says before meeting husband Nick Cannon, she went through such low times that she dreamt of being "kidnapped" from her life.
"When I was in an unhappy place in my life ... I always wanted to be kidnapped," the singer tells Elle
magazine. "I just wanted a way out, but I didn't have one."
Ten years after her split with ex-husband Tommy Mottola, Cannon stepped into her life – and whisked her up in a whirlwind romance.
"We really kept the whole relationship aspect of it quiet," Carey says of their speedy courtship and top-secret nuptials
. "We didn't want to give people a chance to be like, 'What are you doing? What are you talking about? This is so quick .... Are you sure?' "
Then, one night, while hanging out on the rooftop of her Manhattan apartment, Cannon popped the question with a 17-carat diamond hidden inside a candy ring pop. "They've been calling me Cinderella since I first started out," she says of the fairytale-worthy proposal. "Most people would think, Okay, please! This doesn't happen in real life."
A few days later, Carey got her wish – a kidnapping – and a second
"He sort of kidnapped me and took me on a helicopter ride," she says. "Then he re-proposed."