"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 incredible feeling and I am just really thankful for it." Mariah Carey
One of the most popular singers in the world since the 1990s, Mariah Carey was launched to stardom after the release of her self-titled debut album, Mariah Carey, in 1990. Four hit singles from the album, "Vision of Love," "Love Takes Time," "Someday" and "I Don't Wanna Cry," topped the rating charts and Carey took home two Grammy Awards.
She continued with top-rated chart albums like Emotions (1991) and the EP MTV Unplugged (1992).
Carey was again widely recognized with the release of best-selling album Music Box in 1993. With its hit tracks "Dreamlover" and "Hero," she topped the rating charts and the song "Without You" became Carey's biggest international hit. Another well-liked album titled Daydream was launched in 1995. Carey premiered at No. 1 on the Hot 100 with the lead single "Fantasy." A duet with Boyz II Men titled "One Sweet Day," was named the biggest record of the year after it remained at the top of the charts for 16 consecutive weeks. Moving to a more hip-hop and R&B sound, Carey drew praise with the 1997 studio album Butterfly and 1999's Rainbow. Her collaboration with Joe and 98 Degrees in "Thank God I Found You" received a nomination at the 2001 Grammys. In 2002, she was handed a Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Award for her work in "Loverboy," a soundtrack of the 2001 film Glitter.
Off screen, Carey was listed as one of the 25 Most Intriguing People by People Magazine in 2001 and the 36th of FHM's Sexiest Girls in 2002. She is the founder of Camp Mariah, a tranquil escape located in Fishkill, New York for inner-city youth to enjoy the arts, bring in career opportunities, and build self-esteem. As for her romantic life, Carey was once married to Sony record executive producer Tommy Mottola, but they divorced in 1998. She reportedly dated Puerto Rican musician Luis Miguel and New York Yankees' player Derek Jeter.
Returning to the spotlight, Carey recently attracted public attention with the release of her 2005's The Emancipation of Mimi, whose first single "It's Like That" exploded on the music charts. She could also be seen acting in the film State Property 2 (2005) and will play a role in the upcoming The Sweet Science (2005).
Childhood and Family:
Daughter to Irish/African-American/Venezuelan descendant parents, Mariah Angela Carey was born on March 27, 1970, in Huntington, New York. Her father is Alfred Roy Carey, an aeronautical engineer, and her mother is Patricia Hickey, a former mezzo-soprano New York City opera singer and freelance vocal coach. Growing up in a multiracial family, young Mariah stumbled upon racial discrimination. Her parents divorced when she was three and Mariah continued to live with her mother.
Displaying a knack for singing early in her youth, three-year-old Mariah often imitated her mother singing. At the age of six, she started showcasing her talent in front of the public. Mariah went to Oldfield Middle School where she began developing her love of music by writing songs. While attending Harborfields High School, Mariah was nicknamed Mirage because she never showed up for class. Having a dream to be a famous singer, she did not pay much attention to her studies. After she graduated in 1987, Mariah headed to New York to pursue a career in music.
During her early days in New York, Mariah met Tommy Mottola (Sony record executive producer), with whom she eventually married on June 5, 1993. In March 1998, however, she divorced him.
Off screen, Mariah Carey, whose favorite singers are Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder, is an Episcopalian, and a philanthropist who has donated a great deal of money to such charity organizations as The Make-A-Wish Foundation, the National Adoption Center, and the Fresh Air Fund. She now resides in her apartment in New York.
The Emancipation of Mimi
Discovering a talent for singing when just a child, Mariah Carey, who once worked as a hair sweeper in a salon, a coat check girl and a waitress, was first brought before the public when she sang backup for freestyle balladeer Brenda K. Starr. Carey captured the attention of executive producer Tommy Mottola in 1988. Shortly after giving him her demo tape, Carey signed her first recording contract with Columbia Records and her door to the spotlight was opened.
In the year 1990, Carey's career began with the release of her self-titled debut album, Mariah Carey, which hit the music shelves in 1990. The lead single "Vision of Love" and three more hits, including "Love Takes Time," "Someday" and "I Don't Wanna Cry" topped the rating chart. Adding to her success, Carey won two Grammy Awards, one for Best Pop Vocal Performance (Female) and Best New Artist in 1990.
Carey followed it up with her second album titled Emotions in 1991, which received almost the same success as its predecessor. The album spawned the title track "Emotions," which rocketed to No. 1 in America. The song led Carey to become the only musician whose first five singles all peaked at No. 1 on The Hot 100 chart in the United States. Two other songs produced from the album, "Make It Happen" and "Can't Let Go," also tore up the charts. Not only providing her voice, Carey also served as a co-producer for almost all of her songs in her second album. For her work, she received a nomination at the Producer Of The Year awards. In 1992, she continued her triumph by launching the EP MTV Unplugged. Carey again topped the rating chart with the remake of "I'll Be There," featuring Trey Lorenz.
