Mariah Carey Biography


Mariah Carey (born March 27, 1970[2] or 1969;[3] sources vary) is an American R&B/pop singer-songwriter, record producer and actress. She made her recording debut in 1990 under the guidance of Columbia Records executive Tommy Mottola, and became the first recording artist to have her first five singles top the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. Following her marriage to Mottola in 1993, a series of hit records including “Dreamlover” and “Hero” from the diamond album Music Box established her position as Columbia Records’ highest-selling act.

Following her separation from Mottola in 1997, she introduced elements of hip hop into her album work, to much initial success, but when she left Columbia in 2001 her popularity was in decline. She signed an unprecedented $100 million deal with Virgin Records, only to be dropped from the label and bought out of her contract in the following year. This radical turn of events was due to the highly publicized physical and emotional breakdown, as well as the poor reception that was given to Glitter, her film and soundtrack project. In 2002 Carey signed a $24 million deal with Island Records, and after a relatively unsuccessful period, she returned to the top of pop music in 2005 with her album The Emancipation of Mimi.[4][5] The album became the best-selling album of the 2000s decade and its single, “We Belong Together,” became her most successful solo single of her music career and was also awarded Song of the Decade by

Date of Birth
27 March 1970, Huntington, New York, USA

The Voice

5′ 9″ (1.75 m)

Nick Cannon     (30 April 2008 – present) 2 children
Tommy Mottola     (5 June 1993 – 5 March 1998) (divorced)

Trade Mark

Beauty mark just below her mouth.

Labels her albums, videos, photographs, and clothing with butterflies.

Spectacular range spanning 5 octaves.

Sings in long, intricate phrases in the Whistle register range (as heard on such songs as ‘Emotions’, ‘Anytime you Need a Friend’, ‘Dreamlover’, Bliss’ and ‘O Holy Night’, etc.)


Bought Marilyn Monroe’s white lacquered baby grand piano at auction in October, 1999 for $600,000 plus commission.

Got her name from the song “They Call The Wind Maria” (spelled ‘Maria’ without the H, but pronounced ‘Mariah’). The popular Lerner & Loewe musical Paint Your Wagon (1969), starring Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood, which was enjoying a great deal of success after its release in 1969, and the song containing Mariah’s name, was a favorite of mother Patricia.

Worked a variety of odd jobs to support herself, including hat/coat-checker, hostess, hair sweeper in hair salons, and waitress. She stated that she got fired from all her jobs because of her attitude and was concentrating of becoming a backing singer and mixing demos.

Dated Latin singer Luis Miguel.

Attended Oldfield Middle School and Harborfield High School.

Father is Black/Venezuelan American. Mother is White Irish-American.

Honored by the Congressional Award in Washington, DC with the 1999 Horizon Award. The Horizon Award is a special recognition from the Joint Leadership of the United States Congress and the Congressional Award Board of Directors. The Horizon Award is presented to individuals from the private sectors who have contributed to expanding opportunities for all Americans through their own personal contributions, and who have set exceptional examples for young people through their successes in life.

The only female artist (and second artist or group ever) to have 18 #1 songs on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts.

Made her singing debut, age 20. [1990]

Had the nickname “Mirage” in high school, because she never showed up for class.

According to her spokesperson, Mariah suffered a physical and emotional breakdown, and spent the next couple weeks recovering in a Connecticut mental hospital. [25 July 2001]

Appeared on the benefit concert “A Tribute To Heroes” and sang the song “Hero” in dedication to the families, friends, victims, and heroes of the World Trade Center tragedy. [September 2001]

Signed an $80 million deal with Virgin Records for her next four albums. [2001]

Founder of Camp Mariah, a serene escape located in Fishkill, New York for inner-city youth to embrace the arts, introduce career opportunities, and build self-esteem.

Named one of People Magazine’s ’25 Most Intriguing People of 2001′.

Virgin Records bought out her $80 million contract for $28 million. The primary reason being the failure of her Glitter (2001) album and film. [26 January 2002]

Single “One Sweet Day” holds the record for the single staying most weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 (a record 16 weeks).

With 18 #1 hits, she is in 2nd place among all artists with the most No. 1s in music history, with The Beatles remaining in first place with 20. She surpassed Elvis Presley’s 17 #1 hits with “Touch My Body” as her 18th #1.

Owns a three-floor apartment in New York City.

Signed a three-album deal with Island/Def Jam records for a reported $21-24 million. She had already started work on a new album, which had no release date at that point. Meanwhile, WiseGirls (2002), her movie with Mira Sorvino, premiered on HBO in the fall of 2002. [May 2002]

Voted in at #36 in FHM’s Sexiest Girls of 2002 poll, American edition.

Her seventh studio album, titled ‘Charmbracelet’, will be released on December 3, 2002, a week earlier than originally planned.

