Mariah Carey recently released her greatest hits album #1 to Infinity. Unfortunately the first single “Infinity” didn’t go past debuting at #82. That number is an insult to the Mariah Carey of 2000 or even 1990 but radio is a whole different ballgame in 2015 and the playlists and featured artists are tighter, younger and hugely successful creating their own legacies in and out of the industry while Mariah is trying to capitalize off of her legacy. There are times when an older artist tries to hang on to their previous success to the point of embarrassment but at least Carey was wise enough to do a residency in Vegas at the same time. Label exec LA Reid stated that Mariah even being ON the radio at this point is an accomplishment. Now on to Janet Jackson. Her first project is 7 years is about to hit and there are naysayers who think that by using the same producers (Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis) her music may not be current and her fate may be the same as Mariah’s. One thing that can be said about Jam and Lewis is they have been able to change with the times and their once signature sound (SOS, Alexander O’Neal, Human League) has also progressed with the times.
Jackson may fare better because she’s a different kind of star who has been able to transcend to younger demos because her legacy is duplicated by so many of today’s female performers unlike Mariah who’s more known for great ballads there aren’t many women doing what Mariah did today. Jackson has been elusive for several years, married a billionaire and has been living outside the United states. She’s an icon and she’s never been seen as an artist who was about antics or making her personal life public. She also has an incredible family legacy unlike Mariah but what’s most impressive is the buzz she has managed to expertly generate over the last several weeks causing extreme interest in her new single and project. She has been so incredibly private about it that even some of the top people in our industry are in the dark about the product’s details. Radio, is FULL of politics today but stations would be stupid not to jump on the buzz bandwagon and not play the song and I predict radio will participate.