This time, it wasn't her platinum vocals that captured global attention, but a rare musical meltdown in front of a live audience of millions on ABC's "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest."
An audio track malfunction was reported while Carey was lip-syncing to some of her biggest songs onstage in front of a live audience of millions.
Just moments before the ball dropped on Time Square, it seemed the ball dropped on the five-time Grammy Award-winning artist's performance.
Dazzling in her bodysuit, the 1990s pop phenomenon took the stage and belted out "Auld Lang Syne." Then her act started to unwind.
The pop star's backup dancers walked her down the stairs as she looked puzzled and attempted to sing the second song, "Emotions" from 1991 -- the same song that earned her a Grammy Award for best female pop vocal performance in 1992.
Known for her vocal range, Carey seemed to be struggling to reach notes and appeared to have lost her lyrical footing.
While the music played in the background, she told the audience that a proper sound check was not in place before her performance.
As the technical malfunction continued, a frustrated Carey paced the stage, and pointed to the audience as she turned the microphone on them.
"We're missing some of these vocals, but it is what it is," she said, trying to maintain her composure. "Let the audience sing."
Instead of singing, Carey did an occasional dance move with her backup dancers during the number.
Carey then started to sing her third song of the evening, "We Belong Together," but stopped singing again due to another glitch. All the while, the prerecorded track kept playing in the background.
Despite the flop, and emotion, Carey appeared to be shaking it off.
"It is what it is," she said. "It just don't get any better." Then she walked off the stage.
Twitter tunes in on performance
After her performance, Carey tweeted a meme and said in part, "have a happy and healthy new year everybody! Here's to making more headlines in 2017."
Though the details surrounding the malfunction remain unclear, it took no time for a firestorm to erupt on social media as viewers both dissed and came to her defense on Twitter.
This isn't the first time a pop star has had a performance go awry on the national stage.
On February 1, 2004, singer Janet Jackson said she had a "wardrobe malfunction" when pop star Justin Timberlake popped off part of Jackson's corset, exposing her right breast during the halftime performance at Super Bowl XXXVIII.
An estimated 140 million people watched the show, Jackson later apologized for the "costume reveal."