8:12am PT by Abby Jones, Billboard
Mariah Carey Calls Judging 'American Idol' a "Bleak Experience"
Mariah Carey has had one of the most successful careers in pop music history, but that doesn't mean she's not always on her grind. During her appearance on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live on Wednesday night, the superstar revealed that she's been penning her next release during late-night studio sessions, often with some help from two promising young songwriters.
"It's so good to just be back in the studio," Carey told Kimmel.
While few additional details were revealed, the mom of two did explain that her "talented" kids — 7-year-old twins Moroccan and Monroe — recorded a song together, but she's uncertain whether the public will get to hear their masterpiece.
"I don't know ... I have to talk it over with Nick [Cannon] first," Carey said of her ex-husband and father of her children. "I'd be very angry if he released a song without asking me."
Carey will soon be returning to Las Vegas for her The Butterfly Returns residency, following last year's Number 1 to Infinity run in which she performed all 18 of her No. 1 hits in chronological order.
"There were 18 songs — I was kind of, like, ‘This is a long show,’ but I was living my life while performing, experiencing that," Carey explained. "I’m gonna have more freedom with the setlist [on The Butterfly Returns] and be more interactive with the fans and see what songs they really want to hear." When Kimmel asked if Mariah might bust out a few surprising covers this time around, the singer said, um, no.
As Carey makes her way back to Las Vegas, so does her pal and previous tour co-headliner Lionel Richie, who just completed his first round of judging on the rebooted American Idol. Naturally, Kimmel felt compelled to gently pry for some juicy gossip from the former Idol jduge.
"Is it true that you told him not to do American Idol when he was thinking about whether or not he should judge it?" he asked Carey, who famously judged season 12 of the singing competition show alongside frequent sparring partner Nicki Minaj.
"If I didn’t, I should have," Carey responded, as the studio audience then burst into an uproar of laughter. "It was a bleak experience. We don't have to go back there." While Carey wouldn't dish on the worst part of her judging run, she did uncover her favorite outcome: "I’ll tell you the best part was some of the memes we got."
See Carey at her The Butterfly Returns Residency in Las Vegas this summer. Watch the full Jimmy Kimmel Live interview, below.
This story first appeared on Billboard.com.