Entertainment

Holiday Queen Mariah Carey Announces First Christmas Children’s Book, Inspired By Her Heartbreaking Childhood

It’s no secret “Queen of Christmas” Mariah Carey is all about the holidays, seemingly coming out of her very luxurious, champagne-filled cave every November 1st to get us in the festive spirit. While the singer has a tradition involving posting a funny video every year after Halloween to ring in the holidays for her fans, the “Songbird Supreme” really does love Christmas that much.

The singer once told PEOPLE, “Christmastime really is my favorite part of the year,” and once said, “I don’t do years… instead I live Christmastime to Christmastime.” Carey is basically Mrs. Claus with glitzier outfits and a five-octave vocal range with whistle notes, and us? We will always be here for it. Yes, we’re the ones who celebrate the arrival of the holidays by playing “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Now that the diamond-certified icon just announced her new Christmas-themed children’s book titled “The Christmas Princess,” some of her comments about the inspiration behind it are turning heads.

Carey told PEOPLE that her latest book is set to be released in fall 2022 (just in time for the holidays!), was co-written with Michaela Angela Davis who also collaborated on her memoir “The Meaning of Mariah Carey,” and will feature gorgeous illustrations by Fuuki Takashi. And the plot? It’s inspired by the singer’s own notoriously traumatic childhood.

While the “Shake It Off” chanteuse wanted to “create an enchanted land” everyone could escape to after a year and a half of “bleakocity,” she specifically wrote the book “to emancipate the little girl” inside of her. She explained, “it was empowering to transform my childhood turmoil into a modern classic fairytale full of wonder and boundless hope.” In fact, the main character is Little Mariah herself, who although feels like an “outcast and alone,” symbolizes her “inner child believing in her own vision,” and eventually discovers “the healing power of her voice.”

So what kind of childhood adversity did the “Fantasy” singer endure? Carey wrote about her extremely difficult youth in “The Meaning of Mariah Carey,” giving further details to Oprah on “The Oprah Conversation.”

As the singer explained, she grew up in a poor household in Huntington, New York, marked by violence: “it’s described through the feeling of when a storm is about to happen … it’s a scary thing but you sense it and you learn to navigate your behavior because of it.”

She said her older brother was “extremely violent,” while her older sister was “troubled and traumatized.” In fact, she said her sister drugged her with Valium, offered her cocaine, gave her third-degree burns and tried selling her out to a pimp when Carey was just 12-years-old. Once, her brother pushed her mother so hard the police arrived at the house to intervene, and the singer remembers the officers saying, “if this kid makes it, it’ll be a miracle.” There’s no doubt the contrasts between her humble, traumatic upbringings and glam, wonder-filled life in the music industry inspired Carey to co-author “The Christmas Princess,” and it’s making us feel pretty emotional right about now.

Moreover, Carey’s deep love of Christmas might actually be connected to her heartbreaking childhood. While her favorite holiday might seem innocent enough, there’s a deep backstory to her excitement for the festivities. The “We Belong Together” singer recently sat down with Us Weekly to discuss her Christmas traditions, telling the outlet, “we didn’t have much of anything” and “I didn’t grow up with all the gifts in the land,” explaining that sometimes she just got “a wrapped-up orange” under the tree.

Explaining that even McDonald’s “was a humongous deal” for her to have, today, she has a special appreciation for the joy of Christmas — and the ability to give her 10-year-old twins Moroccan and Monroe the holidays she never had. She described, “we have a lot of traditions and we start doing them all on the 23rd… Christmas morning I’ve already been up since 5 a.m. getting everybody’s packages together.”

Relating to her own past and present, she explained, “everything is over the top, but you know what? I feel like I need them to know that that’s a big deal, that not everybody has that.”

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