Time line about Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey was born in Long Island, New York. She is the daughter of Patricia (Hickey), a singer and vocal coach, who is of Irish descent, and Alfred Roy Carey, an engineer, who was of Afro-Cuban ancestry. Mariah attended Greenlawn’s Harborfields High School. In June of 1990, Mariah made her debut with “Mariah Carey” which entered at #73, but on August 4, 1990, it reached #1. Her 1990 self-titled debut album went multi-platinum and spawned an extraordinary four consecutive #1 singles: “Vision of Love,” “Love Takes Time,” “Someday” and “I Don’t Want to Cry,” and led to Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and Best Female Vocalist. Her 1993 album titled Music Box went ten-times platinum. On September 30, 1995, she made music history. Her single “Fantasy” from her 1995 Daydream album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, making her the first female artist to accomplish a number one debut in the U.S. Her other Daydream’s single “One Sweet Day” remained for 16 weeks at the top of the charts. She is the only artist since The Beatles to have so many #1 singles and albums. With “Heartbreaker”, the first single from her 1999 album Rainbow and also her 14 #1 single, she became the only artist to top the charts in each year of the 1990s, and with “Heartbreaker” at its 60th week atop the Billboard’s charts, she pushed ahead of The Beatles’ 59-week record as the only artist with the most cumulative weeks spent atop Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles chart. Following “Heartbreaker,” her second single “Thank God I Found You” also from her Rainbow album became her 15th #1. “We Belong Together” from her 2005 album The Emancipation of Mimi became her 16th #1 single and was also her first #1 without any guest artists since her song “My All” (also a #1 single) captured the top spot in May 1998. The single “Don’t Forget about Us” also from her 2005 album Emancipation of Mimi became her 17th #1 single, tying her with Elvis Presley’s 17 #1 singles. Three more Grammy Awards were gained from The Emancipation of Mimi album. She is the most successful selling female artist in music history and is the only female artist to have the most #1 singles and albums and also holds the record for straight #1 singles and albums each year. Along with numerous awards and incredible vocal range, she also composes all of her own material, with the exception of song covers.
In April 2008, the single “Touch My Body” became her 18th #1 single, pushing her ahead of Elvis Presley’s 17 #1 singles. Now she is the only artist since The Beatles to have as many number one singles and the only singer alive likely to succeed them.
Here are some of the most interesting questions queried to her-
Would you say that you had an unhappy childhood or a happy childhood?
I would say I had a combination of both. It wasn’t a traditional upbringing. My mother was a white Irish-Catholic woman married to a…
Half-Venezuelan, half-African-American man.
Yes. And my mother was disowned by her family. Then my parents got divorced, which was probably very good for me. It happened when I was three. My brother and sister had a much worse childhood, I think, because they were older, and they had to deal with a lot more racism because they grew up in the ’70s and I grew up more in the ’80s. So they had to deal with crosses being burned on their lawn and their dogs being poisoned.
Now, the generation gap was obviously huge between you and your ex-husband [Sony Music Entertainment CEO Tommy Mottola]. Can you talk about age and men in terms of how the age difference can sometimes be appealing, and how it works and how it doesn’t work?
I think that for me personally, a lot of my choices have been to do with my own issues of not feeling safe as a child and feeling a sense of stability.
Wanting a father figure type of thing?
I didn’t have a strong male figure in my life on a day-to-day basis. So I think that whole [marriage] situation, a lot of it stems from a place where I was out there alone as a really and I always felt like the rug could be pulled out from under me. [With Tommy] I felt safe and I felt a sense of family. It just didn’t work out because it became too suffocating.
Do you ever feel like you’re emotionally inaccessible to yourself?
Especially since I started studying acting, I feel like I’m always super-aware of my emotions and my feelings and what’s going on with me at every moment. I definitely think I wasn’t very present prior to that. Because to exist in the situation I existed in for so long, and to not have an outlet other than singing, and to feel frustrated that I couldn’t necessarily do what I wanted musically in the midst of all that was really difficult. My emotion was blocked because I couldn’t have survived what I went through. I’m not saying that I blocking my stuff was healthy. I’m saying that was my defence mechanism. That’s how I got through it. But the minute I started addressing my feelings, I actually came out of very negative situations.
About her latest docuseries-
Why was now the right time for you to have your own docuseries?
Really because I was getting ready to go on tour and there’s so much that goes into it, and I was like, let’s just document it and go behind the scenes. It’s going to be hilarious. I didn’t get talked into it — I just wanted to do it because I thought it would be a lot of fun.
Had you ever thought about doing a show like this before throughout your career?
I had in the past, but it just seemed like the right time because of what we were doing creatively with the live performances and everything like that.
