“I’ve been looking forward to this Christmas for, like, the whole year. Since last year — because last year wasn’t the greatest,” the singer said. “I’m thankful for them all, but it wasn’t my most fun version of Christmas ever.”
This confession came after rumors swirled the couple, who have been together since 2016, could have split. Carey last posted a photo with the backup dancer in December 2022 and the duo were last spotted in March for the mother-of-two’s birthday.
Carey did not explain her cryptic comment, though she did promise to “have fun” this holiday season “come h--- or high water.”
Fans began to speculate the pair broke up after seven years together when Tanaka was not on stage with Carey during her November Merry Christmas One and All! concerts.
Supporters also noticed the pop star appeared downcast at the festive show.
“Every clip I’ve seen she looks like she doesn’t want to be there,” one user commented, while a second agreed, saying, “She looks depressed, like something is going on behind the scenes.”
“Girl going through break up era!!!” a third person speculated.
Others wondered where Tanaka was after being a mainstay during Carey’s performances.
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“I don’t see Bryan Tanaka. Where is he?” someone wondered, while another added, “Streets saying Bryan wasn’t at Mariah concert last night and she was looking sad are they really done.”
"We're going to see how I juggle those two responsibilities," Carey said about being on the road and being a mom. "I don't know. Just everybody has to do what their jobs are. If their job is to go to school for three hours a day, they have to go to school for three hours a day. And if their job is also being on stage and being a part of the show, then they have that."
Carey also admitted she has a lot of help to balance her work and home life.
"Part of my job is to rest and relax and know, 'OK, everybody's got this covered, and I'm going to get out there and perform,'" she explained.
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The “All I Want for Christmas Is You” vocalist even had her kids join her at some of her sold-out shows.
"As they grow up and decide what to do with their lives, it's really nice for me to be able to see them performing onstage," she stated. "I even like watching them getting ready, preparing to perform. Tonight, before I left the house, my son was practicing on something he's doing for the show."
People reported on Carey's comments about her year,