Here Are Some Things Mariah Carey Had To Battle Through Her Whole Life To Be The Diva She Is Today
Mariah Carey is a household name around the world, no question. Her vocal range is truly legendary. The almost 50-year-old singer first became world famous back in 1990 and she’s still dropping tracks in the top charts.
She is the queen of Christmas and the star on top of my tree, but even we were shocked to learn of the targeted racism her biracial family experienced as a child. There is so much more to this Afro-Latina’s story that motivated her to greatness.
Mariah Carey’s father was Afro-Venezuelan and her mother was an Irish opera singer.
Her paternal grandfather changed his name on Ellis Island from Francisco Nuñez to Carey, like so many immigrants did to adapt to the xenophobia and racism so widely accepted at the time.
Carey’s mother was disowned by her family for eloping with a black man.
Carey has later opened up saying that she felt neglected and abandoned by her mother’s side of the family growing up. Of course that rejection of something so closely tied to identity affects a kid.
She shocked her parents when she casually imitated her mom’s opera at age two.
She started having her first voice lessons at age 4. With a mother who was a mezzo-soprano New York City opera singer and a father who was an aeronautical engineer, she was set up for success (in some ways.)
She witnessed racism first hand–crosses burned on her family lawn, the family car blown up, and pets poisoned.
Her parents divorced when she was three years old and she would sneak the radio under the covers to sing. She’s said that these moments helped her cope with the feeling of ‘otherness’ she experienced as the daughter of divorced parents and being biracial in a harsh world.
In high school, her nickname was “Mirage.”
Because she was cutting class so often, people would joke that one minute she’s there, the next she’s gone. She’s a mirage.
She studied cosmetology in Manhattan.
Maybe that worked out because today she has her own cosmetics company which has netted her $150 million. Today she’s one of the top richest women in entertainment.
Carey shared a one bedroom apartment in NYC with four other girls while creating her first demo.
It wasn’t until she met with rising pop singer Brenda K. Starr that she got her big break–after several rejections from major music labels. Bet they regret that.
Caption: “#tbt when I only owned two dresses – one pink and one black. I met @willsmith on the night of the pink one! LOL”
Today, Carey is the only female artist to have straight No. 1 singles and albums.
Her debut album earned her two Grammy Awards. She’s since won three more Grammys, 18 World Music Awards, 10 American Music Awards, 32 Billboard Music Awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Carey married the President of Sony Music, Tommy Mottola, in 1993.
The story goes that he was listening to her demo on the way home and immediately signed her for her debut album with Columbia Records. Apparently, their relationship started to dissolve around the terms of her albums and he was too controlling.
She became vegetarian while she was married to Mottola.
We don’t know if she still is but we know she stayed the course while in a three year relationship to Luis Miguel.
Her and Nick Cannon met while shooting a music video for “Bye Bye” on an island off the coast of Antigua.
The got married real quick and when Oprah asked Carey about their 11-year age gap, she just said, “Age ain’t nothing but a number.”
The couple had twins a few years later.
Right after their marriage, the couple apparently got pregnant but miscarried. They didn’t tell anyone until after they announced the twins.
Carey bought Marilyn Monroe’s white baby grand piano for $662,500.
Monroe is one of her ultimate icons and inspired the name for her daughter, Monroe Cannon. Their son’s name, Moroccan, is named after the place where Cannon proposed to Carey. It wasn’t in Morocco, but their room was Moroccan-styled.
Carey can hit two octaves higher than a normal soprano.
A skilled soprano can reach three octaves. She can hit five.
Some critics have even said that Mariah to date has produced the highest note ever made by a human voice during the 1991 MTV Music Video Awards in her performance of “Emotions.”
Carey has received the GLAAD Ally Award in 2016 for her support of the LGBT community.
She even developed a Pride clothing line of which some of the proceeds would be donated to GLAAD.
Her legs are insured for $1 billion.
After signing on to head Gilette’s “Legs of a Goddess” campaign, she decided the time was ripe to finally insure those killer legs.
Carey uses her platform to state the obvious: #BlackLivesMatter
She’s used her social media platforms to tweet #JusticeForSandy and posted honorific photos of her and Kaepernick on her Instagram.
Caption: “Such an honor to meet @kaepernick7 today!”
Carey was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder in 2001.
Just this April she opened up with People to say, “Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me. It was too heavy a burden to carry and I simply couldn’t do that anymore. I sought and received treatment, I put positive people around me and I got back to doing what I love — writing songs and making music.”
She has a personal limo for her dog, Jack.
Like, she loves this dog. She’s brought him onstage to the 2012 NFL Kick-Off Concert, walks him in stilettos around down, and brings him to interviews. After her rescued dog had puppies (she was told she was spayed), she just kept them all.
She even produced a Christmas film about animated Mariah meeting a homeless mutt (Jack) and giving him a dream life.
The little girl at first struggles to have patience for such a clumsy, energetic, needy puppy but eventually understands how to treat her adopted baby. The film teaches kids everywhere how to be gentle and loving with their animals, who should all come from shelters.
Oh, and she’s the queen of Christmas.
When she was asked to create a Christmas album early in her career, at first she felt like she didn’t have the music credibility to make it work, but she loves Christmas so she went for it.
It has charted every holiday season since its release in 1994, this year the highest since its release.