THEN & NOW: Mariah Carey

Many of you know Mariah Carey by her very successful and catchy Christmas single “All I Want For Christmas Is You”, by her amazing five-octave voice and glamorous looks from “The Sweet Sweet Fantasy tour”. But who was Mariah Carey before she became world-famous?


While studying in high school, Mariah began writing music with R&B singer and songwriter Gavin Christopher – they were writing them in the basement of Gavin`s fathers store. After composing their first song together, “Here We Go Round Again”,  they continued writing material for a full-length demo. Mariah began living in a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan, which she shared with four other female students, worked as a waitress for various restaurants and continued working on a demo. After completing demo, she tried to pass it to music labels, but failed. Shortly after, she was introduced to rising pop singer Brenda K. Starr.

Having secured work as a session singer for Brenda K. Starr, her luck came good when Starr gave Mariah’s demo tape to the head of Columbia Records, Tommy Mottola. Mottola was quick to sign the young singer, and within couple years Mariah started to become the best-selling female performer of the 1990s.

Her self-titled debut album in 1990 included four number one hit singles and led to Mariah picking up a Grammy award for Best New Artist and Best Female Vocalist. In 1991 her second album “Emotions” was released. The album topped the charts, and an MTV Unplugged EP that included a cover of the Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There” clocked up yet more sales.

In 1993 Mariah Carey married Mottola and released yet another album “Music Box”, which included such singles as “Hero” and “Dreamlover”.

A Christmas album and 1995’s “Daydream” both did well in the charts. Following her divorce from Mottola, Mariah returned with “Butterfly” in 1997. Heavily influenced by hip-hop, the album also saw a change of image for the young singer, who started dressing more provocatively.

Following the first single from her 1999 album “Rainbow”, Carey became the first artist to top the charts in each year of the 1990s.

But in 2001, after Mariah received Billboard’s Artist of the Decade Award and the World Music Award for Best-Selling Female Artist of the Millennium, she parted from Columbia and signed a $100 million five-album recording contract with Virgin Records (EMI Records). However, the record-breaking deal was cut short after a number of career lows. The stresses of work led her to a personal breakdown.



After much deserved break, she returned and released her album “The Emancipation of Mimi” in 2005. The album also earned her 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.

In 2008, her musical rehabilitation continued with the release of her eleventh studio album “E=MC²”. The diva looked to integrate other genres into her pop and R&B sound, including hip-hop and gospel. As the first single, “Touch My Body”, rose to the top of the charts, Mariah enjoyed the 18th number-one single of her career on the Billboard Hot 100.

With new stability in her life – second husband Nick Cannon and twins to be born – she showed it in her music – with the releases of “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel” (2009) and “Merry Christmas II You” (2010). Mariah even got a role of social worker Miss Weiss in the 2009 feature “Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire”. She won the Breakthrough Performance Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Next album “Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse” was released in 2014. In 2015  it was announced that Mariah has left Universal Music Group‘s Def Jam Recordings to re-unite with L.A. Reid and Sony Music via Epic Records. She released “#1 to Infinity”, which included all of her eighteen Billboard Hot 100 number one singles. Afterwards in December 2015 she announced her “The Sweet Sweet Fantasy Tour”, which will span a total of 27-dates.

By the way – on April 6 she will perform in Tallinn, on April 7 – in Riga and on April 9 – in Kaunas

What do you think?

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