Mariah Carey served as a surprise guest on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, stopping by to perform her classic “All I Want for Christmas is You” with Jimmy Fallon and the Roots. With typically impressive vocal from Carey, the playful performance also used several children as background singers.
Carey has been popping up a lot on national programing lately, just last week appearing as the featured guest of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting. The move at first seemed a bit odd, as she does not currently have an album to promote and many acts could have used or wanted the promotional platform. However, Carey technically does two Christmas albums from previous years, so her Christmas tour likely has some motivation to boost sales and airplay.
So far, her efforts seem to be paying off, as Billboard just released its 2012 Holiday Songs Chart with Carey at the top. “All I Want for Christmas is You,” originally released in 1994, logged 20 million radio plays and 27,000 downloads last week.
Carey’s string of promotion is also likely to build momentum for her judging gig on the new season of American Idol, which premieres January 16 on FOX. So far, buzz for the new season has focused on the beef between Carey and Nicki Minaj during last summer’s auditions.
So, perhaps Carey’s real PR motive behind all the Christmas appearances is to infuse a little holiday cheer and likeability into her diva image before we see the Minaj feud play out on TV–while Minaj just starts new feuds. Last week, Minaj slammed former Idol judge Steven Tyler for being a “racist” after he suggested she could not mentor contestants from rural backgrounds.
Minaj is also not too pleased with radio station Hot 97, after their programming director called her latest album an attempt to reconnect with rap audiences after abandoning them for pop singles.
Maybe while watching these feuds play out on Twitter, Carey seized her opportunity to build some goodwill and hoisted on a glittered red ensemble for a few strategic performances, including her sing along with Fallon.
Minaj may throw some hard punches, but Carey has mastered longevity.