The star says she was "freaking exhausted", but is now raring to go after signing to Def Jam...

Mariah Carey has broken her silence over her failed multi-million pound deal with VIRGIN RECORDS and about her breakdown last year, saying she was “freaking exhausted.”

Speaking as news breaks of her new deal with Universal imprint Def Jam, the troubled diva said she was delighted to be under new contract again.

“My gut has always been to go with Universal, even before I did the [Virgin] deal,” she admitted. “I learned a big lesson: You’ve got to go with the people that really know what they are doing.”

Details of the deal, which will see a new label set-up by Def Jam for Mariah Carey, have not been yet revealed. However, Billboard reports sources saying it is worth $20 million (£14.5million) for three albums, with an option for a fourth – considerably more than the two-album deal worth between $3 million and $5 million (£2.1 – £3.5million) an album that had been mooted.

Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, Mariah Carey said she was well on the way to completing songs for the first album on her new label.

“There are a lot of songs I’ve done in the past that are very introspective and personal,” she said. “This album has a lot of those type of songs. But it also has celebratory, fun songs; I’m not going to sit there and dwell. People are always asking, ‘Is everything OK?’ Look, I was not depressed; I was freaking exhausted.”

Sales of her last album ‘Glitter’, the soundtrack album for the commercial failure feature in which she starred, were disastrous and precipitated her being kicked out of Virgin in January with a £19.6 million pay-off.

When asked why she thought it bombed, she said: “I feel like it was a domino effect, where the ignorance gets passed along. ‘Glitter’ was a soundtrack record that was a concept album. It was not a studio record. And even still, I feel there were a lot of good songs on there that no one ever heard because they didn’t get a chance to. Many multi-platinum artists have been on soundtrack records that were not ‘Titanic’. It happens, and it doesn’t warrant the world having this huge (reaction). The last studio album I had, I felt it did very well; it did about nine million worldwide.”

Mariah Carey is set to attempt to resurrect her film career in new feature ‘Wisegirls’, due for release in the US later this year.

“It’s a character part, and it’s so different from what people would expect from me,” she said. “It’s really in the direction that I want to go, and it has gotten me a lot of offers to do other character roles. You live and you learn. It’s OK to wait to do something. You don’t have to do the ‘predictable’ thing with the whole studio system. Doing something independent was really freeing and great for me.”