In 1993, Carey gained worldwide fame with her album Music Box. It sold over 10 millions copies in the US as well as over 25 million copies internationally. The smash singles "Dreamlover" and "Hero" scorched through the charts, landing at No.1. Additionally, "Without You" reached No. 1 on the UK chart and became her biggest international hit. The following year, Carey collaborated with Luther Vandross to cover the Diana Ross/Lionel Richie hit "Endless Love," which received gold certification. The album combined with the duet brought her to become one of the most-played singers on the radio in the consecutive years.
After the 1994 holiday album Merry Christmas, which contained the instant classic "All I Want for Christmas is You," Carey launched another best-selling album titled Daydream in 1995. The lead single of "Fantasy" debuted at No. 1 on the Hot 100. The album generated two other top-rated singles. "One Sweet Day," a duet with Boyz II Men, was labeled the biggest record of the year.
With the release of the 1997 album Butterfly, Carey made a transition to hip-hop and R&B. She also worked with some of the hottest musicians, stars like Sean Combs and Missy Elliott. The first hit single "Honey" premiered at No. 1 in the US, and "My All" became her next No.1 single.
Carey next released a collection of all her American No.1 singles in the album #1s in 1998. It saw her collaborating with singing sensation Whitney Houston on the soundtrack for the film The Prince of Egypt's "When You Believe." The song launched her to become the most successful female recording artist in Pop history. Her cover of the Brenda K. Starr hit "I Still Believe" ripped apart the charts in the following year.
Still focused on R&B oriented songs, Carey finished the decade with the launching of 1999's album Rainbow. She teamed up with rap star Jay-Z in the first single "Heartbreaker," which landed at No. 1 on the Hot 100. Rainbow's second single "Thank God I Found You," a duet with Joe and featured 98 Degrees singing back up vocals, followed to top the charts and also received a nomination at the Grammys for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals in 2001. Her collaboration with Westlife in "Against All Odds" gained its popularity in the UK, landing at No. 1.
However, the selling of the album proved to be slower than her previous albums. It indicated that Carey's fame was beginning to slump.
In the new millennium, Carey was awarded an American Music Award for Special Achievement for having a No. 1 song in every year of the 1990s. She was also named Billboard's Artist of the Decade.
After leaving Columbia Records, Carey signed an exclusive contract with Virgin Records America for the next five albums. The lead single from Glitter's soundtrack, "Loverboy," hit the music store and became the No. 1 best selling single for 2001's movie soundtrack. Carey was awarded the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop award for Best Single in 2002.
However, the sales of the album did not do well. As a result, the parent Company of Virgin, EMI, disbanded the contract with her, giving Carey $28 million to walk away. Carey next signed three album deals with Island/Def Record in 2002, and made her debut with the release of the multi-platinum Charmbracelet.
Carey branched out to acting when she played the small role of opera singer Ilana, opposite Renee Zellweger, in The Bachelor (1999). She next was seen starring in Glitter (2001, played Billie Frank) but the film was a disappointment at the box office. In 2002, after having a guest spot in the Fox hit "Ally McBeal," Carey costarred with Mira Sorvino in WiseGirls (2002). It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and aired on HBO. After taking a break, Carey portrayed a professionally dressed woman in State Property 2 (2005) and will play a role in the upcoming The Sweet Science (2005).
"With this album, I am embracing my independence and celebrating the person that I have become. Over the years, I have evolved into a better person and an even better artist. For the first time in my life, I am proud and unafraid to be who I really am, and that's what the music of this album and its title reflect. By naming my album The Emancipation of Mimi and referencing 'Mimi,' a nickname only used by those closest to me, I am inviting my fans into my life." Mariah
Carey on The Emancipation of Mimi Carey released The Emancipation of Mimi in 2005. It spawned "It's Like That," which skyrocketed in the charts. The song "We Belong Together" also peaked at No. 1 on Hot 100's Greatest Airplay Gainer as well as on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Within a week, the album had sold more than 404,000 copies.
- Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop: Best single, " Loverboy, " 2002
- American Music: Special Achievements The World Music: World's Best Selling Female Artist of the Millennium Billboard: Artist of the Decade, 1999
- Legend World Music: Multimillion record sales, 1998
- Grammy: Best New Artist, 1990
- Grammy: Best Pop Vocal Performance (Female), "Vision of Love," 1990