Is the most successful female singer-songwriter of all time, with 17 #1 hits and more than 160 million records sold worldwide.

Her paternal Venezuelan grandfather’s name was Francisco Nuñez. He changed his last name Nuñez to Carey after moving to New York City; he hoped an American name would help him make a good life in the US. He took the name Carey from his biological father. Francisco’s mother Margarita Nuñez was with a man named Carey, but they were not married.

Used to be a backup singer for Brenda Starr.

The first single from the Glitter (2001) soundtrack, “Loverboy,” was the #1 best selling single in the year 2001.

Has worked with an extensive amount of musicians, including: Brian McKnight, Whitney Houston, Boyz II Men, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Cam’ron, Carole King, Céline Dion, Michael Jackson, 98 Degrees, Joe, Da Brat, Missy ‘Misdemeanor’ Elliott, Aretha Franklin, Shania Twain and many, many more.

She has twice recorded Phil Collins’ song “Against All Odds,” initially on her album “Rainbow” and then a collaboration with Westlife hit number one in the UK in 2000.

Her mother Patricia Hickey is a former mezzo-soprano New York City opera singer and a freelance vocal coach. Patricia was also Mariah’s vocal coach. Her father Alfred Roy Carey was an aeronautical engineer.

Her highest note thus far was a G#7 (a few keys from the top of a piano) hit during two live performances of “Emotions” in 1991. Also, she has hit an A2 in her 1998 hit “My All,” verifying her 5-octave range. Also, celebrity vocal coach Mark Baxter says that he has heard Mariah sing past the top note on the piano.

Her siblings are Alison and Morgan, and are significantly older by eight years.

Mariah writes and co-writes as well as produces and co-produces her own songs, including all of her number one hits (with the exception of her cover of “I’ll Be There”).

Her wedding to Tommy Mottola was modeled after the royal wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Her excuse for using the royal wedding as basis for her own was that she never really had much interest in weddings as a girl, and she wanted to know what such a gala affair should be like. Even the tiara she wore, a family heirloom, was redesigned to look like Princess Diana’s. Her wedding dress was an ivory-silk duchess satin gown designed by Vera Wang, with a 8.25 m (27′) train and matching satin pumps. The whole affair cost almost $US0.5M, not including the 1893 sixpence Mariah put in one of her shoes for luck.

With “Heartbreaker,” the first single from her 1999 album Rainbow, she became the only artist to top the charts in each year of the 1990s.

Made music history when “Fantasy” (from her 1995 album Daydream) became a #1. With “Fantasy,” Mariah became the first female artist to debut at number one in the U.S. on the Billboard Hot 100s. “Heartbreaker,” the first single from her 1999 album Rainbow became her 14th #1 single, and with “Heartbreaker,” it marked Mariah’s 60th week atop the charts, which broke a long-standing 59-week record established by The Beatles as the artist with the most weeks at #1 in the 41-year history of the Billboard’s Hot 100. “Thank God I Found You” also from Rainbow album was her 15 #1. “We Belong Together” from her 2005 album The Emancipation of Mimi became her 16th #1 single, is also Hot 100’s Greatest Airplay Gainer, and moved to #1 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart to become her ninth #1 chart topper there. It is also her first #1 without any guest artists since her song “My All” captured the top spot in May 1998. “Don’t Forget About Us” became her 17th #1 single, tying her with Elvis Presley’s 17 #1 singles. She beat Elvis Presley’s record with “Touch My Body” as her 18th #1 single.

Some of her prestigious awards include 5 Grammies, numerous grammy nominations, numerous Radio Music Awards, many American Music Awards, Billboard’s “Artist of the Decade” Award and the World Music Award for “World’s Best Selling Female Artist of the Millennium” to name a few.

Her mother Patricia discovered Mariah’s talent in 1972 while rehearsing at home for her New York City Opera debut as Maddalena in Verdi’s Rigoletto. Patricia said, “From the time Mariah was a tiny girl. she sang on true pitch; she was able to hear sound and duplicate it exactly. I missed my cue, but Mariah didn’t. She sang it – in Italian – at exactly the right point. She wasn’t even yet 3.” From then on, Patricia began coaching Mariah.

Some of her albums feature the serif typeface friz quadrata.

Ranked #47 in Askmen’s “Most Desirable Woman” (2001)

Ranked #99 in FHM’s “100 Sexiest Women” (2001)

Ranked #17 in FHM’s “100 Sexiest Women” (2000)

Some of her musical influences include Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Minnie Riperton and Stevie Wonder.

