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Here’s Why Mariah Carey Doing The Theme Song For ABC’s New ‘Mixed-ish’ Series Means So Much For Biracial People

This Tuesday, the pilot episode of the “Black-ish” spin-off, “Mixed-ish” premiered. The series centers around the Johnson family matriarch, Rainbow’s, childhood growing up as a mixed-race child in the ’80s. According to “Mixed-ish” creators, the show will center around the complications of growing up with a biracial identity in a culture that sees things in black-and-white. For the growing population of Americans that have grown up in a mixed-race household, this feels like a story that is long overdue to be told. 

As if the entire premise wasn’t exciting enough, it was recently revealed that the show’s theme song would be sung by none other than the biracial Afro-Latina queen Mariah Carey herself. Carey not only sang the song, but she helped co-write and produce it as well. It’s obvious from her involvement in the song’s creation that the story of a biracial girl navigating her identity is near and dear to Carey’s heart. 

But Carey isn’t the only one who’s sung theme songs of television shows they were passionate about. Take a look at a list of 10 artists who recorded theme songs for TV shows they felt connected with.

1. One Day At a Time – Gloria Estefan

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Gloria Estefan lent her voice to the heartfelt sitcom that centered around a Cuban-American family living in Los Angeles. This show was especially relevant to Estefan because she is also Cuban-American. Estefan called the opportunity “one of my favorite experiences in my career” and said she was “instantly hooked” when Norman Lear reached out to her to re-record the theme song.

2. Wizards Of Waverly Place – Selena Gomez

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“Wizards of Waverly Place” was close to Selena Gomez’s heart because it was the first TV show she ever headlined. So many of us have vivid memories of singing along to her cute rendition of “Everything Is Not What It Seems”. Who knew she would end up being a giant pop star just a few years later?

3. Kim Possible – Christina Milian

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Cuban-American singer Christina Milian lent her voice to the endlessly catchy “Kim Possible” theme song “Call Me, Beep Me!”. According to Milian, she jumped at the chance to sing the song because she was a “Disney kid”. She hasn’t ruled out the possibility of re-visiting the song in concerts for her die-hard fans. 

4. Sister Sister – Tia And Tamera Mowry

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Although the first few seasons of “Sister Sister” had goofy, animated segments accompanying their theme music, during the fifth season, the Mowrys wanted a change.  According to them, they remixed the theme song to “reflect their growth and maturity as individuals”.

5. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air – Will Smith

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Will Smith’s “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” theme song is the perfect example of a musician who created a theme song that was close to his heart. The lyrics not only gave a short-and-sweet backstory of Smith’s character, but it included his signature charm and wit as well.

6. Proud Family – Solange and Destiny’s Child

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Back before Destiny’s Child became a global-dominating music force, before Solange became a critical darling and independent musician, the four young ladies recorded a song for a Disney animated show. The song was special to Beyonce and Solange especially because the lyrics touched on themes of family, love, patience, and forgiveness. 

7. A Different World – Aretha Franklin

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According to producers of “A Different World”, Aretha Franklin was recruited to sing the theme song of season two through five after deciding to go in a different direction from the original singer. Once Franklin was contacted, she was more than happy to hop on board. Why? Because she “loved the show” according to executive producer Debbie Allen.

8. New Girl – Zooey Deschanel

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Zooey Deschanel not only starred in and executive produced Fox’s hit series “New Girl”, but she also sang the theme song. Deschanel was connected to the  show because it was “about someone who is taking on a new life,” Deschanel continued. She wanted the theme song to be “musically uplifting,” so she created an up-beat catchy tune to open the show.

9. Zoey 101 – Jamie Lynn Spears

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Kids who grew up in the early ‘aughts remember the buzz around this TV show before it premiered. Not only was it starring Brintey Spears’ little sister, Jamie Lynn Spears, but the elder Spears herself co-wrote the song with Jamie Lynn. Jamie Lynn Spears was ultimately the one who lent her voice to the iconic theme song “Follow Me”.

10. Sweet Sixteen – Hillary Duff

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MTV’s guilty-pleasure reality TV show was notorious for recruiting spoiled rich kids throwing temper tantrums because they didn’t get the car they wanted on their birthday. But Hilary Duff’s treacly version of “Sweet Sixteen” made all of the bad behavior seem less offensive. It helped that Duff was only sixteen herself when she recorded the song.

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