::Mariah Carey was born March 27, 1970, on Long Island, New ::York. Mariah was the third of three children born to Patricia ::Hickey and Alfred Roy Carey. Patricia and Alfred already had a ::son, Morgan, and a daughter, Alison. Mariah's heritage is a mix of ::races. Her mother is Irish and her father African-American And ::Venezuelan. Her parents divorced when she was just three - and ::while she stayed In touch with her father for some time
::afterwards communication between them was far from
::straightforward. Mariah already had her role model and, even at ::this tender age, was certain she wanted to be like Mom.
::Her unusual name had musical connotations, too: the Oscar-::nominated musical "Paint Your Wagon" by Lerner and Loewe ::featured the song "The Call The Wind Mariah". And fate decreed ::that another song from that show, "I Was Born Under A ::Wandrin' Star" by Lee Marvin was at Number 1 (if only in Britain) ::on the very day she was born.
::She'd follow her long-suffering mother round the house,
::parroting back the tunes she heard from the radio or even the ::television commercials. She was soaking up influences
::Like a sponge, and healthy doses of her mother's favourite soul ::singers like Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder only added to
::her musical education. Also on the Carey turntable during the ::early 1970s was Minnie Riperton, a gifted Singer who's since ::succumbed to cancer but whose 1975 hit "Loving You"
::demonstrated The kind of coloratura vocal effects Mariah would ::incorporate into her own Distinctive style a decade and a half ::later.
::With sister Alison and brother Morgan ten and nine years older ::than her, and Patricia Working nights as a singer, Mariah knew ::early on what is was like to be home alone. "I'd just do whatever
::I wanted," she now recalls of these part exciting, part frightening ::times. "Eat all the icing out of jars by the spoonful, watch
::whatever I wanted on TV." Yet she recognises it forced her to ::grow up quickly, depsite those Sweet, elfin looks. "I think it
::made me what I am, in a strange sort of way - because I
::Was independent." School would prove a problem because, as
::she says, "I found it har to accept rules and regulations because I ::knew how to look after Myself already. I've always been like a ::grown-up... Mom would say I was six going on 35."
::But underneath that supposedly confident exterior lurked a ::troubled child. She bore the mental scars of the racial prejudice ::her family had encountered. But it had been Alison, both the ::oldest and the darkest-skinned of the three children, Who found ::herself with the heaviest burden. "They'd shout racial slurs at her ::and beat her up," Mariah later recalled. "Then my brother would ::go in and fight for her, even though he was handicapped. It was ::tough." Poisoned pets and damaged cars were further problems ::The Careys would encounter in a decade where mixed
::marriages were not nearly as common as they are now, nor ::attitudes as enlightened.
::As Mariah has mentioned, her brother had faced a physical ::handicap in the shape of mild cerebral palsy and epilepsy, but
::had overcome this considerable blow along with one leg an inch ::shorter than the other to live a relatively normal life. His ::determination served as a constant inspiration to his younger
::sister who, until her secret love was revealed, credited him as
::"the only man in my life". He, in turn, Was supportive of her ::single-minded pursuit of singing stardom.
::Indeed, it was his contacts which first saw Mariah's voice
::committed to recording
::Tape. A Manhattan group with access to studio equipment ::enlisted her as a backing singer as they cut innumerable demos
::to hawk round the record companies in a vain search for that all-::important big break.
::That never came... but the arrangement continued for many ::months as Mariah continued to show up at school bleary-eyed. ::No-one, either pupils or teachers, would share her dream, so
::after a while she didn't even bother explaining. No tears were
::Shed on either side when she graduated, though the alternative ::waitress work or checking coats - was hardly pleasurable.
::Mariah would find herself burning the proverbial candle at both ::ends by taking the subway crosstown from Long Island, having ::changed out of her school attire, then travelling back as dawn ::broke to snatch a few fitful hours of sleep before her long-::suffering mother shook her awake once more. This had few long-::term benefits, except the fact that, when Patricia woke her ::sleeping beauty daughter, she was greeted by little more than a ::squeak, so hard had she worked her vocal cords the night
::before. This distressed Mariah to the extend that she consciously ::worked to strengthen those vocal muscles, and this helped give ::her the seven-octave range she enjoys today. "I've always sung to ::myself as a little girl," she says, "and it's like a friend."
::Her wedding was a bit like a Royal wedding, as Mariah modelled
::it on the wedding of the Prince and Princess Of Wales. Her
::excuse for using the royal wedding as a basis for her own was
::that she never really had much, Interest in weddings as a girl,
::And she wanted to know what such a gala affair should be like. ::Even the tiara she wore, a family heirloom, was redesigned to
::look like the Princess's. Her wedding dress was an Ivory-silk ::duchess satin gown designed By Vera Wang, with a 8.25 m (27')
::Train and matching satin pumps. The whole affair cost almost ::$US 0.5M, Not including the 1893 sixpence Mariah put in one of ::her shoes for luck. After nearly four years of marriage, singer ::Mariah Carey and music Executive Tommy Mottola have
::decided to live Apart while remaining friends and continuing
::their business relationship.
::The remainder of 1996 saw Mariah writing,working
::In her home studio in Bedford, and thinking.
::Thinking about her life. Success could seem like
::An end in itself, and Mariah was continually
::Surrounded by the rewards of everything she'd done
::The awards, the platinum records, even the house
::Itself, which she and Tommy had spent a reported
::$10 million on, splitting the cost right down the
::Middle. She was beginning to have an inkling,
::However, that something in her life wasn't the
::Way she wanted it to be. Everything seemed idyllic,
::Almost as if her life was charmed, but that was
::Simply on the surface. Deeper down, Mariah wasn't
::Happy. As usual, she'd be staying up all night,
::Working until 7am. Or if she was spending time in
::The city, she'd be out, hanging out at clubs,
::Hearing the latest music.
::She could sense the changes happening in herself.
::She was ready to have her music move even more
::Radically toward R&B and hip-hop for her next
::Record, but according to sources, Columbia wasn't
::Too happy about that. When she'd done the Fantasy
::Remix with O.D.B., she said, "Everyone was like,
::'What are you, crazy?'
::Columbia is very nervous about breaking the formula. It works
::to have me sing a ballad on stage in a long dress with my hair up.
::"While Columbia President Don Ienner, who'd been involved ::with her career at Columbia from day one, said he'd been ::"incredibly positive" about the remix, he did admit that "There ::might have been some [who fought it]."
::But the remix worked. Not only did it garner a lot of press, it
::was incredibly popular, proving Mariah right. And she was ::realizing that the girl who'd built her career on ballads had grown ::up, had become a sensual woman. The big ballads no longer
::Represented her quite the way they once had done. It was a ::change that had been happening gradually, but it was definitely ::there. Now she was, by her own definition, R&B. "She gets in
::the car, puts on her radio stations, and it's always R&B," said ::Walter Afanasieff. "She knows every song, every word, every rap ::out there."
::As the year progressed, Mariah found herself taking on a number ::of different writing partners for her upcoming project. There ::was Walter, of course, but also people like Missy "Misdemeanor"
::Elliot, who was just starting to hit it big; Cory Rooney who also
::Happened to be in charge of Black Music at her Crave label; and ::Stevie J. She'd even be talking to Sean "Puffy" Combs about ::having him produce one of the album tracks, as opposed to just a ::remix. This time out, she was going to fully show her colors.
::I'm not this one-dimensional girl who sits in a field wearing a ::flannel shirt or stands onstage singing only ballads," she insisted. ::"And I feel I'm in a better position to express myself at this ::point."
::According to some, Tommy preferred her singing ballads.
::Perhaps it was something that illustrated the eighteen-year age
::gap between them. Perhaps it was his personal taste. It made for ::an odd situation, albeit one they'd always managed to work out.
::He was her husband, and ultimately her boss. But she was one of ::his star attractions.
::By January 1997, Mariah was ready to record, eager to get into
::the studio, a place that, over the last few years, had been ::virtually a ::home to her. But at the same time, that feeling
::gnawing at her made her want to try something new. In early ::interviews, she'd always denied wanting to get into movies, but ::now she started acting lessons, five days a week, with renowned ::New York coach, Sheila Grey. In some ::ways, it worked as ::therapy, giving her a chance to return to some of the rocky
::terrain of her childhood. It's been an incredible release for me," ::she admitted. "I would come out of sessions emotionally drained, ::because I was getting in touch with all this stuff that I'd never
::Really dealt with - even things from my childhood." One moment ::of revelation came when Grey asked her to return to a place in
::her life where she'd felt safe and "I didn't gave one. I couldn't ::think back to a place that didn't give me a feeling of shakiness
::Or some negative memory."
