Entertainment

The Ultimate Timeline of Mariah Carey’s Adorable Romance With Boyfriend Bryan Tanaka

Songbird Supreme Mariah Carey is known for her meteoric, three-decade’s worth of success, diamond-certified accolades, and songs we’ll never stop karaoke-ing to like “Hero,” “Always Be My Baby” and “We Belong Together.” The 52-year-old New York native is no stranger to platinum hits, multi-million dollar collaborations with brands like MAC and McDonald’s, and sold-out arena shows. That being said, the soulful singer’s love life has had its major ups and downs since her start in the music world in 1990 with the release of her iconic first album “Mariah Carey.” 

Thrown into the fast-paced reality of fame and notoriety, the singer married Sony exec Tommy Mottola when she was 23-years-old and he was 44, a time in Carey’s life she says equated to her being a “child bride.”

After their divorce five years later, the songstress was soon linked to baseball star Derek Jeter, “El Sol de México” Luis Miguel, and rapper Eminem, marrying comedian-actor Nick Cannon in 2008. After the couple welcomed twins Moroccan and Monroe in 2011, their divorce in 2016 led Carey to become involved with Australian billionaire James Packer. The two broke up their engagement (involving a 35-carat diamond ring) just a few months later, and the chanteuse had a new beau in sight: her current boyfriend Bryan Tanaka.

Many people don’t even know about Carey and Tanaka’s relationship, much because the “Shake It Off” singer prefers to keep it private. They were first linked in fall 2016, but actually knew each other years before then.

Choreographer Tanaka first met Carey in 2006 when he toured with her as a backup dancer, continuing to work with the megawatt star on tours throughout the years. In fact, rumors indicate that Carey’s billionaire ex Packer was deeply jealous of Tanaka, especially after the singer gave the dancer a lap dance onstage on The Sweet Sweet Fantasy tour in South Africa. While some speculate Carey and Tanaka did actually kindle their romance before she ended her engagement with Packer, neither have ever confirmed it. Still, the dancer and singer were spotted on Carey’s jet and partying together throughout 2016, and Tanaka was reportedly a shoulder to cry on while she healed from the breakup.

By Thanksgiving, the pair showed off some major PDA on the beach in Hawaii, but Carey didn’t confirm the relationship until February 2017.

The singer told the Associated Press, “I just don’t feel comfortable talking about my personal life. Can we just keep that private between us? Me and my boyfriend don’t want to do that.” While the couple reportedly split in April of that same year, the couple got back together just one month later, spotted in May and June out on countless restaurant dates, posting several pictures on Instagram in between.

Tanaka has never been shy about gushing over his famous girlfriend. After the singer’s memoir “The Meaning of Mariah Carey” was released in September 2020, the dancer shared a tribute on Instagram about the “Without You” songstress. He wrote, “Witnessing you write, record, and create this masterpiece was magical… I’m so grateful to love and support you in all you do.”

He also told E! News, “I’ve always had a thing for Mariah. I love her so much.” He continued, “something connected with us back in the day and there was just a mutual admiration… it was set in history that we were gonna be connected some way, somehow.”

Since being linked in 2016, the couple continues to show off just how in love they are, posting countless shots on Instagram at the beach, dining at restaurants, celebrating Christmas together, and more recently, flying to Aspen together on a private jet, and going out on major shopping sprees.

Still, they both primarily connect over their shared love of music, performing, and spending time with Carey’s kids, with Tanaka once telling Carey, “you inspire me all the time.”

We love a love story, and the Queen of Christmas has never looked happier or more at peace. 

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