Oct 13 2009

'Angelic' Mariah Carey in Seoul to Promote 'Imperfect' Album

< > The Korea Times

Pop superstar Mariah Carey's new album might be called "Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel," but she charmed everyone at a press conference in Seoul, Tuesday.

Wearing a fitted black mini-dress and knee-high boots, Carey made her grand entrance at the press conference with a flurry of camera flashes lighting up the room.

"Annyeonghaseyo," Carey said, smiling at the room full of local and international reporters at the Rose Hall of the Grand InterContinental Hotel, Samseong-dong, southern Seoul.

"I'm very excited to be back here in Korea after six years. I always said I wanted to see my fans and experience different things in Korea again," she said.

She arrived Monday evening in Seoul to promote her 12th album. "Yesterday, at the airport, we were tired, but when we saw the fans there, and the fans were beyond supportive. I feel like I have a family all over the world, and here is part of my family too," she said.

Asked about how she came up with the album's title, Carey said she originally co-wrote a song with her husband Nick Cannon about society's obsession with perfection.

"Society seems to make people feel bad about not being perfect, especially in the entertainment business. I thought, wouldn't it be cool if that would be the theme of the album and speak to the people who may be growing up, and you feel you're not good enough... It's one of those things when the title makes the record," she said.

While she had a lot of fun making the album, working with producers like Tricky and Dream, Carey said she wanted to make an album she really liked.

"We weren't trying to make hits, we just wanted to make good music," she said.

Known for her glamorous image, Carey looked particularly youthful with her bouncy curls and sexy curves. When asked for her secret to looking so young, she admitted she is "eternally 12."

"Because when I was 12, there was good and bad things, but I'm still the same person when I was 12, so why not still be 12? But 12 with the nice hair and makeup artist," she laughed.

It's an image she shed when she played a dowdy social worker in the film "Precious," produced by Oprah Winfrey.

"Lee Daniels, the director, told me to look homely and ugly so that no one would recognize me. `I don't want any type of hair that looks like you, and I'm going to put a small mustache on you and stuff under your eyes. You're going to be hideous and then you're going to lose yourself in the part,' he said. That's what we did."

"Yes, I hated looking like that, and yes, I walked past the mirrors (gesturing with hands over her face) and like ugh, but the main thing I had become the character. I was fortunate to be part of the movie," she said.

Carey already has a long list of accomplishments, including five Grammy Awards, 18 number one hits on the Billboard charts and millions of albums sold, but she's still trying to find the right balance between her career and personal life.

"Some people didn't live their lives wanting to be entertainers. I did. I make music, I perform, this is who I am. I do definitely want to have a family. I got married a year and half ago ... It is difficult to do both things. I have to take time to eventually to have a family with no dysfunction, it's hard, and also try to make music. It's a balancing act," she said.

During her stay in Seoul, Carey will appear on several TV shows, including MTV Korea and "Yoo Hee-yeol's Sketchbook," which will air Oct. 23 at 12:15 a.m.

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