Mariah Carey Parts Ways With Creative Director Anthony Burrell After Disastrous New Year’s Eve Performance — All the Details

Mariah Carey has parted ways with her creative director and longtime choreographer, Anthony Burrell, after her disastrous New Year’s Eve performance, multiple sources tell Us Weekly.

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According to an insider, Burrell, who is featured on Carey’s docuseries Mariah’s World, allegedly contributed to Carey’s onstage troubles when he moved her backup singers off stage to make room for more dancers, leaving them unable to help when things went haywire. As previously reported, Carey claimed that she couldn’t hear during the performance and therefore couldn’t perform.

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“Had [the backup singers] been on stage, they could have heard the music and picked up for Mariah and saved the performance,” the insider explains to Us. A second insider clarifies that while Carey and Burrell have parted ways, he “was not fired.” Says the source, “Mariah does not blame him for what happened. He just made a bad decision about something that actually mattered that evening.”

Mariah Carey performs during New Year's Eve 2017 in Times Square on December 31, 2016 in New York City.
Mariah Carey performs with Anthony Burrell during New Year’s Eve 2017 in Times Square on Dec. 31, 2016, in New York City. James Devaney/WireImage

As previously reported, Carey and her team claimed that the Grammy winner couldn’t sing during the special because her earpiece was not working, and alleged that her performance was sabotaged for ratings. During an interview with Entertainment Weekly on Tuesday, January 3, Carey admitted that she was “mortified” by the disastrous show in Times Square.

Burrell, for his part, took to Twitter after the failed performance to defend the pop star on January 2.

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“I haven’t been able to watch NYE performance. 30 sec from live TV, boss couldn’t hear her own vocal in her in-ears from Mic. #heartbroken,” he wrote. “Sucks to see all of the hateful messages … Peep[s] are so quick to judge, not knowing we were all in a state of panic. 333 peace and positivity.” 

Creative director Anthony Burrell, recording artist Mariah Carey, and choreographer Bryan Tanaka attend MARIAH'S WORLD Viewing Party at Catch on December 4, 2016 in New York City.
Creative director Anthony Burrell, recording artist Mariah Carey, and choreographer Bryan Tanaka attend ‘Mariah’s World’ viewing party at Catch on Dec. 4, 2016, in New York City. Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for Mirage Entertainment

ET was first to report the news.  

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