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Mariah Carey

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Mariah Carey
Carey performing in her Caution World Tour at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam, Netherlands, June 2019
Born (1969-03-27) March 27, 1969 (age 55)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
  • actress
  • music video director
  • businesswoman
  • philanthropist
  • author
Height175 cm (5 ft 9 in)
Spouse(s)Tommy Mottola (m. 1993–1997)
Nick Cannon (m. 2008–2016)
Musical career
Years active1988–present

Mariah Carey (born March 27, 1969)[a] is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, actress, philanthropist, author and businesswoman. She is best known for the song "All I Want for Christmas Is You".

She is recognized as the Queen of Christmas and Songbird Supreme by the Guinness World Records with her five-octave coloratura soprano voice, melismatic singing style and her signature use of the whistle register. She has sold over 200 million copies worldwide and is one of the best-selling artists of all time. She has sold over 71 million albums in the US alone, the most US albums sold for a female artist.[4]

Early life[change | change source]

Mariah Carey was born on March 27, 1969, in Huntington, New York, the daughter of Alfred Roy Carey, an African American and Afro-Venezuelan ancestry and Patricia Hickey, an Irish ancestry. She is the youngest of three children. Carey's father is an aeronautical engineer while her mother is a opera singer and a freelance vocal coach. Her siblings are Morgan (born 1960) and Alison (born 1962). Her parents divorced when she was three years old. She practiced playing piano when she was a little girl.[5]

Music career[change | change source]

In December 1988, Carey started making her first album.

She released her self-titled debut studio album in 1990. It was released from Columbia Records. The album was certified multi-platinum by the RIAA. Four singles from the album all reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart ("Vision of Love", "Love Takes Time", "Someday", and "I Don't Wanna Cry"). It reached number one on the US Billboard 200. It was certified 9× platinum. This means that 9 million copies of the album were shipped in the US. Carey married Tommy Mottola, the head of Sony Music, in 1993. Mottola was the executive producer for Carey. Many critics believed that this helped Carey's musical career.

In 1991, her second album Emotions reached number four on the Billboard 200. It was certified 4× platinum and sold less than her previous album. Her songs "Emotions" (#1), "Can't Let Go" (#2), and "Make It Happen" (#5) were released as singles from the album. Carey released her first EP MTV Unplugged (1992). It reached number three on the Billboard 200. The songs "I'll Be There" (#1) and "If It's Over" were released as singles from the album. Carey's third album Music Box (1993) reached number one on the Billboard 200. As of 2012, the album has sold 10,000,000 copies in the US, according to Nielsen Soundcan, and was certified Diamond because of this. Worldwide, it sold 32 million copies and became one of the best-selling albums of all time. "Dreamlover" (#1), "Hero" (#1), "Without You" (#3), "Never Forget You" (#3), and "Anytime You Need a Friend" (#12) helped Carey to become more popular.

Her fourth studio album and first holiday album, Merry Christmas (1994), reached number three on the Billboard 200 chart. Two singles were released: "All I Want for Christmas Is You" and "Joy to the World". Carey's fifth album Daydream became her third number-one album in the US. It was given a diamond award from the RIAA. This means that 10 million copies of the album were shipped in the US. There were six singles for the album. They include "Fantasy" (#1), "One Sweet Day" (#1), "Open Arms", "Always Be My Baby" (#1), "Forever" (#9) and "Underneath the Stars". On September 16, 1997, Carey released her sixth album Butterfly. The album reached number one on the Billboard 200 chart. The album released five singles. They include "Honey" (#1), "Butterfly" (#16), "The Roof (Back in Time)", "Breakdown" (#53) and "My All" (#1).

On November 2, 1999, her seventh album Rainbow was released. After selling 323,000 copies the first week, it debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 chart. It featured her fifteenth number-one US single, "Thank God I Found You" (with R&B singer Joe and boy band 98°), along with a cover of singer Phil Collins' song "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)". The cover reached number one in the UK.

Carey starred in the movie Glitter in 2001. It did not do so well and grossed $5,271,666 out of a $20,000,000 budget. It was released on the day of the September 11 attacks.[6] It was nominated for several "worst movie" categories. The soundtrack did better than the movie. The single "Loverboy" reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100.

