Mariah Carey Biography
The best-selling female performer of the 1990s, Mariah Carey rose to superstardom on the strength of her stunning five-octave voice; an elastic talent who moved easily from glossy ballads to hip-hop-inspired dance-pop, she earned frequent comparison to rivals Whitney Houston and Celine Dion, but did them both one better by composing all of her own material.
Following her separation from Mottola in 1997, Carey introduced elements of hip hop into her album work, to much initial success, but her popularity was in decline when she left Columbia in 2001. She signed to Virgin Records but was dropped from the label and bought out of her contract the following year after a highly publicized physical and emotional breakdown, as well as the poor reception given to Glitter, her film and soundtrack project. In 2002, Carey signed with Island Records, and after a relatively unsuccessful period, she returned to the top of pop music in 2005 with her album, The Emancipation of Mimi.
Carey has sold more than 175 million albums, singles and videos worldwide, making her one of the world’s best-selling music artists. She was named the best-selling female pop artist of the millennium at the 2000 World Music Awards and is also a recipient of the Chopard Diamond Award in 2003, recognizing sales of over 100 million albums worldwide. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, she is the third-best-selling female artist and sixteenth overall recording artist with shipments of 63 million albums in the US. In 2008, Carey earned her eighteenth number one single on the Hot 100, the most for any solo artist.
Born in Long Island, NY, on March 27, 1970, Carey moved to New York City at the age of 17 — just one day after graduating high school — to pursue a music career; there she befriended keyboardist Ben Margulies, with whom she began writing songs. Her big break came as a backing vocalist on a studio session with dance-pop singer Brenda K. Starr, who handed Carey’s demo tape to Columbia Records head Tommy Mottola at a party. According to legend, Mottola listened to the tape in his limo while driving home that same evening, and was so immediately struck by Carey’s talent that he doubled back to the party to track her down.
After signing to Columbia, Carey entered the studio to begin work on her 1990 self-titled debut LP; the heavily promoted album was a chart-topping smash, launching no less than four number one singles: “Vision of Love,” “Love Takes Time,” “Someday,” and “I Don’t Wanna Cry.” Her overnight success earned Grammy awards as Best New Artist and Best Female Vocalist, and expectations were high for Carey’s follow-up, 1991′s Emotions.
The album did not disappoint, as the title track reached number one — a record fifth consecutive chart-topper — while both “Can’t Let Go” and “Make It Happen” landed in the Top Five. Carey’s next release was 1992′s MTV Unplugged EP, which generated a number-one cover of the Jackson 5′s “I’ll Be There”; featured on the track was backup singer Trey Lorenz, whose appearance immediately helped him land a recording contract of his own.
In June 1993, Carey wed Mottola — some two decades her senior — in a headline-grabbing ceremony; months later she released her third full-length effort, Music Box, her best-selling record to date. Two more singles, “Dreamlover” and “Hero,” reached the top spot on the charts. Carey’s first tour followed and was widely panned by critics; undaunted, she resurfaced in 1994 with a holiday release titled Merry Christmas, scoring a seasonal smash with “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” 1995′s Daydream reflected a new artistic maturity; the first single, “Fantasy,” debuted at number one, making Carey the first female artist and just the second performer ever to accomplish the feat. The follow-up, “One Sweet Day” — a collaboration with Boyz II Men — repeated the trick, and remained lodged at the top of the charts for a record 16 weeks.
After separating from Mottola, Carey returned in 1997 with Butterfly, another staggering success and her most hip-hop-flavored recording to date. #1′s — a collection featuring her 13 previous chart-topping singles as well as “The Prince of Egypt (When You Believe),” a duet with Whitney Houston effectively pairing the two most successful female recording artists in pop history — followed late the next year. With “Heartbreaker,” the first single from her 1999 album Rainbow, Carey became the first artist to top the charts in each year of the 1990s; the record also pushed her ahead of the Beatles as the artist with the most cumulative weeks spent atop the Hot 100 singles chart.
However, the 2000s weren’t as kind to Carey. After signing an 80 million dollar deal with Virgin — the biggest record contract ever — in 2001 she experienced a very public personal and professional meltdown that included rambling, suicidal messages on her website; an appearance on TRL where, clad only in a T-shirt, she handed out Popsicles to the audience; and last but not least, the stupendously awful movie Glitter and its attendant soundtrack (which was also her Virgin Records debut).
