Mariah Carey: Snapshot

Mariah Carey
Date of Birth
March 27, 1969
Birth Place
Huntington, N.Y.
Mariah Carey shot up the charts in 1990 with her debut album and five-octave range, eventually becoming the best-selling female artist of all time.

For the New York native, it all started at 18 when she met Sony Music mogul Tommy Mottola, who signed her with Columbia Records, making her a star at 21 and his wife at 24. The marriage ended four years later, but Carey continued to record with Columbia until signing a reported $80 million, four-album deal with Virgin Records in 2001.

Her 2005 album The Emancipation of Mimi brought the pop diva back from her well-publicized emotional breakdown, and became the year's best-selling album. In 2008, after beating Elvis Presley with her eighteenth No. 1 single off her sixth No. 1 album, E=MC2, Carey married Nick Cannon, with whom she welcomed twins, daughter Monroe and son Moroccan Scott Cannon.

Mariah Carey: Video

Time Machine

Watch the singer's transformation into music's top chanteuse (01:57)

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Mariah Carey: Five Fun Facts

  1. Not yet 3 years old, Mariah Carey overheard her opera singer mom rehearsing Verdi's Rigoletto and replicated it herself. "I missed my cue, but Mariah didn't," says Patricia Carey. "She sang it – in Italian – at exactly the right point."
  2. During a skirmish on the set of Wise Girls, Mariah Carey threw a saltshaker at costar Mira Sorvino, who then wrestled Carey to the floor.
  3. "One lady told me that her daughter was playing ''Someday'' and the high note that comes on at the end made her garage door keep opening and closing," Mariah Carey told PEOPLE in 1992.
  4. Mariah Carey was named after the song "They Call the Wind Mariah," from the musical Paint Your Wagon.
  5. Mariah Carey bought Marilyn Monroe's childhood piano for more than $600,000 at an auction. "I had to fight for it...That piano is a symbolic thing," she tells Playboy. "It was the only thing she had from her childhood."

Mariah Carey: Biography


Mariah Carey

Discovery Channel

Soon after graduating from high school, aspiring singer Carey, then working as a coat-checker/waitress in Manhattan, meets Sony Music mogul Tommy Mottola at a Columbia Records party. Mottola snatches her demo tape from another music scout and, after listening to it on his drive home, decides to track Carey down.


Mariah Carey


Vision of Success

Carey knocks it out of the park with her self-titled debut album, which stays atop the Billboard albums chart for several weeks based on the strength of its four No. 1 singles. She wins two Grammys the following February – Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for her debut single "Vision of Love."


Mariah Carey

June 05

Marrying the Boss

Mottola makes her a star and she makes him her husband. Their lavish New York City wedding is attended by Barbra Streisand, Bruce Springsteen and Robert De Niro, who serves as an usher. Carey wears a Vera Wang gown with a 27-foot train that requires six women to lift it. With 200 security personnel, 300 guests and a wedding party that included 47 flower girls, the final tab for the shindig comes to $500,000.

Read More on Mariah Carey's Life

Photo Credits

Top Left: MR Photo/Corbis Outline

BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): CLASSMATES YEARBOOK ARCHIVES; Bill Swersey/Liason; REUTERS/Landov/Corbis

Edited by Julia Wang

Mariah Carey

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