In 2002, her album Charmbracelet was released. Her 2005 album, The Emancipation of Mimi, became one of her most successful albums. Many music critics believed it was her "comeback album". It contained her sixteenth and seventeenth US number-one hits, "We Belong Together" and "Don't Forget About Us". "We Belong Together" was the number-one song of 2005 and of the 2000s decade in the US. Her following album, E=MC² (2008), featured her eighteenth number-one song, "Touch My Body". With this, Carey holds the most US number-ones for a solo artist in history. However, this album, along with its followups Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel (2009) and Merry Christmas II You (2010), did not sell well. She played the role of a social worker, Ms. Weiss, in the 2009 movie Precious.

In 2013, she was a judge on the competition series American Idol. Carey's fourteenth album, Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse, was released in 2014 and reached number three on the Billboard 200. The song "#Beautiful", featuring R&B singer Miguel, was released in May 2013 as the first single from the album. It reached the top fifteen in the US and was certified platinum. The next single, "The Art of Letting Go", was released on November 11, 2013. "You're Mine (Eternal)" was released in time for Valentine's Day in 2014 as the third single from the album.

Carey released a greatest hits collection, #1 to Infinity, in 2015. It features all eighteen of her US number-one songs along with a new song, "Infinity". She performed a Las Vegas residency show at Caesars Palace called Mariah Carey #1 to Infinity and completed her Sweet Sweet Fantasy Tour across Europe.

She performed at the New Year's Eve countdown show, Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest, on December 31, 2016. This performance was not received well by viewers. Her in-ear monitors were not working, which led her to walk around the stage and eventually lip-sync "We Belong Together".

On February 3, 2017, she released a new single, "I Don't", featuring rapper YG. Footage was shown of Carey recording the song on her docuseries, Mariah's World. In October 2017, a new song, "The Star", was released for the soundtrack of a film of the same name.

During Christmas 2017, "All I Want for Christmas Is You" reached a new high of #9 on the Billboard Hot 100. Carey again performed at Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest on New Year's Eve 2017. This performance was much more acclaimed than the one of the previous year. The song finally reached number one for the week ending December 19, 2019.[7] It became Carey's nineteenth US number-one, continuing her record of the most number-ones in the US by a soloist.

Carey revealed that she had joined rapper Jay-Z's company, Roc Nation, for management.[8]

In 2020, Carey announced that she would be releasing an autobiography, The Meaning of Mariah Carey, on September 29, 2020.[9] She is also releasing a compilation album, The Rarities, on October 2, 2020.[10]

Artistry[change | change source]

Carey possesses a five-octave coloratura soprano vocal range.

She lists Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Chaka Khan, Luther Vandross, Michael Jackson, Deniece Williams, Minnie Riperton, Diana Ross, Natalie Cole, Whitney Houston, Donna Summer, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan Al Green, George Michael, Stevie Wonder and Gladys Knight as her musical influences.

She cited Minnie Riperton as one of her musical influences for the use of a whistle register.

Personal life[change | change source]

During the release of Glitter, Carey suffered a breakdown and was put in the hospital for exhaustion.[11]

Carey married Nick Cannon on April 30, 2008.[12] On their 3rd wedding anniversary, she gave birth to her fraternal twins, a boy, Moroccan and a girl, Monroe. Cannon announced his separation from Carey in 2014. He filed for divorce the same year of their separation and it was finalized in 2016.

Carey became engaged to Australian billionaire James Packer in 2016.[13] However, Carey's E! docuseries, Mariah's World, showed their breakup while she was on the Sweet Sweet Fantasy Tour.

She dated her backup dancer, Bryan Tanaka, on and off from November 2016 until April 2017 before resuming their relationship later in 2017.[14][15] He later became Carey's creative director. Tanaka announced their separation on social media in December 2023.[16]

In November 2017, Carey was accused of sexual harassment by a former security official, Michael Anello.[17] On April 18, 2018, Carey was accused of sexual harassment by a former manager Stella Stolper.[18][19] Carey denies the allegations.[19]

Movies[change | change source]

Year Title Role Notes
1999 The Bachelor Ilana
2001 Glitter Billie Frank 2001 Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress
2002 WiseGirls Raychel
2003 Death of a Dynasty Herself Cameo appearance
2005 State Property 2 Dame's Wifey
2008 You Don't Mess with the Zohan Herself Cameo appearance
2009 Tennessee Krystal
2009 Precious Mrs. Weiss