The Emancipation Of Mimi, named the biggest-selling album of 2005, generated an all-time career-high 8 Grammy nominations for Mariah. The album includes Mariah’s 16th and 17th #1 career singles, “We Belong Together” and “Don’t Forget About Us,” respectively – which tied one of the most enduring chart records in Billboard Hot 100 history, Elvis Presley’s 17 #1’s. She passed Elvis Presley with her 18th #1 single “Touch My Body”. Mariah is now positioned as the only active recording artist in the 50 years of the Hot 100 (which began in 1958) with the potential to match or surpass the Beatles’ all-time high 20 #1 hits.

For the first time in history, a non current song, “All I want for Christmas is you” (1994) reached the #1 spot in the Digital Songs and Tracks the week of December 22th 2005.

Was among the guests at Usher Raymond’s 26th birthday party.

Her godmother is Patti LaBelle.

Named #15 in FHM’s “100 Sexiest Women in the World 2005” special supplement. (2005)

Her longest note is in her song “Lead the Way”, where she holds a note for about 21 seconds long. In full-voice (no Whistle) she can sing up to G6, as in the song “You’re So Cold” where she Ad-Libs down to F2 (two notes lower than the A2 in ‘My All’) and back up to F6, seconds later, she hits F7# in the Whistle register.

Studied over 500 hours of beauty school and hair salon prior to becoming a singer.

Composes all of her own material, except for song covers.

Named #28 in FHM magazine’s “100 Sexiest Women in the World 2006” supplement. (2006).

Gave acclaimed performances at State Kremlin Palace, Moscow, and in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 2003.

The first presents that Mariah indulged herself, were a Ford Mustang convertible and an apartment with a stunning view in New York’s Upper East Side on the 21st floor of a high-rise building. She decorated it with her idol’s posters (Marilyn Monroe) and lived there with her two cats Ninja and Thompkins.

Used to be a vegetarian but stopped for ex-husband Tommy Mottola.

Ranked #19 on VH1’s 100 Sexiest Artists.

According to some reports, insured her body for $10M during the shooting of Glitter (2001).

Is mentioned in the Vanessa Hudgens song, “Promise” and the Freeway song “Flipside”.

2001: Had a breakdown with the press, grabbed an interviewer’s tape recorder and spoke directly to her fans: “I want them to know that this is a freaking, complete clown-fest”.

Is the only act to have had a number one single in the US every year of the 1990’s.

March 2003: The Guinness Book of World Records awarded her the record for the highest note hit by a human, after she hit the G7# note during a live performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner”. She also held the record for possessing the largest vocal range A2-G7#.

1998: Toured Australia and said the highlight of her trip was swimming with dolphins.

Her official website features “Mariahisms,” her favorite sayings, including “Lamb,” “Bing bong” and “Okie dokie smokey”.

Admires Marilyn Monroe.

Named “America’s Most Misunderstood Black Woman,” by Essence magazine.

Failed her driver’s license test three times.

In the mid 1990’s, thanked her mother by buying her a house. She gathered her mother’s possessions and put them in the new house, as well as framing photos and putting them on the wall. Then she pretended they were just looking at the house. Mariah says: “It was the most incredible thing I’ve ever been able to do”.

Wanted to be a genie when she was a kid.

154 thousand copies of her new album, E=MC2, were sold on its first day of release. (April 2008).

Merited a place in Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” (Artists & Entertainers section) with a tribute written by Stevie Wonder (Issue May 12, 2008).

Ranked #71 on the Maxim magazine’s Hot 100 of 2008 list (Measurements: 35D-24-36).

Has a dog named JJ.

She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6537 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.

Confirmed after much speculation that she is four months pregnant with twins, by husband Nick Cannon (28 October 2010).

Revealed that she had fallen pregnant by her husband Nick Cannon in the autumn of 2008, but suffered a miscarriage shortly before arriving in Aspen, Colorado to spend Christmas with her family.

Her publicist is Cindi Berger.

Gave birth to twins on April 30, 2011 in Los Angeles. The girl weighed 5 lbs. 3 oz and was 18 inches long; and the boy weighed 5 lbs 6 oz and was 19 inches long.

Personal Quotes

[Madison Square Garden, 1995] This is for all of you out there tonight, reaching for a dream – don’t ever give up! Never ever listen to anyone, when they try to discourage you, because they do that, believe me!

[taking a swipe at her critics at the 1999 Billboard Music awards] Forget the image, forget the ensemble, forget the rumors, forget the short skirts, the big hair, whatever! I owe this to the fans and I will never forget you so I want to accept this award on behalf of all of you. We’ve come a long way and I feel like I’m just getting started. Because as an artist, and most importantly as a person, I am genuinely happy to finally be free to be who I am. Thank you.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel . . . hopefully it’s not a freight train!

Music is what I love and it’s what I feel and it’s in me and to know that I can do something that I enjoy and hopefully bring some enjoyment to other people through what I do is an incrediable feeling and I am just really thankful for it

[on the importance of her music] One person could say, “‘Hero’ is a schmaltzy piece of garbage’, but another person can write me a letter and say, “I’ve considered committing suicide every day of my life for the last ten years until I heard that song and I realized after all I can be my own hero”. And that, that’s an unexplainable feeling, like I’ve done something with my life, ya know?

