i Musik

Running the World

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This month, Mariah Carey eclipsed Elvis Presley’s record for the most Billboard No. 1 hits by a solo artist with her 18th chart-topper “Touch My Body,” the first single from her strong new album, E=MC²—whose first-week sales of 463,000 were the highest of Carey’s career and the most by any artist so far this year. Now only the Beatles have more No. 1s, and Carey will surely pass them soon—although, to be fair, the Beatles racked up their 20 big hits in a span of just seven years, a batting average likely never to be bested.

The news of Carey’s triumph has been greeted in many quarters with hue and cry. The Presley estate got technical, arguing that Billboard had fouled up its numbers—that Mariah had merely tied Elvis’ record. In a Huffington Post blog entry titled “Mariah Carey Is Destroying the World,” Ken Levine wrote: “For the sake of this country and—oh let’s just say it—mankind, Mariah Carey has to retire. … She can always host a VH-1 reality show or learn a trade at the DeVry Institute.” Editorialists soberly pointed out the obvious: Whatever the hit count, Carey had not matched Presley’s and the Beatles’ “seismic” cultural influence, a line echoed by Mariah herself. “I’m just feeling really happy and grateful,” she told the Associated Press. “I really can never put myself in the category of people who have not only revolutionized music but also changed the world.”

Humility doesn’t come naturally to Carey, so let’s commend her for the gesture. (You can practically hear the table-saw buzz of her grinding teeth as she pushes the words out: never… put … myself … in … the … category …) But need she be so modest? Sure, Carey is not as important as Elvis or the Beatles, nor are any other musicians of the past 50 years, with the possible exceptions of James Brown and Bob Dylan. She is nonetheless hugely significant, and not just because, as Elvis once put it, 50 million fans—or if we go by Mariah’s total album sales, 61.5 million fans—can’t be wrong.

Tragikken vil ingen ende tage. Hun kan jo fortsætte med at skingre løs indtil hun bliver 70! Så gør dog noget!

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