Palm Springs International Film Festival Breakthrough Performance Award
Capri Hollywood International Film Festival Award for Supporting Actress of the Year
Black Reel Award for Best Ensemble
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Nominated – Black Reel Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated – Critics' Choice Awards for Best Acting Ensemble

2017 The Lego Batman Movie Mayor of Gotham City Voice; post-production
Year Title Role Notes
2002 Ally McBeal Candy Cushnip "Playing with Matches" (Season 5, episode 8)
2003 The Proud Family Herself Voice role

Discography[change | change source]

Albums[change | change source]

Singles[change | change source]

Year Single Highest chart positions Album
1990 "Vision of Love"
Mariah Carey
"Love Takes Time"
1991 "Someday"
"I Don't Wanna Cry"
"Can't Let Go"
"Make It Happen"
1992 "I'll Be There"
MTV Unplugged
1993 "Dreamlover"
Music Box
"Without You"
"Never Forget You"

Notes[change | change source]

  1. While some sources give a birth year of 1970,[1] a birth announcement in Carey's hometown newspaper The Long-Islander indicates 1969,[2] as do others.[3]

References[change | change source]

    • Holden, Stephen (June 13, 1990). "The Pop Life - Mariah Carey's Debut". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 1, 2018. Retrieved March 27, 2019. The 20-year-old singer...
    • Biography Today (PDF). United States: Omnigraphics. January 1997. p. 151. Retrieved March 20, 2019. [March] 27 Carey, Mariah (1970)
    • Nickson 1998
    • Shapiro 2001
    • Eliscu, Jenny (February 23, 2006). "Mariah After Midnight". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved March 27, 2019. When Patricia Carey gave birth to a seven-pound baby girl at 7:27 A.M. on March 27th, 1970...
  1. "Recent Births Are Announced". The Long-Islander. Huntington, New York. April 10, 1970. p. 2-3. Retrieved February 16, 2021 – via NYS Historic Newspapers. Recent births at Huntington Hospital have been announced as follows ... March 27 Mariah, Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Carey, Huntington[permanent dead link]
  2. * "Short Takes: Mariah Carey Doing OK at 20". Los Angeles Times. January 21, 1991. Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved March 27, 2019. At age 20, she seems...
  3. Sadler, Armon (2022-09-28). "Mariah Carey Becomes First Female Artist To Sell Over 70 Million Albums In The US". VIBE.com. Retrieved 2023-12-31.
  4. "Latino". Fox News. 26 February 2022.
  5. Juzwiak, Rich (December 23, 2013). "Mariah Carey Confronts Embarrassing Past, Watches Glitter Highlights". Gawker. Retrieved July 8, 2016.
  6. "The Hot 100 Chart". Billboard. 2 January 2013. Retrieved 2020-08-30.
  7. "Mariah Carey at Roc Nation". ROCNATION. Archived from the original on 2018-04-06. Retrieved 2018-04-07.
  8. Carey, Mariah (29 September 2020). The Meaning of Mariah Carey: Carey, Mariah: 9781250164681: Amazon.com: Books. ISBN 978-1250164681.
  9. "Mariah Carey - The Rarities - Amazon.com: Music". www.amazon.com. Retrieved 2020-08-30.
  10. "Mariah Carey Says 'Breakdown' Overblown". ABC News. December 3, 2002. Retrieved July 8, 2016.
  11. Archive-Chris-Harris. "It's Official! Mariah Carey, Nick Cannon Wedding Photo, Comments Are Released". MTV News.
  12. "Mariah Carey: I'M ENGAGED!!!". January 21, 2016. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  13. "Mariah Carey and Bryan Tanaka Split After 5 Months of Dating". PEOPLE.com. 2017-04-10. Retrieved 2017-04-11.
  14. Price, Lydia. "Everything We Know About Mariah Carey and New Beau Bryan Tanaka".
  15. "Mariah Carey and Bryan Tanaka's Relationship Timeline". Peoplemag. Retrieved 2023-12-31.
  16. "Ex Bodyguard Accuses Mariah Carey Of Sexual Harassment". iHeartRadio. November 9, 2017. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  17. "Mariah Carey accused of sexual harassment by ex-manager". Telegraph. April 18, 2018. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
  18. 19.0 19.1 "Mariah Carey: Ex Manager Claims Sexual Harassment". TMZ. April 16, 2018.

Sources[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]