Kelly Price Reflects On Quitting Role As Mariah Carey’s Background Singer, Calls It “The Hardest Conversation”

Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and producer Kelly Price reflects on her debut album, “Soul of a Woman,” on its 25th anniversary.

via: Vibe

Price was once an in-demand background vocalist who worked with George Michael, 112, JAY-Z, Mase, The Notorious B.I.G., and Mariah Carey.

However, it was on Carey’s 1996 Daydream World Tour when Price had the realization that it was time to branch out on her own. For the 25th anniversary of her debut album, Soul Of A Woman, the Queens native spoke with Rated R&B about the journey from singing in the choir with her family to garnering her first record deal, becoming a songwriter, and transitioning into her own stardom.

According to the outlet, Carey was singing “Hero” and Price reflected, “I know when I hear God speaking to me, and I knew it was time for me to make a move. We would exit the stage when she sang ‘Hero.’ I started thinking about the fact that I was going to have a conversation with her to tell her that I would be moving on.” Yet, it wasn’t exactly an eager pivot for her.

Price explained, “I didn’t want to leave my job. It was paying well. I loved what I was doing. I was traveling the world. I had a boss that — I loved her gift. It was one of the hardest conversations I ever had. There was no reason for me to go, but it was time for elevation.”

During her tenure, Price sang background on several of Carey’s hits including “Always Be My Baby,” “Fantasy,” “The Roof,” and “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”

The 50-year-old noted, “She fell in love with my ability to just be able to fall in. A lot of times it would just be me and Mariah in the studio without the other ladies, and it would be for those kinds of creative brainstorm sessions for vocal arrangements. When you go back and listen to ‘Fantasy,’ that’s just me and Mariah. We did a lot of things like that together.”

She went on to sign with The Isley Brothers’ T-Neck Records, was granted “full creative independence,” and Soul Of A Woman was born. The LP debuted at No. 15 on the Billboard 200 and was certified platinum by the RIAA in April 1999. That same year, she won Best R&B/Soul New Artist at the Soul Train Awards.

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