Mariah Carey was born on March 27, 1970, in Huntington, New York, to parents Patricia and Alfred. Unfortunately, her parents divorced when she was only 3 years old. As a result of her Irish, Venezuelan and black descent, Mariah Carey encountered some racial discrimination while growing up.
Mariah Carey was raised in a poverty-stricken home, and her mother was forced to work multiple jobs to make ends meet. Conveniently enough, it was Mariah Carey’s mom who noticed her daughter’s vocal talents.
mariah carey meets tommy mottola
One day, when Patricia was rehearsing her role of Maddalena in Verdi’s opera Rigoletto, she heard Mariah Carey imitating her singing. Even though she was only 3 at the time, Mariah’s mom began teaching her how to develop her vocal skills.
In high school, Mariah Carey didn’t concentrate much on her education and would frequently skip class; instead, she wrote songs and dreamed about becoming a famous singer. Before she got her big break, Mariah Carey completed 500 hours of beauty school and even worked as a hair sweeper in a salon, as a waitress and as a coat-check girl.
After she graduated from high school in 1987, Mariah Carey moved to New York to pursue her dream of becoming a famous singer. She spent hours working in a studio writing her music and making demo tapes. In 1988, one of Mariah Carey’s friends, who played the drums for Brenda K. Starr, urged her to try out as a backup singer for Starr. Although Mariah Carey was a little hesitant at first, she quickly realized that it was better than what she was doing at that time.
One day, while Mariah Carey was singing for Brenda K. Starr, Sony record executive producer Tommy Mottola was given Mariah Carey’s demo tape, and her wish of becoming a singer was soon realized.
mariah carey releases emotions
Mariah Carey’s first self-titled album uncovered a high-octave voice that could break sound barriers, as well as record sales. Although people initially labeled her as a “white girl with a black girl’s voice,” Mariah Carey quickly squashed all the hearsay and set the record straight. Nevertheless, all the media hype ultimately contributed to her selling over six million albums.
Thanks to her debut album, she landed at No. 1 with four of her singles and won a couple of Grammys. Her following two albums, 1991’s Emotions and 1992’s Unplugged, were just as successful. In 1993, Mariah Carey wed Tommy Mottola. Media hounds were quick to criticize the age difference between the couple (Tommy is 20 years her senior).
Once she was a success, Mariah Carey quickly got involved with the cause of inner-city youth, donating large quantities of time and money to an organization that was renamed Camp Mariah. The camp is a refuge for urban youth who rarely get the chance to experience nature and embrace the arts.
mariah carey releases music box
In 1993, Mariah Carey’s fourth album, Music Box, and fifth album, 1994’s Merry Christmas, burned up the charts just as strongly as her previous releases. In 1995, Mariah Carey released Daydream, which earned her six Grammy nominations and began to uncover a Mariah Carey that the world had never seen before.
Mariah Carey began to develop a hip-hop feel in her music and began frequenting other hip-hoppers like Da Brat and Ol’ Dirty Bastard. At the same time, Mariah Carey’s music started gaining popularity in clubs, and her fan base became wider in range.
mariah carey releases rainbow
Mariah Carey quickly became one of the most powerful women in the music industry, with career sales topping 80 million units. Throughout 1997, Mariah Carey watched her professional image evolve, even though her marriage to Tommy Mottola took a turn for the worst. Although they denied rumors of marital problems, Mariah Carey released Butterfly, and the video for the first single depicted Mariah as a prisoner in an estate. This video only fueled the fire of rumors surrounding the couple’s marriage. They ultimately divorced in March 1998.
In 1999, Mariah Carey released Rainbow, which spawned the hits “Heartbreaker” and a cover of “Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now).”
mariah carey in glitter
Next, Mariah Carey tried her hand at acting. She had a small role in 1999’s The Bachelor starring Renee Zellweger. Her starring debut came with the release of Glitter in September 2001, which chronicled the tumultuous rise of a singer in the 1980s.
While promoting the film and its soundtrack album (and after several bizarre public occurrences), Mariah Carey suffered what her publicist referred to as a “physical and emotional breakdown.” She was briefly hospitalized and announced she was taking a break from performing.
Unfortunately, Glitter failed to follow the success of her single and album releases. The film did poorly at the box office, and even the soundtrack didn’t come close to matching the sales of her previous releases. To add even more insult to injury, Virgin Records dissolved its contract with her, paying her $28 million to walk away.
mariah carey records charmbracelet
But Mariah Carey bounced back with a new record deal, this time with Island Def Jam (part of Universal Music Group). Her next release, Charmbracelet, proved that she still had the vocal chops to stay in the game, although it didn’t come close to the success of her previous albums. Mariah Carey also kept busy with the start of her own label, MonarC.
Mariah Carey then added WiseGirls (costarring Mira Sorvino) to her acting resume, as it premiered at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival and aired on HBO.
mariah carey’s emancipation of mimi
After a few years in relative obscurity, Mariah Carey burst back onto the music scene in April 2005 with her 10th studio album, The Emancipation of Mimi. For the album, she collaborated with such famed artists as The Neptunes, Kanye West and Jermaine Dupri. Her first single, “It’s Like That,” exploded onto the charts, and the album itself sold more copies — about 404,000 — in its first week than any of her previous albums.
In 2005, she made an appearance on the big screen with a role in State Property 2, and spent much of 2006 on the road in The Adventures of Mimi Tour.
2007 was also an eventful year for Mariah Carey, as she was cast in the film Tennessee, posed in a clothed spread for Playboy and was picked by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to receive a coveted Hollywood Walk of Fame Star.
mariah carey releases e=mc2
In 2008, Mariah Carey released E=MC2, the singer’s 11th studio album. It was released in April to critical acclaim.