It was one sweet day in Saudi Arabia yesterday, as Mariah Carey delivered the goods in her debut performance in the kingdom.
The US diva and pop music icon took the stage at Bay La Sun resort in King Abdullah Economic City on January 31 as part of the Saudi International tournament, the first major golf event in Saudi Arabia.
The 48-year-old singer headlined the first of two after-tee concerts and was supported by veteran trance music DJ Tiesto. The final concert, to be held later this evening, will feature Emirati-Yemeni singer Balqees and Jamaican dance-hall star Sean Paul.
But it is Mariah Carey that everyone came to see. Backed by large band including two keyboardists and two backing singers, she recognised the anticipation by delivering a 13-song set solely dedicated to the classics.
The die-hard fans may have been disappointed that Carey didn't sing any new tracks from last year's back-to-form album Caution, but you really can't complain when the star is dropping gems such as Fantasy, Always Be My Baby and Dream Lover back to back.
True to form, Carey’s maintained her fashionista cred by undergoing a series of costume changes, which were basically different colours of the same glittering sequenced gown.
Judging by the social media response, the fans got what they wanted:
Munia was super excited
Asma Noor also had a great position in the Golden Circle
Carey's was enjoying herself on stage and her voice was in fine form
More concerts to come
Carey's performance is part of the Saudi Entertainment Authority plans to transform the kingdom into a regional entertainment and cultural hub.
Tonight will find the Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli performing in the historical desert city of Al Ula, as part of the Winter at Tantora cultural festival.
That event will come to an end next week with Greek super-star composer Yanni performing the closing concert on February 8.
Egyptian singer Tamer Hosny has also announced a Saudi gig with a full concert performance at the Jeddah KAEC Hall on February 22.
More gigs are also expected to be announced in the upcoming months featuring hip-hop stars Jay Z and DJ Khaled in addition to Egyptian singer Amr Diab.
Saudi Arabia's comedy scene, which is presently healthy with local comedians, is also set to expand with yet to be announced performances by international funny-men Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock and Trevor Noah.