[interview in Hip Hop Magazine] A lot of the time they [the media] form the idea in listeners’ minds. Calling me a “pop diva” without listening to my work so when I come out with an urban song it’s like, “Pop diva goes black”. I mean, puh-lease.

Butterflies are always following me, everywhere I go.

I’m not one of those people that goes into details of my personal life on national TV to get attention. Some things are better left unsaid

A lot of people are singing about how screwed up the world is, and I don’t think that everybody wants to hear about that all the time.

I’m not vain, I’m insecure.

I decided to make my own ski-wear range after I found there were no fashion outfits for me to wear on the piste.

It’s hard to be someone that people talk about and write about, you know? They don’t know me.

I prayed very hard for this to happen and it happened. I don’t even think about what I’ve achieved, I haven’t focused on it and I wish I had, because I really want to enjoy it, and I don’t know if I am enjoying it, because I am going through my life like a bulldozer. I still haven’t marveled at it. I don’t mind being compared to [Whitney Houston], there are people miles worse to be compared to, but if you really listen there’s a difference.

People all of a sudden just see me and hear me having hit records and it seems to have come out of the blue. But really I have been working towards this my whole life, and this is what I say when people say I haven’t paid my dues.

What I write is all from my imagination. Fact is, I haven’t had time to experience all that, but that doesn’t mean to say that I don’t write from the heart, because I do. I put myself in other women’s shoes, I can feel their pain and joy when I think about it. It’s all the same, we’re all women.

There’s never been anything else in my life that inspired me at all. It’s crazy, but I’ve always loved music and I’ve always known this was what I wanted to do. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a singer.

Someone said I never paid any dues. I feel my whole life was struggling, because we were poor. We were alone, we had nothing–no security. I feel I have paid my dues. I’ve been paying my dues all my life.

[on her parents’ divorce] They went through some very hard times before I was born. They had their dogs poisoned, their cars set on fire and blown up. It put a strain on their relationship that never quit. There was always this tension. They just fought all the time.

I’ve always said that my father is half black and half Venezuelan and my mother is Irish. But people don’t understand. They can’t fathom that I’m African-American, Venezuelan and Irish.

And maybe there are some people out there who think a quarter Venezuelan is not a lot . . . Well, I may be only one quarter, but it’s a strong quarter.

There was a time when all I was allowed to do was go to gay clubs, because my quote-unquote husband was so afraid of me being around straight people.

[on her glamor influences] Raquel Welch, Ursula Andress–I liked their little ensembles . . . You’ve got to throw Farrah Fawcett in there, too. I had the Farrah doll. She was my little style inspiration.

[on her height] I don’t know why, but everybody thinks that I’m short. When they see me for the first time, women are always surprised to be obliged to raise their head.

I rarely go to bed before 5 or 6 am. I am a girl of the night. I hate getting up before 2 pm. And when I get up, I don’t have breakfast, just a slice of pizza. I’m composing my songs in bed, because I’m getting inspired when I’m about to sink into sleep. The night inspires me.

I’d humbly like to become an inspiration to the biracial kids, who are the population of the new millennium. I’m everything and nothing at the same time: white, black and Latino. If I’ve managed to be accepted, the others can do it, too.

I can remember when I told myself for the first time, “I’m going to be rich and famous”. I was about 5 or 6. I was in my mother’s car, an old green dirty car. My sister was there, too. She was humming; she was about 15, she had just gotten married because she was pregnant. We were on a supermarket parking lot, and I was looking at the wealthy people through the window; I told myself, “I am going to be a star and I’ll buy all these things for us”.

I was the world’s worst waitress.

[on not wanting to have kids] I would feel violated . . . I know that’s a kind of weird thing to say, but that’s how I am . . . It’s hard to have kids in this world. I don’t think I could properly educate a child right now. Maybe in the future, but I actually haven’t thought about it. For now I enjoy my dog Jack’s company. It’s definitely because of childhood traumatic stuff. The whole not wanting to have a baby as a baby.

Where Are They Now

(February 2005) Promoting her new album, The Emancipation of Mimi, which is due out in April 2005.

(April 2005) Released her 10th studio album, “The Emancipation Of Mimi”.

(January 2006) Has released her latest record “The Emancipation Of Mimi: Ultra Platinum Edition”. The record is a celebration of the record “The Emancipation Of Mimi”‘s success. Four bonus tracks have been included into this special record.

(April 2006) Filming Tennessee (2008) and putting together a summer tour.

(May 2007) In Anguilla working on her new studio album.

(2009) Debut of her perfume, “Luscious Pink”.

(January 2010) Launching her own line of champagne called Angel Champagne.

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