(CNN) – Mariah Carey’s botched New Year’s Eve performance is turning into an even bigger controversy.
Carey’s team is blaming Dick Clark Productions, the production company behind the annual “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” special on ABC, saying the company “set her up to fail.” And Dick Clark Productions is firing back.
“As the premier producer of live television events for nearly 50 years, we pride ourselves on our reputation and long-standing relationships with artists. To suggest that DCP, as producer of music shows including the American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, New Year’s Rockin’ Eve and Academy of Country Music Awards, would ever intentionally compromise the success of any artist is defamatory, outrageous and frankly absurd,” Dick Clark Productions said in a statement provided to CNN.
The statement continued: “In very rare instances there are of course technical errors that can occur with live television, however, an initial investigation has indicated that [Dick Clark Productions] had no involvement in the challenges associated with Ms. Carey’s New Year’s Eve performance. We want to be clear that we have the utmost respect for Ms. Carey as an artist and acknowledge her tremendous accomplishments in the industry.”
Their response comes after Carey’s team spoke to Billboard magazine and claimed that Carey, who had attended a rehearsal earlier in the day, had alerted Dick Clark Productions that her ear piece was not working. Carey’s publicist, Nicole Perna, said that her client “was not winging this moment and took it very seriously” and added, “A shame that production set her up to fail.”
Perna separately said to CNN, “There was a production issue. Technical difficulties. Unfortunately there was nothing she could do to continue with the performance given the circumstances.”
As for Carey singing along to a track, a source close to her said: “It is not uncommon for artists to sing to track during certain live performances.”
Carey took the stage shortly before midnight for a three song set, first performing “Auld Lang Syne” before moving to her own song, the 1991 hit “Emotions.” That’s when things started visibly going downhill. While the track played, Carey told the audience that a proper sound check had not taken place and opted to let those in the crowd sing her lyrics. After walking off stage in a huff after attempting to sing her hit, “We belong together,” Carey took to Instagram to post a meme with the caption: Sh** happens. Have a happy and healthy new year everybody! Here’s to making more headlines in 2017.”