Mariah Carey Returns to the 'New Year's Rockin' Eve' Performance Stage

Mariah Carey gave New Year's Eve another try a year after her sound problem-filled 2016 performance

Mariah Carey hits most of her notes at the 2018 New Year's eve ball drop at Times Square in New York for Dick Clark's Rockin' Eve
Photo: Jackson Lee/Splash News

Mariah Carey is back!

On Sunday, the singer, 47, gave New Year’s Eve another try a year after closing out 2016 on a sour note, as she took to the stage yet again during the live broadcast of Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.

Wearing a glam white fur coat and a crystal-covered nude gown, Carey performed “Vision of Love” while accompanied by back-up singers and a pianist.

After the first song, Carey lamented the lack of hot tea onstage to combat the cold temperatures, before declaring, “We’ll just have to rough it.”

Next, she sang her 1993 hit “Hero,” dedicated to those who speak up against injustice. For the live rendition of the emotional song, Carey was joined onstage by a gospel choir.

Times Square NYE Ball Drop, New York, USA - 31 Dec 2017
Mark Sagliocco/STTK/Shutterstock

“Happy New Year,” she crooned after finishing the tune.

Following the news that Carey would be returning to the New Year’s Eve stage, the singer and Dick Clark Productions released a joint statement to PEOPLE saying: “We can all agree that last year didn’t go exactly as planned and we are thrilled to move forward together to provide America with an incredible night of music and celebration on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2018. See you in Times Square!”

Last year, sound problems plagued Carey’s performance, beginning with her take on the New Year’s Eve classic “Auld Lang Syne.” Seconds into that number, it became clear the mother of two could not hear the backup vocals audible on the live broadcast, causing her to get flustered.

Then when Carey made the transition into her second number — her 1991 hit “Emotions” — she paused to tell the audience: “We didn’t have a [sound] check for this song, so we’ll just say it went to No. 1 and that’s what it is, okay?”

Visibly frustrated, Carey walked around the stage — pausing and motioning for her earpiece (which she had removed earlier and tucked behind her shoulder with the help of a dancer) — “Put these monitors on, please,” she pleaded with the production crew.

Noam Galai/FilmMagic

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After the mishap, a rep for Carey cited technical difficulties, telling the Associated Press, “Unfortunately there was nothing she could do to continue with the performance given the circumstances.” Hours later, Carey tweeted: “S— happens … Here’s to making more headlines in 2017.”

Days following the performance, Carey’s team and Dick Clark Productions exchanged barbs — the singer’s manager asserting that the ABC show sabotaged the performance and “set [her] up to fail.”

The production company fired back, writing in a statement to PEOPLE at the time: “To suggest that [Dick Clark Productions] … would ever intentionally compromise the success of any artist is defamatory, outrageous and frankly absurd … In very rare instances, there are, of course, technical errors that can occur with live television, however, an initial investigation has indicated that DCP had no involvement in the challenges associated with Ms. Carey’s New Year’s Eve performance.”

On Jan. 3, Carey told Entertainment Weekly that she was “mortified” over the technical failure. “All I can say is Dick Clark was an incredible person and I was lucky enough to work with him when I first started in the music business. I’m of the opinion that Dick Clark would not have let an artist go through that and he would have been as mortified as I was in real time,” she shared.

Host Ryan Seacrest reflected on Carey’s mishap, telling PEOPLE, “Thinking back, it’s hard to do the show, hard for us to hear in Times Square. It is a complicated production, it’s a complicated performance, a lot of things have to go right for it to go well and I think every year — whether it’s a performer or it’s us as hosts — you cross your fingers hoping everything goes as smoothly as possible, and sometimes it doesn’t.”

He also added: “That’s live TV. These are live big events — things happen, things go wrong, it’s part of the excitement. It’s part of the adrenaline rush, and we truly don’t know. I don’t even know how the show feels until someone calls me the next day and goes, ‘That was okay.’ I have no idea what it looks like on TV when we’re doing it.”

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