::Whether the acting lessons were the catalyst, or whether
::something had been building for a long time and finally reached a ::head, on May 30 Mariah and Tommy announced their
::Separation. To those who'd said from the very beginning that :
:they were an unlikely match, it was time to rub hands gleefully as ::their predictions came true. In reality, however, It was a sad
::time; there's never joy to be found in the end of a marriage. ::Immediately, rumors began to fly about the causes. Some
::charged that Tommy had been nothing less than a control freak, ::refusing to let his wife have handsome men in her videos, not ::wanting her to wear tight, sexy clothing she loved, even ::monitoring her calls at home.
::Supposedly, in December 1996, Mariah had begun spending
::more and more of her time in Manhattan, rather than Bedford, ::using New York studios to do all her pre-production work
::On her new album, and living in hotels. There were also ::unconfirmed rumors floating around that she'd begun an on-and-::off affair with New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, whom ::she'd met at a benefit for the Fresh Air Fund in November. A
::few went so far as to cite this as he cause for the breakup. ::Naturally, there were cynics who believed that Tommy had ::married Mariah both as a trophy and as a ticket to greater
::success for his label, and those who felt she'd wed him as a way
::to further her career.
::All this, however, was nothing more than speculation and
::innuendo. But it was generally agreed that Tommy hadn't
::wanted the marriage to end, and that Mariah had done her
::Outmost to make it work. "She gave it a million percent," one ::friend commented. Many factors can strain and break a
::marriage. It was quite possible, in this case, that the age
::difference and the difference in tastes had something to do with
::it. And the mix of personal and business situations couldn't help ::but complicate any other issues. Mariah was twenty-three when ::she married, and still had a lot of growing to do. Her childhood ::might have been hard, but for the most part, her adult years had ::been insulated, hidden away in recording studios. She hadn't had
::a change to spread her wings and truly discover herself. Perhaps
::in Tommy she saw the father figure who had never really been ::present in her life.
::Whatever the reasons, with the announcement, the marriage
::was largely over after a little less than four years. Both Mariah
::and Tommy had stayed largely quiet about the causes. They
::hadn't been the ones assigning blame and firing salvos at each ::other. Instead, they'd taken the high road of silence. But no
::matter what they said or didn't say, the rumors would have
::flown, anyway; that was the nature of the world. And silence
::was all for the best in more ways than one. Tommy had signed a ::new contract with Sony that would keep him in his position for ::another five years, and Mariah still owed the company five ::albums, which meant they'd be working together for quite a
::while. Acrimony wouldn't have served either one of them well. "I ::love Tommy, and he always be
::A part of my family," Mariah said in an interview with Elysa ::Gardner in The Los Angeles Times. "There's absolutely no ::bitterness between us. The best thing I could hope for would be ::to have a great friendship with him, becuase he is someone I ::respect and admire and look up to in many ways. But right now, ::it's my time to grow as an independent woman."
::And that, if the tabloids were to believed, meant being seen out ::with all manner of men. Besides Jeter, Mariah was linked with ::Sean "Puffy" Combs, rapper Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest, ::and even Boyz II Men's Wanya Morris, the two having apparently ::fallen for each other during his birthday party at the Metrodome ::in New York. There were also rumors that she was partying
::with gangsta rappers. Not long after the rumors appeared in
::Print, Mariah's application to buy a Manhattan apartment in a
::co-op building was turned down by the board. "It was
::ridiculous," Mariah said. "There were rumors and lies about me ::about me being the next queen of gangsta rap, which did not ::help."
::And, she admitted, the press attention she was receiving was ::unlike anything she'd known before. "I've never had to deal with ::this before, because I've never been out there in this way. All of
::a sudden, [journalists] are like, 'Whoo! Here she goes! Stop the ::presses, she's going wild!' The fact is, I end up collaborating with ::more men than women in my work, and I form friendships with ::most of the people that I work with. But that doesn't mean that ::I'm sleeping with all these guys! I'm not!" In truth, the last thing ::Mariah wanted was to go into another relationship. "I have a lot ::of trust issues," she admitted in Cosmopolitan. "I don't know
::If there's anybody whom I fully trust. And I don't need to sleep ::with, like, one hundred guys to make up for lost time. If I'm with ::somebody, it's going to be because I really love him, not because
::I feel the need to go wild."
::She'd made the personal break from Tommy, although she'd ::never had any intention of leaving Columbia - for one thing, she ::was legally tied there. To signal the start of a new life, a new ::Mariah, she also parted company with her manager, Randy
::Hoffman, and her attorney, Allen Grubman. Her new manager ::would be Hollywood dealmaker Sandy Gallin, who was based on the West Coast.
::Copyright © 2001:: ::Mariah Leads The Way::
Bio From Kerri ([email protected])