how great her voice was during that filming. But I understand for the Movie awards pick since it was such a large event. This era was everything!

  14. Shae April 17, 2016

    The MTV MOVIE AWARDS was beautifully done BUT that BLUEPRINT VISION OF LOVE she took it to church OMG I loved it;

  15. Gee April 17, 2016

    Kudos to TGJ for finally highlighting Mariah’s greatness opposed to always putting the spotlight on her failures. The Emancipation era was a huge era and the last big era for a Diva from the 80’s and 90’s. On this list in particular The Blueprint performance on BET was a gospel moment. I also feel the WBT performance on BET blueprint should have been included on this list. The Grammy performance of FLAB/WBT was a gem as well. God bless this gifted legend/ artist.

  16. Coolness April 17, 2016

    TEOM is right up there with Tina Turner’s Private Dancer as one of the greatest musical comebacks of all time! I think this was when she really solidified her legendary status because even though her career took a hit with the Glitter album, she was still viewed her as an icon because her artistry was starting to influence a generation of singers that came after her. This album recaptured Mariah’s old fans and also brilliantly introduced her to new ones. 2005 – 2006 were truly the last big years for R&B on the charts because Mary J. Blige would experience a career resurgence with The Breakthrough album a year after Mimi. The performance with John Legend is one of my personal favorites because she interpreted the song beautifully. However, the Grammy performance is where it’s at. Like Sam said, it wasn’t flawless but it was her display of strength that made for a powerful showing.

  17. Thermalright April 17, 2016

    Loved that album!!!!!!

  18. mikey April 17, 2016

    Thanks for this TGJ!

  19. Royalkev April 17, 2016

    This is actually one of my favorite albums by Mariah, (along with ‘Daydream’ and ‘Butterfly’). Of course, WBT is the standout, but people often ignore ‘Shake It Off’. The song is a great mid to uptempo track, that has a great climax, clean vocal delivery and adlibs. This album’s is a great addition to Mariah’s catalog.

  20. Tran uk anti bloper honey love but it okay girl April 17, 2016

    Nice

Recommended Posts
.. **