Mariah Carey Reveals What Almost Kept Her From Performing With Aretha Franklin

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Matthew Simmons / Getty Images For dcp

Like many legendary singers from the ’90s, Mariah Carey had the opportunity to take the stage with the one and only Aretha Franklin. In 1998, the ladies took the stage at VH1’s Divas Live. As expected, Mariah Carey was elated about the prestigious honor, but now she’s revealed the reason why that memorable moment almost never happened. During a discussion with Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens, the “Breakdown” singer shared details about her first encounter with Aretha Franklin.

The ladies were preparing for rehearsals before the big performance. Mariah Carey admitted that she’d already been struggling with anxiety ahead of the big performance, but a technical issue they faced only made things worse. Mariah revealed one of the two rehearsals they were scheduled to have had been canceled. While Mariah Carey didn’t explain what led to the abrupt cancellation, she did reveal what Aretha had to say about it. The no-nonsense singer reportedly didn’t have the patience for “games.”

Impersonating Aretha, Mariah recalled that night saying, “She said to me, ‘Mariah, they’re playing games, and I’m not having the games. So, we won’t be rehearsing tonight.'”

Mariah Carey went on to share her reaction to the canceled rehearsal and how it only made things worse for her. In fact, it reportedly got to a point where Mariah didn’t want to perform at all. The singer even considered staying in the background. “I was very intimidated and didn’t want to perform with her. Everybody else was like, ‘Let me have it’ And I’m not saying anything against anybody else, but I felt there was a thing where it was like they wanted to be able to say they took her on.”

She added, “I was like, ‘I’ll be with the background singers, okay? That’s the Queen of Soul.'”

Mariah Carey’s chat with Andy Cohen follows a string of reports about the drastic changes to her appearance. Last November, Mariah revealed she’d had weight loss surgery. By January of this year, she’d already lost more than 30 pounds. Back in April, an insider revealed why Mariah chose to have the surgery.

While doing her residency with Lionel Richie in Las Vegas, Mariah reportedly noticed how difficult dancing had become. She was also facing more backlash from cyber trolls. According to the Sun, the insider told Page Six, “Mariah has always been proud of her curves, but this summer, as her Caesars Palace residency came to a close, and then she went on tour with Lionel Richie, she noticed it became harder to dance, and she was getting a lot more criticism online from body shamers.”

Based on Mariah Carey’s new look, her confidence has likely been restored.