It’s hard to imagine Mariah Carey playing second fiddle to anyone, including Lionel Richie, who is headlining their joint “All the Hits” tour.
Or, as Richie recently put it: “A diva has to do what a diva has to do.”
So expect her to pull out all the stops when their tour stops here Thursday night at SDSU’s Viejas Arena. The show was originally scheduled for May 8 at the same venue, but was postponed after Richie required more time to recover from knee surgery.
Even without her tour with Richie, the 2016 Grammy Awards MusiCares Person of the Year honoree, Carey’s had a busy year since her televised New Year’s Eve lip-sinking debacle in Times Square.
She starred in the eight-part E! TV series “Mariah’s World,” made a single with rapper YG and announced plans to executive produce a fictional drama series based on her early life.
Just last week Carey concluded her performance residency at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. She returns there in December to do five “All I Want For Christmas Is You” shows. She is now producing and narrating an animated “All I Want For Christmas Is You” film, due for release later this year.
But back to Thursday’s concert here. Odds are fair Carey may exceed her allotted time opening for Richie. Because, as she might put it in song, “It’s Like That.”
Fun Mariah fact, No. 1: When Carey was preparing to record her 1994 “Merry Christmas” album, she insisted that one of the recording studios she had reserved be festooned with Yuletide lights and decorations. This was no easy task, given that she was recording the album in the middle of the summer. But an industrious Columbia Records’ intern - take a bow, former San Diegan Brandon Kessler! - hustled around Manhattan and was able to obtain the holiday decorations she had requested. The studio was then bedecked to provide a suitable holiday vibe for Carey to record. For reasons unknown, though, she never showed up, at least not to that studio.
Fun Mariah fact, No. 2: When Carey performed at the San Diego Sports Arena in 2006, her contract stipulated her dressing room be entirely white and that there could be no cement walls showing. The promoter, AEG Entertainment San Diego honcho John Wojas, had all four walls covered with white drapes and rented a white table and white couch. Alas, someone left an indelible mascara stain on the $5,000 white couch, for which the rental company insisted on full payment. That couch is now the centerpiece in Wojas’ Pacific Beach home, although his patio doors had to be removed for it to fit into his living room.
Fun Mariah fact, No. 3: The only time this writer has come face-to-face with Carey was on my way to the bathroom - midway through the 1996 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony - at New York’s plush Waldorf Astoria hotel. What caught my eye, even more than her typically plunging neckline, was the fact Carey required an entourage of nine people to accompany her to the ladies room. Not just to the door, but inside. Oh, to have been a fly on that wall (assuming the fly wasn’t evicted)
“All the Hits,” featuring Lionel Richie and Mariah Carey
When: 7 p.m. Thursday
Where: Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl, 5500 Canyon Crest Drive, San Diego State University