Singer, songwriter, producer, actress: Mariah Carey (50, "Without You") is an all-rounder and is one of the world's most successful artists of all time. The American is known for her incredible vocal range – it spans five octaves – and sold around 200 million records. In her home country, Carey scored a total of 19 number one hits and received five Grammys. She is also known as a real diva with the associated attitudes. The singer, who was born on Long Island in the US state of New York, turns 50 on Friday (March 27) – or was she already?
Divorced child with multicultural roots
Mariah Carey's father Alfred Roy Carey has African-American and Venezuelan roots, her mother Patricia Irish. Mariah's Venezuelan grandfather, Francisco Núñez, gave himself the last name Carey when he immigrated to the United States.
The multicultural family – which includes Mariah and her siblings Alison and Morgan – had to fight racism again and again, as the singer later said. The parents divorced in 1973. Mariah and her brother stayed with the mother, their sister Alison, who was nine years older, moved in with the father.
The teasing that Carey had to endure in school due to her family roots left its mark on the music diva, which can still be felt today. She still feels like this lost child, "who took a lot of nerves to believe that there could be anything in this world," the New Yorker revealed on May 2019 at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas. At that time she received the "Icon Award" for her success in the music business.
The musicality was "born to her"
It almost seems as if Mariah Carey had no choice but to pursue a great music career, because her first name already comes from a song. His name is "They Call the Wind Mariah" and he is part of the Broadway musical "Westwärts der Wind", which was first performed in 1951. The name picker might have been Carey's mother, who herself worked as a singing teacher and opera singer.
At the age of four, today's superstar started singing songs that were played on the radio. Carey later wrote her own lyrics, which she learned from her mother. The "Touch My Body" singer mastered her whistle register early on. It is the highest register of the human voice. Few people can sing the notes from the high C. Mariah Carey is one of them.
She has a mental disorder
She was diagnosed in 2001, and Mariah Carey only made it public two years ago: The singer suffers from so-called bipolar II disorder, a disease that is characterized, among other things, by prolonged depressive episodes.
In an interview with the American magazine "People" she spoke about her illness. "Until recently, I lived in denial, isolation, and the constant fear that someone might find out about me," said Carey, who for a long time believed that she was simply suffering from sleep disorders. "I am now taking medication that seems to work pretty well," she said.
Mariah Carey has been sharply criticized for some of her vocal engagements. In 2008, she appeared before the family of the then Libyan dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi (1942 – 2011) on New Year's Eve, allegedly receiving $ 1 million for it. The star later said in a gold voice, according to the British Guardian, that he was ashamed of the appearance. As compensation, the proceeds from the song "Save The Day" should be donated to human rights organizations. However, this never happened because the song that was originally supposed to appear on Carey's 14th studio album was never released.
The diva obviously had learned nothing from the incident, as can be seen from another article by the "Guardian". In 2013 she was again criticized. The reason: a concert that Carey also played for the Red Cross in Angola for almost one million US dollars. The president of the organization is Isabel dos Santos (46), the daughter of the former Angolan ruler José Eduardo dos Santos (77).
Dos Santos and his family are said to have privately enriched themselves for decades. According to a report by Forbes magazine, Isabel was the only female and youngest billionaire in Africa in Africa to have assets of around $ 3 billion in 2013. After her appearance, Mariah Carey had to put up with the accusation of "not being able to get enough cash from dictators". The singer has also been criticized by human rights activists for an appearance in Saudi Arabia in 2019.
Your real age – a mystery
It is still unclear exactly when Mariah Carey was born. Only the day is pretty certain – March 27th. The year of birth has been mentioned in the media several times, either with 1969 or 1970. But, as is well known, mysteries must also have a real diva, the "hero" interpreter knows that – and has not yet revealed the secret. The mother of the twins Monroe and Moroccan (8) told the magazine "OUT" in 2014 that she was "forever twelve years old". Besides, she doesn't celebrate birthdays, but "anniversaries" because "I celebrate life, darling."