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Third show added for Mariah Carey concert in Honolulu


    Mariah Carey participates in the “Mariah’s World” panel during the NBC Television Critics Association summer press tour on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016, in Beverly Hills, Calif.

It has been 18 years since Mariah Carey last performed in Hawaii, but it’s clear the state has not lost any aloha for her, with her visit to the isles bumped up from one show to three within a few hours on Saturday morning.

Tickets for Carey’s Nov. 25 show at the Blaisdell Arena with “Empire” star Jussie Smollett went on sale Saturday at 6 a.m. for email subscribers to KHON2 and two local I Heart Radio stations — KSSK (590 AM/92.3 FM) and KUBT (93.9 FM) — and 9 a.m. for kamaaina/military.

By 6:05 a.m., there were only about 200 single seats available from the original 6,700. Within another half an hour, promoter Rick Bartalini Presents announced a second show on Nov. 26, with tickets going on sale minutes later.

As tickets to the second concert sold quickly, Bartalini scrambled to get Carey’s and Smollett’s camps to approve a third show. He first pitched the following Monday (Nov. 28), but Carey will be in New York by then to rehearse for her Christmas shows there. Thursday (Thanksgiving Day) and Sunday were out because Carey will not do shows three nights in a row because of the wear on her vocal cords.

Carey and Smollett eventually agreed to do a show the night before Thanksgiving, Nov. 23, and tickets were on sale at about 10 a.m.

As of late Saturday afternoon, there were about 3,000 seats left for the Nov. 23 show and about 100 singles total available for the concerts on Nov. 25 and 26, though a short time later a few hundred seats above the sideview loges were released for those shows.

Carey will appear on “Empire” as Kitty on Oct. 5, collaborating with Smollett’s character, singer Jamal Lyon. The guest spot will be previewed with the single “Infamous” — the duet is set for release Friday. Smollett’s appearances with Carey in Hawaii are their first together — and no others are scheduled.

Bartalini is based in California but came to Honolulu for the presale — as well as for the nearly sold-out Earth, Wind & Fire concert he is promoting at the arena on Tuesday — and emphasized how important the kamaaina presale is to him. He brought the practice to Hawaii last year for Diana Ross’ three sold-out shows (two at the arena and one on Maui) after the Bruno Mars debacle of 2014, when nearly half of the tickets to the Hawaii native’s three sold-out shows at the Blaisdell were sold out of state and hundreds of residents were left ticketless, with the resale market and its inflated prices their only option.

“If people get discouraged from buying tickets, they get discouraged from attending live shows,” Bartalini said, noting that, besides being his livelihood, live music is also important to him personally. He spoke last year at Ross’ first show in Honolulu about how his experience being called on stage to sing a few lines of “Sunglasses at Night” with ’80s Canadian pop star Corey Hart was pivotal in his life. He has a charity — The Never Surrender Foundation, named after another of Hart’s hits — that helps at-risk LGBT youths.

Bartalini, who is buying a house in Hawaii, notes that the 15,000-plus tickets sold Saturday all went to Hawaii residents and military. He also made sure good seats were set aside for people buying in person at the Blaisdell box office, which was a sore spot when tickets to Mars’ shows sold out. Tickets, which range in price from $65.50 to $255.50 plus fees, will remain for sale only to kamaaina until Thursday, when a very limited number of seats go on sale to Carey’s fan club, Honey B. Fly. The following day, anything that is left will be available to Bartalini’s mainland subscribers. Tickets will be available for general sale on Saturday.

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