It was, for me, an unorthodox approach to songwriting. This was the first time I ever wrote to picture.
Written by Mariah Carey & Marc Shaiman
Produced by Mariah Carey & Marc Shaiman
4:01 Soundtrack Version
ABOUT THE SONG
MC: I have some things coming up for Christmas, shockingly, but I love Christmas [Laughs]. We're doing this song called "The Star." It's a movie called The Star with Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry.
Q: We heard that you do have two Christmas films coming out. Can you talk about the other one?
MC: Yeah, there's two, because one is for Universal Pictures Animation. I did a book called All I Want for Christmas Is You, so it's an animated version of the book, you know? There's a new song that I wrote for that, and the other one is for The Star. I'm very excited about that because it's a big movie. - Billboard “Mariah Carey talks ‘Unforgettable (Remix)’, Touring with Lionel Richie & Upcoming Christmas Movies“ August 29th, 2017
The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Carey in a Beverly Hills hotel suite after she performed the song live for the first time — with backing help from Moroccan and Monroe, her 6-year-old twins with ex-husband Nick Cannon — for an audience of Golden Globe voters.
How did the Hollywood Foreign Press receive your song? The last time I met them was when we were working on the movie Precious with Lee Daniels, and I was with the entire cast of that movie. Today they decorated the ballroom with Christmas trees and lights, and it was like walking into a wonderland. So I was happy that happened — but I am not accustomed to waking up early and putting on a performance. And this was the first time I had performed the song live — with my kids there. But they did a great job. I was so proud.
You wrote "The Star" with Marc Shaiman. How was that process? We worked at his studio, and they provided us with a clip from the film where they wanted the song to appear — when the group is traveling to Bethlehem. It was, for me, an unorthodox approach to songwriting. This was the first time I ever wrote to picture. I really enjoyed being able to look at something visual while he is on the piano, and we're going back and forth with the melodies together and writing the lyrics.
Is there any lyric that speaks to you from the song? “Follow that voice you heard / That no one else believed.” - The Hollywood Reporter "Mariah Carey Reveals the Hardest Thing About Being Mariah Carey” November 17, 2017
Mention Christmas to Mariah Carey and her eyes light up like those of a child. "I've been celebrating Christmas like a huge event my whole life," Carey, 47, tells ESSENCE. "I just love Christmas. I just wait all year for it."
So it only makes sense that the Grammy Award-winning singer, who has been known to celebrate Christmas from October through January, has attached her name to not one but two new holiday related releases.
First up is The Star, a computer-animated Christian movie that boasts a bevy of diverse celebrity voices including Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Gina Rodriguez, Steven Yeun, Keegan-Michael Key and Anthony Anderson. The Star arrives in theaters Nov. 17 and follows the Nativity of Jesus as told through the eyes of barn animals.
Carey sings the film's title track and even lends her voice to a hen named Rebecca. The song also includes sweet little background vocals from Carey's six-year-old twins, Moroccan and Monroe. "They called me and said there's a movie called The Star and they told me about the incredible cast and the premise of the movie being about the first Christmas ever so I said, 'Of course,'" Carey says. "I wanted to collaborate with my friend Marc Shaiman (Sleepless in Seattle and Hairspray). He and I have already written some songs together and he's been nominated for a bunch of Academy Awards," she adds. "This was a learning experience for me. We were writing the song and literally watching the scene where they're going to Bethlehem. The Star is an awesome movie and a chance to talk about the message and the spirit and I needed to be part of the song."
Her twins have seen The Star and love it, Carey says, and are starting to adore Christmas as much as their mom, Mimi. Perhaps it's because she includes open sleighs, real reindeer and Santa Claus. "Some people come to visit and they're like, 'Oh, she really does this," Carey says with a chuckle. "I know people kind of got that [message] with 'All I Want for Christmas Is You,' but there are so many beautiful memories.” - Essence “Mariah Carey Explains Why She Insisted On Being In A Christian Movie About Christmas” November 17, 2017
Dressed in a sexy, cleavage-revealing, body hugging gold mermaid glittery gown, Mariah performed her latest Christmas song, “The Star,” for the press and guests at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. She co-wrote the song with Broadway composer Marc Shaiman (“Hairspray,” “Catch Me If You Can”) for her latest animated movie helmed by Timothy Reckart.
Mariah, who voices the hen Rebecca, is featured in the computer-animated Christian comedy film, “The Star,” which tells the story of the Nativity of Jesus through the eyes of a donkey named Bo (voiced by Steven Yeun) and his animal friends who became the unsung heroes of the first Christmas.
She performed the song with her twins Moroccan and Monroe, 6. “It is their first public performance onstage and I am so proud of them,” she told us. “They love the song so much that they wanted to sing it with me.” The kids, dressed in colorful Christmas outfits, sat on high chairs and gave musical backup to their mom.
So how was her collaboration with Marc Shaiman on the song and what was her inspiration for this song, we asked. “First of all, I was approached about writing a song for the movie ‘The Star,’” she said. “I love Christmas obviously and I thought it would be a great opportunity to work with Marc Shaiman again. We have written two other songs, both holiday songs. So we got together. The greatest thing about that experience for me was learning from him. He’s written and scored so many films. What I really enjoyed was watching the film itself while writing the music together.”
What did the kids think of her doing the voice of the hen? “I don’t think they recognized me when they heard that particular section,” she replied. “But they loved the movie. They really did. They sat through it and they enjoyed it.”
On what “follow the star” meant to her, she said, “It’s about the true meaning of Christmas. I felt the way it was portrayed in the movie was something that we really wanted to make sure that the song reflected the spirit. We tried to really stay on top to make it a message that the kids could relate to because the film is obviously animation. It’s great. We saw the movie and took the kids to the screening. “If you saw my kids on stage and also my friend’s son Jaden, it was rock and roll. Jaden and all of them are singing on the record with me and doing the background vocals. They wanted to sing on stage today. So after they saw the movie, they fell in love with it and they played the song over and over. Today, they got their professional debut. They had been on stage with me before but this was the most important.” - Manila Bulletin “Mariah Carey follows her star” 11/13/2017
MC: “They’re the best [Dem Babies] and they actually read very well and they have yet to film the animated film in it’s entirety, although my daughter is singing background vocals on one of the new songs on the soundtrack called Lil Snowman.
Interviewer: So you’ve got the twins working, I like this!
MC: “They asked me if they could do this - they like it! They’re singing background vocals on a new song I did for another movie called The Star, and they’re singing the song with me.”- 2017 Interview on Lorraine, November 13 2017
2017 Released on The Star soundtrack