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*Mariah Carey was born on this date in 1970. She is a Black R&B and pop singer, songwriter, record producer, and occasional actress.
Carey was born in Huntington, New York. She is the third and youngest child of Patricia Hickey, an Irish-American former opera singer, and Alfred Roy Carey (Nunez), an Afro Venezuelan aeronautical engineer. Her siblings include her older sister Alison and her older brother Morgan. She was named after the song "And They Call the Wind Maria."
Her mother was disowned by her parents for this marriage. As a multiracial family, the Carey household was met with racial slurs, hostility, and sometimes violence, causing the family to move frequently around New York. The strain on the family led to the divorce of Carey's parents when she was three years old. Carey had little contact with her father, and her mother worked several jobs to support the family.
Carey spent much of her childhood time alone at home, and she turned to music as an outlet. She began singing at the age of four and first performed in public at the age of six. She began writing songs while in grade school, and her mother and the members of her opera company were impressed with her talents when Carey hit a cue note that her mother had missed. Carey attended and graduated from Oldfield Middle School and Harborfields High School in Greenlawn, New York, although she was frequently absent due to efforts to break into the music business.
After moving to New York City, she eventually landed a role as a backup singer for Brenda K. Starr. In 1988, Carey met Columbia Records executive Tommy Mottola at a party, where Starr gave him a demo tape. Mottola tracked her down and signed her to a recording contract. She eventually married him. This Cinderella-like story became part of the standard publicity surrounding Carey's entrance into the industry.
Making her debut in 1990, she became the most successful and best-selling artist of the coming decade, according to Billboard magazine and the World Music Awards. In 1994, Carey co-produced "All I Want for Christmas Is You," a Christmas song with Walter Afanasieff, for her fourth and first-holiday album, Merry Christmas.
In 2000, the World Music Awards show named her the best-selling female recording artist. Possessing a five-octave vocal range, Carey has been noted for her singing style and her capabilities in the whistle register. She released fifteen U.S. number-one hits while signing to Columbia Records, and several broke chart records.
After a successful decade at Columbia Records, Carey finally ended her contract and signed a five-album deal with EMI's Virgin Records worth $80 million. A few months later, in July 2001, it was widely reported that Carey had suffered a physical and emotional breakdown. She had left voicemail messages on her website to her fans complaining of being overworked and that her relationship with Luis Miguel was ending. Carey made a notorious appearance on MTV's Total Request Live, where she handed out Popsicles to the teen-aged audience and began what was later described by some as a "strip tease." By the month's end, Carey had checked into a psychiatric hospital, and her publicist announced that she would take a break from public appearances.
In 2005, Carey returned with the release of her tenth multi-platinum album and became the second solo recording artist to place seventeen singles at number one on the U.S. charts. Mariah Carey won three Grammys in 2006.
Carey was not involved in brand marketing initiatives until 2006, when she endorsed Intel personal computers and launched a jewelry and accessories line for teenagers, Glamorized, in American Claire's and Icing stores. During this period, as part of a partnership with Pepsi and Motorola, Carey recorded and promoted a series of exclusive ringtones, including "Time of Your Life." She signed with cosmetics company Elizabeth Arden, and in 2007, she released her fragrance, "M." In 2007, Forbes named her the fifth richest woman in entertainment, with an estimated net worth of US $270 million.
In 2011, it was reported that Carey's net worth was more than $500 million. On November 29, 2010, she debuted a collection on HSN; the collection range included jewelry, shoes, and fragrances. Also, in 2011, Carey was announced as the new global ambassador for Jenny Craig, following her weight loss with the program after giving birth to fraternal twins in April. Carey claims she lost 70 pounds on the program. Carey and her husband, Nick Cannon, divorced in 2014.
In August 2015, Carey was honored with a Hollywood Walk of Fame star. In 2019, Billboard named her the all-time top female artist in the United States, based on album and song chart performances. Aside from her commercial accomplishments, Carey has won five Grammy Awards, nineteen World Music Awards, ten American Music Awards, and fifteen Billboard Music Awards. An inductee of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, she is noted for inspiring other artists in pop and contemporary R&B music.
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