Mariah Carey’s new beau, back-up dancer Bryan Tanaka, has opened up about his relationship with the singer, revealing he’s always had feelings for her.
The We Belong Together hitmaker appeared to confirm she is dating the 33-year-old Tanaka by locking lips with him during an impromptu photo shoot on a beach in Maui, Hawaii last week.
Mariah has remained coy about her romance with Bryan, but he is not afraid to gush about the 46-year-old.
“I’ve always had a thing for Mariah. I love her so much,” he told E! News on Sunday at the viewing party for her new reality series Mariah’s World. “Just make sure you tune in to the show and you’ll see kind of how everything happens.”
The dancer first met Mariah in 2005, when he was hired to perform with her.
“We’ve been friends for a long time,” he continued. “I do a little dance move here and there and we have a good time. It will be fun.
“Something connected with us back in the day and there was just a mutual admiration,” he added. “She saw something in me that I actually didn’t recognize at first, from that it was over. It was set in history that we were gonna be connected some way, some how.”
Mariah was asked if viewers would see Bryan flirting with her during the show, but she refused to divulge any details.
“I don’t know,” she said. “We’ll have to wait and see.”
However, she did open up about her working relationship with Bryan.
“It’s really nice, especially when you’ve worked with somebody in the past and then you get to work with them again and just see how everybody’s grown creatively and all that,” she said.
In a preview for the show, Mariah’s manager Stella is seen talking about Bryan’s “huge crush” on the singer.
“What are we gonna do with him?” she said in the promo.
And in Sunday’s episode, Bryan talks about the first time he worked with Mariah.
“It was about 2005, 2006 is when I first met Mariah Carey,” he explained. “I was a young buck, I was this green rookie when I first worked with her.
“So many things have happened (since then),” he continued. “I grew up, I turned into a man and she’s gone through so much. I think it’s gonna take some time for us to get back to that comfortability where we were just homies, where we could just talk.”
The new relationship emerges months after Mariah called it quits with her billionaire fiance James Packer, following a fight while on vacation in Greece in September.
In the premiere episode of her series, Mariah is seen trying on her wedding dress and postponing her nuptials to James to focus on her tour.
At the time of Mariah’s split from James, some reports suggested the Australian tycoon had not been comfortable with Tanaka’s constant presence by the R&B icon’s side, but her representative played down the claims, insisting infidelity had nothing to do with their break-up.