25 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Mariah Carey
Singer. Actress. Diva. Mariah Carey is one of the biggest pop stars of all-time. The songbird with the jaw-dropping vocal range has topped charts and broken every sales record imaginable, and has redefined modern R&B as we know it.
Her classic songs like ‘Hero’ and ‘One Sweet Day’ stand the test of time while ‘Fantasy’ and ‘Honey’ show off her hip-hop sensibilities. This year, the Grammy Award-winning entertainer released her 14th studio album, ‘Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse.’
With a career spanning nearly 25 years and over 220 million records sold worldwide, there’s no slowing down M.C. The Boombox celebrates this icon with 25 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Mariah Carey.
What’s in a name? Mariah Carey was named after the song ‘They Call the Wind Maria’ from the 1960 musical ‘Paint Your Wagon.’ The singer does not have a middle name because her mother felt “Mariah Carey” had the potential to be a stage name as is.
Music is in her blood. Mariah’s mother, Patricia, is an opera singer and vocal coach.
Genie in a bottle? As a kid, Mariah had fantasy dreams of growing up to become a genie.
The songstress says she “felt like an outcast growing up” because of her biracial heritage (her late father is African-American and Venezuelan and her mother is Irish).
Mariah asked the great Patti LaBelle to be her godmother and she accepted. “She just asked me and I said, ‘Of course,’” Patti shared.
“Mirage” was the nickname she earned when she attended Harborfields High School in Greenlawn, N.Y., because she cut class often.
Born in Long Island, N.Y., Mariah moved to New York City to study cosmetology after high school. Although she never graduated, she keeps a working salon in her TriBeCa home.
Back in the day, a young M.C. began working professionally as a backup singer for Brenda K. Starr. She would later cover Starr’s ‘I Still Believe’ on her 1998 ‘#1’s’ album.
A true Cinderella tale. Legend has it, Mariah’s big break happened in 1988, when then-Sony Music executive Tommy Mottola heard her demo at a party. He was so impressed that he returned to the event (only to find out that she had left) and pursued her for weeks until he eventually found her and signed her to the record label.
On June 5, 1993, Mariah and Tommy Mottola married in a star-studded ceremony in New York City. The wedding was attended by Billy Joel, Barbara Streisand and Ozzy Osbourne, just to name a few.
Who wants ice cream? The chanteuse surprised the world with her loopy antics on MTV’s ‘TRL’ in 2001. Wearing just a T-shirt and pushing an ice cream cart, Mariah did a strange striptease and handed out popsicles to shocked fans.
Art imitates life. Carey and Mottola divorced in 1997, and several of her songs like ‘Petals,’ ‘Butterfly’ and ‘Close My Eyes’ have hinted at their unhappy marriage. Her music video ‘Honey’ is thought to be symbolic of how she felt trapped by Mottola and eventually emancipating herself from him.
Mariah hasn’t been shy in letting the public know about the men she’s dated. New York Yankees baseball player Derek Jeter and Latin singer Luis Miguel were a few of the guys she had on her arm early on in her career. She’s also been rumored to have dated rappers Eminem — sparking their infamous feud — and Cam’ron.
In 1995, Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men joined forces for the ballad ‘One Sweet Day,’ which holds the record for the longest-running No. 1 song in history, spending 16 weeks on the Billboard 100.
In 1997, the songbird launched her own label, Crave Records, and signed acts like R&B quartet Allure. The label shut down in 1998.
Jack, Mariah’s Jack Russell Terrier, has co-starred in several of her music videos including ‘One Sweet Day’ and ‘Honey.’
Paying big money for a prized musical instrument is no big deal for this money maker. Mariah shelled out over $600,000 for Marilyn Monroe’s white baby grand piano. While some may be tempted to tickle the ivories, no one is allowed to play it.
Mariah cannot read sheet music and creates music instinctively.
‘Glitter,’ Mariah’s 2001 semi-autobiographical movie, was panned by critics and audiences and earned her the Razzie Award for Worst Actress.
This is an awesome collabo we’ll never get to hear. After Courtney Love inquired about getting some friends to sing a few lyrics of ‘Samantha,’ the album opener on Hole’s ‘Nobody’s Daughter’ at a party, Mariah jumped in and volunteered to do the job. Unfortunately, the effort was never recorded.