Production company rejects 'outrageous' claims it sabotaged Mariah Carey's New Year performance

The singer appeared to have suffered problems with her earpiece and microphone during the concert

Production company rejects 'outrageous' claims it sabotaged Mariah Carey's New Year performance

Mariah Carey performs at the New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square. Picture by Greg Allen AP/Press Association Images

A production company has dismissed claims it sabotaged Mariah Carey's performance at a New Year's Eve concert in New York.

The pop star's live televised appearance in Times Square was disastrous from the outset and she failed to perform for most of it, despite a pre-recorded track of her songs continuing to play in the background.

With one million people in the audience and many more watching at home, she was visibly upset on the stage.

During her song Emotions she complained of being unable to hear properly and turned her microphone to the audience, before giving up entirely during a lip-synced performance of We Belong Together.

The 46-year-old wrote on Twitter afterwards "s*** happens", along with a clip of her shrugging her shoulders. 

Carey's representative Nicole Perna blamed technical difficulties, and in an interview with Billboard said Dick Clark Productions had not helped.

"She was not winging this moment and took it very seriously," Ms Perna said. "A shame that production set her up to fail."

Ms Perna said Carey's earpiece was not working and she had told the production team about the issue.

She was told it would be sorted by the time she went on stage, Ms Perna added.

"However, that was not the case, and they were again told that her earpiece was not working," Ms Perna said. "Instead of endeavouring to fix the issue so that Mariah could perform, they went live."

But the production company said the claims were "absurd".

"As the premier producer of live television events for nearly 50 years, we pride ourselves on our reputation and long-standing relationships with artists," Dick Clark Productions said.

"To suggest that dcp (Dick Clark Productions), 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."

In "very rare instances" there were technical errors in live television, the company said, but an initial investigation indicated it had no part in the problems Carey experienced.

A person familiar with the production of the show told the Associated Press all of the other performers turned up for rehearsals but Carey had a stand-in for hers, which is not normal.

The individual said no technical problems were found.