Both the film and the album did poorly critically as well as commercially, with Glitter making just under 4 million dollars in its total U.S. gross and the soundtrack struggling to make gold sales. Following these failures, Virgin and Carey parted ways early in 2002, with the label paying her 28 million dollars. That spring, she found a new home with Island/Def Jam, where she set up her own label, MonarC Music. In December, she released her ninth album, Charmbracelet.
Carey’s tenth studio album, The Emancipation of Mimi (2005), contained contributions from producers such as The Neptunes, Kanye West and Carey’s longtime collaborator, Jermaine Dupri. The album earned Carey a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R&B Album, and the single “We Belong Together” won Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song. “We Belong Together” held the Hot 100′s number-one position for fourteen weeks, her longest run at the top as a solo lead artist. Subsequently, the single “Shake It Off” reached number two for a week, making Carey the first female lead vocalist to have simultaneously held the Hot 100′s top two positions. (While topping the charts in 2002, Ashanti was the “featured” singer on the number two single.)
In mid-2006, Carey began The Adventures of Mimi Tour, which was the most successful of her career, although some dates had to be canceled. She appeared on the cover of the March 2007 edition of Playboy magazine in a non-nude photo session. In early 2007, she was featured with Bow Wow on the Bone Thugs-n-Harmony single “Lil’ L.O.V.E.”.
On April 30, 2008, Carey married Nick Cannon, at Carey’s private estate on Windermere Island in The Bahamas. In October 2008, Carey was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame.
Carey performed “Hero” at the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball after Barack Obama was sworn in as America’s first African-American president on January 20, 2009. On July 7, 2009, Carey – alongside Trey Lorenz – performed her version of the Jackson 5 hit “I’ll Be There” at the memorial service for Michael Jackson in the Los Angeles Staples Center. Carey was featured on “My Love”, the second single from singer-songwriter The-Dream’s album Love vs. Money.
Carey’s twelfth studio album, Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel was released on September 25, 2009. The album received generally favorable reviews from music critics. John Bush of Allmusic called it “her most interesting album in a decade”, while Jon Caramanica from The New York Times criticized Carey’s vocal performances, decrying her overuse of her softer vocal registers at the expense of her more powerful lower and mid registers. Commercially, the album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 and became the lowest-selling studio album of her career.
The album’s lead single, “Obsessed”, became her 40th entry on the Billboard Hot 100 and her highest debut on the chart since “My All” in 1998. The song debuted at number eleven and peaked at number seven on the chart and became Carey’a 27th US top-ten hit, tying her with Elton John and Janet Jackson as the fifth most top-ten hits. Within hours after the song’s release, various outlets speculated that its target was rapper Eminem, in response to his song “Bagpipes from Baghdad,” in which he taunted Carey’s husband, Nick Cannon by telling him to back off and that Carey is his.
According to MTV, Carey alludes to drug problems in “Obsessed,” which Eminem opened up about on his sixth studio album, Relapse. The album’s follow-up singles failed to achieve commercial success. The second single, a cover of Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is”, peaked at number 60 and the third single, “H.A.T.E.U.”, failed to crack the Billboard Hot 100.
On December 31, 2009, Carey embarked her seventh concert tour, Angels Advocate Tour, in the United States and Canada. Later it was announced that Carey would release two remix albums of Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel; titled Angels Advocate (an R&B remix album featuring a collection of newly remixed duets with some of Carey’s favorite artists) and MC vs JS (a dance album entirely remixed by the Jump Smokers). Both albums were slated for a March 2010 release. In January 2010, “Up Out My Face” featuring Nicki Minaj and “Angels Cry” featuring Ne-Yo were released as the lead singles from Angels Advocate. Due to the under-performance of the two singles on the charts, Carey’s manager Chris Lighty announced that the release of both albums got canceled and were put on hold indefinitely.
In February 2010, the song, “100%”, which was originally written and recorded for the film, Precious, was used as one of the theme songs for the 2010 Winter Olympics, with all money proceeds going to Team USA.Related Information: