Is Mariah Carey 'Sick' of Christmas? Why Holiday Queen Might Be Canceling Shows

mariah carey christmas
Mariah Carey performs onstage during 2016 VH1's Divas Holiday: Unsilent Night at Kings Theatre on December 2, 2016 in New York City. Getty Images / Michael Loccisano

Mariah Carey, one of the best-selling pop stars of all time, announced this week that she was canceling three of her annual Christmas-themed concerts in New York City. In an upbeat Instagram post, the 47-year-old singer explained she needed "a few more days" to recover from the respiratory infection that interrupted her tour earlier in November.

Carey's annual Christmas themed tour was originally scheduled to begin November 27, but Carey will instead start in New York on December 2, wrapping up in Las Vegas on December 22.

The singer has said in multiple interviews that she doesn't identify as the queen of Christmas. And yet you can understand the assumption that she is, somehow, the ghost of Christmas present: Carey has written a children's book about the holiday, voiced an animated feature about it, released a Christmas-themed make-up line, and trots out her massive 1994 hit "All I Want For Christmas Is You" every year. "I'm just a person who likes Christmas, OK? Who happened to write some songs," she told The Hollywood Reporter this month.

Carey famously pretends she's never heard of—or met—any pop stars in her age range, but here's the thing: At 47 (or 48), she has joined her peers in what has become something of a club: The sad options open to powerful female stars who have aged out of the pop charts and the sort stardom and options that go with it.

Consider Christina Aguilera, 36, and Britney Spears, 35, both sexy/dirty girls in their youth: The former segued into the more sedate chair of a judge on The Voice. The latter now has a respectable residency in Vegas. Jennifer Lopez, 48, went the Vegas residency route, too. Former punk princess Gwen Stefani, 48, did the Aguilera, joining The Voice, alongside her mainstream country star boyfriend Blake Shelton. She's also going deep into Carey territory, releasing a holiday album, You Make It Feel Like Chistmas, appearing on NBC's Christmas On Rockefeller Center on Wednesday and hosting her own Christmas special on December 12, also on NBC.

Are these really the only options for female pop stars of as they age? Is this what Taylor Swift, 27, and Rihanna, 29, have to look forward to when they hit their mid-thirties? Will they, like Stefani and Carey—two of pop's most celebrated stars—be relegated to Spotif's Christmas music aisle? Maybe that fate is what Carey is sick of.

In the meantime, assuming Carey recovers in time, her "All I Want for Christmas Tour" begins Saturday.