Mariah Carey fans reflect on 20 years of hits, staying power and ‘Glitter’


For Rhiannon Stapleton,
Kim Drucker, Robyn
, and Kara Smith, Tuesday night’s Mariah Carey concert at the Fox Theatre was a first time thing.

“Believe it or not, none of us have ever seen her live,”
explained Drucker at the pre-concert party for fans at Livingston across
Peachtree Street from the Fox.

>> See more photos from the event

Added Stapleton: “I’ll be honest, I did give up on her a
little bit after [the singer’s ill-fated 2001 film “Glitter”] but we’re back

Fears, meanwhile, was hoping the pop diva would perform her
1997 hit “My All.”

“It’s just so
desperate,” Fears explained. “That’s probably why we all like it!”

Perhaps the luckiest fan present inside the swanky hotel

Atlanta video producer Raphael Gentry, who literally walked into the reception to meet his
Christopher “Cocktails” Cornell and immediately scored a pair of tickets to the show courtesy of
Livingston and Q100.

Holding his tickets aloft for us, Gentry explained: “I just
love the woman. When she hits those high notes, oh man. And to be able to do
that and look that sexy? It’s a gift. I used to think [Carey’s comic actor
husband] Nick Cannon was cool. I don’t
like him no more!”

Concert attendee Philip Rafshoon says he admires the singer’s staying power.

“After ‘Glitter,’ I thought she was over. It’s great to see
her come back and do so well.”

Alas, marketing the artist (whose debut album was issued 20
years ago this year) has been a challenge on this tour.

Her latest album, “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel” hasn’t
impressed radio programmers. And by late Tuesday afternoon, approximately a
thousand tickets remained for her Fox show.

For fan Felix Castro, Jr., Carey’s 2009 critically acclaimed performance as a 1980s social worker
in Oscar buzz worthy film “Precious” keeps her relevant.

“I thought it was a really brave performance,” Castro, Jr.
explained while sipping a Manhattan. “She just acted. It wasn’t glamorous. It
was just real with no make up. You can’t do a role like that without being a
little more weathered and wiser. Mariah has survived. And I wanted to see her
before she went all Whitney [Houston] on us.”

As fans clustered outside the Fox before show time,
Livingston had the champagne chilling in what was formerly the hotel restaurant’s
revolving door.

Intel sincerely hopes the recent Palm Springs International
Film Festival “breakthrough actress” winner/champagne swiller wasn’t made aware of this prior to the concert…