Mariah Carey’s kids back her up in song for The Star
Mariah Carey brings back Christmas cheer with title track in animated movie The Star
Mariah Carey, dubbed the Queen of Christmas ever since her 1994 megahit All I Want For Christmas Is You, is back to brighten everyone's holidays.
This time by singing the title track of the new animated movie The Star, in which she also voices a hen in a supporting role.
A nativity tale told from the point of view of the animals, it follows Bo the donkey (Steven Yeun) who goes adventuring at the time of Jesus' birth.
Other voice actors in The Star, which is showing here, include Zachary Levi, Oprah Winfrey, Kelly Clarkson, Gina Rodriguez, and Keegan-Michael Key.
"The song was inspired by the beautiful way in which the story of Christmas is told in the film," said Carey.
"I thought about the Star of Bethlehem while writing it, but also about following your heart and your dreams."
At our interview last month at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, the 47-year-old US superstar wore a gorgeous gown with a train.
She was also sporting the diamond ring from her previous engagement to Australian billionaire James Packer, whom she broke up with a year ago.
"By the way, it is on a different finger," she joked. "It is a gift."
Carey had just belted out her song live for a group of journalists, backed up by six-year-old twins Moroccan and Monroe, whom she shares with her ex-husband, US actor-host Nick Cannon.
"We wanted to make sure that the song reflected the spirit of Christmas. We tried to make it a message that the kids could relate to. My kids are singing on the record with me and doing the background vocals. They wanted to sing on stage today.
"After they saw the movie, they fell in love with it and played the song over and over. And today they got their professional (debut). They had been on stage with me before but this was the most important," she said with a laugh.
And All I Want For Christmas Is You is the gift that keeps on giving even after 23 years, spawning Carey's concert tour of the same name, which kicks off today, as well as an animated family film released this month and her 2015 children's book.
Do you have any guiding stars in your life?
Honestly, the most I can do is pray I get through each moment myself. And just be as spiritual as possible to keep myself grounded. There are so many people I adore in this industry, and I have met those people and I tell them thanks for inspiring me to be able to do this.
Meeting the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, was one of the greatest moments of my life.
Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
Every year, my mother would go Christmas carolling or have her friends come over to the house. She would play the piano and sing with friends. I always try to carry that spirit over and relive it every year at Christmas.
How do you decorate your house for the holidays?
We start quite early. It is not even Halloween yet but there are Christmas trees everywhere. It is like wonderland (laughs).
Do you have any Christmas traditions?
I have so many. We go to Aspen. We have been doing that with my extended family for years. I love everything from decorating the Christmas tree to going on a two-horse open sleigh ride through the snow.
And yes, there are live reindeer and Santa Claus makes an appearance as well. That is what happens. You can't explain it and neither can I.
How do you and Nick raise your kids?
I have a great support system. Nick and I have learnt really well how to co-parent together, and I do the best I can. Am I strict? No. But with some things, I want to be strict, but I also don't want them to be mad at me (laughs).
I do the best I can... Nick is a great father, everything is so good between us and I am thankful for that, because I think it is important kids feel that closeness with their dad.
What do you like to do when you're not working?
I love cooking. I like to have a sous chef when I do that as well, because to be candid, it makes it easier for me. The truth is, I do most of that around the holiday season. I cook for everybody and force them to eat whatever I make (laughs).