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What, if any, labels will be willing to take a chance on her? Will the diva take the biggest payday again? Will a player swoop in and grab a bargain?
WHERE WILL MARIAH TAKE HER MUSIC BOX?
Questions, Speculation, Number-Crunching and Insight in One Convenient Place
With Mariah Carey out at Virgin, many are wondering, is she over?

Some contend that the diva may have damaged her career beyond repair. But even though most agree some damage has been done, which will be reflected in her future market value, there are players who insist that, if Carey is willing to take input, she still has tremendous potential.

That's the big question—whether or not she'll go back to accepting the kind of creative guidance she received during her Columbia years (as opposed to Virgin, where she called the shots).

Carey remains without a manager, as pointers point to her attempts at self-management as part  of the problem. What role will former Columbia and Arista executive Jerry Blair, whose relationship with Carey continues, play in a possible new deal?

As for speculation that former Virgin Worldwide Vice Chairman Nancy Berry will be closely involved with Carey's next move, insiders saying this will not be the case.

Meanwhile, tongues wagging that another winner in all this is barrister Don Passman, who did both Carey's deal going into Virgin and her $28 million deal coming out.

She already received more than $21 million in advances, for a total of around $50 million on one Virgin album.

On the other hand, EMI's outlay could have reached upward of $150-200 million over the course of the five-album contract. Between $13-14 million was spent marketing Glitter, which has sold 2 million globally and just over 500k in the U.S. Her Music Box album sold 20 million worldwide.

Glitter appeared doomed from the start, with Carey's very public breakdown delaying its release to—of all dates—Sept. 11. The album was a soundtrack for the singer's big-screen bow, which quickly disappeared without a trace.

Carey's future is now a matter of heated industry speculation. What, if any, labels will be willing to take a chance on her? Will the diva take the biggest payday again? Will a player swoop in and grab a bargain? One thing's for sure. There's plenty of action to come.

Elsewhere in EMI-land, observers saying last week's Paul Conroy/Tony Wadsworth action foreshadows more, similar types of moves as Levy and David Munns eyeball redundancy at the company's twin EMI Records and Virgin operations outside the U.S. Consolidation and cost savings through shared services are said to be the mantra there...

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