Saturday 20 January 2018

O2 long away but Mariah's back in town with all the hits

Mariah Carey performed a host of favourites at the O2 Arena
Mariah Carey performed a host of favourites at the O2 Arena

Mariah Carey announced her return to London for the first time in well over a decade with a career-spanning, octave-scaling hits package - including a "guest appearance" from the late Whitney Houston.

The American songstress had the crowd at The O2 Arena on its feet from the moment she began her marathon set.

The 46 year old arrived on stage, 25 minutes late - yet modest compared with some of her contemporaries - in a horizontal position, reclining on a chaise longue hoisted 5ft into the air by six glitter-clad dancers.

The Statesider unleashed her interpretation of an English accent to thank the crowd for packing out the east London venue, threatening to spring a surprise on her backing band by deviating from the set list.

She joked: "Blame the band if it all goes ... Urgh! Ha ha."

Supported by a troupe of backing dancers, Carey reeled out hits including Always Be My Baby, Heartbreaker and We Belong Together during a set that saw the New York-born vocalist adorn four different, but equally sparkly, outfits.

Introducing fan favourite Against All Odds, the Phil Collins original which she covered with Irish boy band Westlife to reach number one in 2000, Carey said: "We wanted to do this for the nostalgia."

The star is due to play in Belgium on Sunday as part of her Sweet Sweet Fantasy tour.

Addressing her London crowd, Carey said: "I'm really happy to be performing here for the first time in so long. I have the best fans in the world.

"It was a slight tangent but I had to tell you, because I love you more."

Towards the end of the show, Carey introduced a video of I Will Always Love You singer Houston, who died in 2012, as the pair digitally recreated their duet of When You Believe.

Carey - who understandably declined to sing one of her most famous numbers, the festive favourite All I Want For Christmas Is You - also performed a stripped-back version of X Factor audition favourite Hero, and closed with Without You.

Press Association

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