Mariah Carey is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, noted for her impressive vocal range. A legendary singer and songwriter of the 21st century, she was one of the most successful female performers of the 1990s. As a vocal virtuoso, she has taken music to new heights throughout her 20-year career. Among the many styles she sings, she flits from Motown soul to R&B to Hip Hop and Pop, and she can quickly go from a soulful ballad to a hip-hop song with ease. Her albums have sold more than 200 million copies worldwide. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, she is the third best-selling female artist of all time. Carey also holds the record for the most number-one singles by a solo artist.
Carey took the initial training from her mother, an opera singer, and began performing as a child. Carey performed for the first time at the age of six, and by the age of sixteen, she was skipping classes to write songs, and her brother, Morgan, paid for her first recording session. Before her big break, Mariah Carey worked as a temp and did odd jobs such as a beautician, hair sweeper in a salon, waitress, and coat check girl.
At the age of 19, Carey released her first debut album ‘Mariah Carey’ through Columbia Records. The album contained her four super hit singles ‘Version of love’, Love Takes Time, I Don’t Wanna Cry’ and ‘Some Day.’ These songs charted the top US music countdowns for weeks and earned her several prestigious nominations and awards. The album sold over 15 million copies worldwide. In 1992, Carey released her second album, Emotions. The album’s title track was her fifth No.1 hit. Her MTV Unplugged version in 1992 awed critics and went on to earn a triple-platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America. She got another No. 1 single with ‘I’ll Be There’ based on this performance. Her third album, ‘Music Box,’ came out in the second half of the year, including the top-ten singles ‘Dreamlover’ and ‘Hero.’ She released seven albums in the 1990s. Critics and music fans alike were enthusiastic about her sultry new style of singing known as ‘breathy vocals.
She released ‘Merry Christmas II You’ in 2010, which went on to be a top holiday album in the United States and topping the ‘R&B/Hip-Hop’ charts. In 2018, she released her fifteenth album, ‘Caution.’
Carey made her acting debut in 2001 with the musical drama film ‘Glitter.’ It is about a girl who becomes a pop star overnight after meeting a DJ by chance. The film and her performance received negative reviews from critics, and the movie failed at the box office. Discouraged by the failure of her debut film, she reemerged in 2009 to star as a social worker in the film Precious. She received the Breakthrough Actress Performance Award from the Palm Springs International Film Festival as well. In addition, she appeared in the movies ‘The Butler (2013)’, ‘A Christmas Melody (2015)’, and ‘The Lego Batman Movie (2017)’.
Carey married music producer Tommy Mottola on June 5, 1993. Mottola’s controlling nature and her growing creative differences caused their relationship to deteriorate. The couple separated on May 30, 1997, and the divorce was finalized in 2000.
Carey married comedian-actor Nick Cannon in 2008. The couple was married for six years and had two children. Carey also dated Australian billionaire James Packer, choreographer Bryan Tanaka, and she was in a three-year relationship with singer Luis Miguel from 1998 to 2001.
In addition to her music career, Carey is active in fundraising for the Fresh Air Fund, a nonprofit that provides free summer vacations to children. She also published a memoir, ‘The Meaning of Mariah Carey’ in 2020.
Below are some gorgeous photos of Mariah Carey when she was young.