By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated March 01, 2002 01:00 PM

The resuscitation of Mariah Carey’s career continues in force with the pop diva entering discussions for potential deals with several major labels, including Island Def Jam, RCA and Elektra, reports Reuters. Carey, 31, received a $28 million payoff last month to break her contract with EMI. The severance package came after the flameout of her first album on EMI’s Virgin label, “Glitter,” last fall, at about the same time that her movie of the same name bombed at the box office, soon after she had suffered a physical and emotional breakdown. Carey already had pocketed $21 million when she signed with EMI last April. Industry observers note that her next record deal probably won’t be about money, because she has enough of that — she just needs someone to distribute her music. Carey’s attorney Donald Passman was quoted as saying last month that EMI’s rivals started circling the star waving contracts in their hands ever since rumors surfaced that she and her label were about to part ways. “Mariah is talking with several companies,” a spokeswoman for the star told Reuters this week, declining to elaborate further. This upbeat news comes fairly hot on the heels of the news, covered in the PEOPLE Daily on Feb. 21, that Carey received glowing reviews for her starring role in January’s Sundance Film Festival selection “Wisegirls.” As a result, she is preparing to reunite with the film’s producer, Anthony Esposito, for her next movie, the drama “Sweet Science.” According to the Hollywood Reporter, Carey will star as a zealous boxing manager who drafts an unknown female boxer and then sets out to make them both famous. The project is due to begin shooting this summer. “Wisegirls,” which costars Mira Sorvino and is about a waitress who works in a restaurant owned by the Mob, is due to be released this year.