Mariah Carey

  • Singer/Songwriter born in Huntington New York. The actual year of her birth is in dispute – it is either 1969 or 1970.
  • Carey’s mother was an opera singer and vocal coach, introducing Mariah to music. She started writing music in high school. After high school, she moved to Manhattan and she worked on producing a demo tape while working at odd jobs. Her first 4 song demo tape did not attract any interest from the industry.
  • In late 1988, she attended a record executive’s party, and she got her demo tape into the hands of the head of Colombia Records. After 2 songs, he was interested, and signed her, with plans to make her their top female pop artist.
  • Her first album, the self titled Mariah Carey, was released in 1990. It slowly gained momentum, eventually hitting #1 on the album chart for 11 consecutive weeks. Its 4 singles – Vision of Love, Love Takes Time, Someday, and I Don’t Wanna Cry – each reached #1, and were all co-written by Carey. Carey was the first artist since the Jackson 5 in 1969/1970 to have her first 4 singles hit #1. Worldwide sales exceeded 15 million, with U.S. sales over 9 million copies.
  • Her second album, Emotions, was released in 1991. It too was a huge seller, and the singles – Emotion, Can’t Let Go, and Make It Happen – all were top 10, with Emotion hitting #1.
  • The music industry was pressuring Carey to tour to support her records, though Carey was hesitant, finding that her vocal talent (5-octave range) was most effective in the studio. To promote her ability to perform outside of the studio, she did a performance on MTV Unplugged. She performed her popular songs, as well as a cover of the Jackson 5 song I’ll Be There, singing along with Trey Lorenz. The cover song was hugely popular, so a single was released. It topped the charts, and was nominated for a Grammy award.
  • The hits just kept coming for Carey – between 1993 and 1999, she had 8 #1 singles, and 3 more #1 songs from 2000 to 2008. Her biggest seller didn’t hit #1 – the Christmas standard All I Want For Christmas is You from 1994 is one of the most popular Christmas songs of all time, with worldwide sales of over 14 million copies. It is one of the few modern Christmas songs to become a standard.
  • Her 1995 song One Sweet Day, performed with Boyz II Men, holds the record for the longest time spent at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart – it remained at #1 for 16 consecutive weeks. She has had a song at #1 for a total of 79 weeks – more than any other artist ever. Interestingly, the current #1 song right now – Despacito by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee – is one week away from tying the record.
  • She has received over 300 awards over the years. Her Grammy wins are 5, for the songs We Belong Together and Visions of Love, for the album The Emancipation of Mimi, and the award for Best New Artist.
  • She has released 13 studio albums, 1 soundtrack album (Glitter), and several compilation and greatest hits albums. She has sold over 200 million records worldwide, which puts her #9 all time, and the third highest woman (behind Madonna and Rihanna).
  • Carey also has acted in 13 films. Some have been praised (2009’s Precious, where she was nominated for several awards), and some have been panned (2001’s Glitter earned her the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress).
  • Mariah Carey has a voice that can only be compared with the greatest female vocalists of all time. Many consider her one of the big 3, along with Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin. And to her credit, she wrote most of her own songs. Enjoy her amazing voice in the video for 2005’s We Belong Together, which Billboard magazine selected as the “song of the decade,” and the 11th most popular song of all time.

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