I would imagine you’ve had many networks and producers pitch ideas like this to you before. Have you had other offers?
I definitely have, but this was different because it was on my terms. This was me doing me. Somebody else can have a perception of how they think you should be filmed and what it should be like, but when it’s my own thing that I’m doing, it’s different.
What else will we see on the show, besides your tour?
There are so many behind the scenes moments that you have to see. It’s worth tuning into just in case you miss something.
How much will we see of your professional life with the tour versus your personal life with your relationships and kids?
It’s a good balance. I think you see a little bit of everything.
When the show was announced, it was described as following your tour and upcoming wedding. Have there been any re-shoots given the changes in your personal life?
I’m not sure, but I think we may be filming some of those re-shoots today [Laughs]. It’s hard because I can’t speak for anybody else that’s involved in my personal life. We want everybody to be happy, but that’s not the way it always is.
Is it nerve-wracking to put your entire life out there for viewers to see?
Well, I wouldn’t say it’s my entire life [Laughs]. It was a bit nerve-wracking, but again, it was my choice so that’s the way it is.
You’ve been in the spotlight for decades, and the world has been following your every more. Is this show a way for you to say: there have been so many untruthful things written about me, but this is really who I am?
I think so, but a lot of it, I’m kind of joking around. If people have a good sense of humour, they’ll just be like, Oh, we kind of get her. She’s campy, she’s this, and she’s that, she’s not always serious. I don’t know what people think of me. I had this conversation with Ellen [DeGeneres] and I was like, “I don’t know what the biggest misconception about me is because I don’t know what people think.” I don’t know.
When people tune into this show, what do you want them to learn about you?
I really play it up with the diamonds and the hair and the makeup and the this-and-the-that and the shoes and the whole ensemble, but honestly, is that me? I don’t really know. Yeah, part of it is me. I mean, would I be mad if someone gave me a new diamond bracelet? No. But that doesn’t mean that’s all I care about. Actually, I know what it feels like to be extremely poor, living on my own in New York — or actually live with like five girls all on mattresses on the floor. This has not been given to me. But that’s the part that people won’t really see, and I wish I had maybe made a little bit more of a point of it. But also, it’s not me to be like, “Look at my life. Look how much I’ve suffered.” That’s not who I am.
What do you think is one thing that nobody knows about you?
I would hope there’s more than one thing because that would be very sad if everybody knew all but one thing about me. I’m not sure that people really know me at all. I think it’s about people watching and tuning and to get a glimpse of my personality and see who I am.
I know that you’re calling your show a docuseries — not a reality show — but are you a fan of other reality TV?
No, I’m not! I think I’ve only watched one in my life, and that’s why I said I wouldn’t do it, unless it was a documentary. If people want to call it that because it makes them happy, then that’s on them, but for me, it’s stylistically so different.
Also on E! Is obviously the Kardashians. Have you ever watched their show?
Maybe once or twice. But that’s because I don’t watch TV. When I watch TV, I’d rather watch a series that I really like.
Would you ever do another singing competition show?
I would have to really know who I was working with. At that point, they set me with someone that I really didn’t know and I know the chemistry was awful, and basically, being that it’s over now, I’m very happy. I would do it again with someone like a Simon Cowell, maybe. But the random person of the week that we’re going to put you with? No, thanks.
Have you thought of doing more episodes of “Mariah’s World” past the first eight episodes?
I have. If people like it then I will think about it. It depends on what I end up doing — if it’s touring or if I’m in the studio. If I’m the studio, I don’t really like people to be around me that much. I prefer to be alone or with my engineer. So we’ll see. That’s why I’m saying it’s a docuseries. It works because it captioned a moment in my life and that’s what was important to me.
You’ve done so much in your career, but what are some of your goals in the future?
Oh my gosh, I have so many! I have a lot of different things that I’m actually working on right now, but I’m not sure how many things I can actually get into right now because we don’t want to ruin the opportunity, but I’m really excited to talk to you about them when I can.
Are there any other shows that you would like to guest star on?
Not really. I’m happy to be doing my own show. And there’s another show that we’re talking about that’s more of a scripted series, but I’ll tell you that when I can.
Going forward, do you want to continue to focus on both acting and music?
Honestly, I love both, but I’ll always love being in the studio and writing and working. But I do love doing movies and that’s why I keep telling Lee Daniels, “You better get back and do a freaking’ movie! Hurry up!” I love him as a director, and other directors as well, but the performance on “Precious” that Lee helped me get to, the moment was very exciting…I only had one day of prep on that movie so it was very exciting.
Is there anyone you are dying to collaborate in the studio?
Oh yes, but I’m not