"And then a hero comes along
With the strength to carry on
And you cast your fears aside
'Cause you know you can survive
So when you feel like hope is gone
Look inside you and be strong
And you'll finally see the truth
That a hero lies in you"
—Mariah Carey, "Hero"
Mariah Carey (born March 27, 1970) is a singer/songwriter who debuted in 1990 and won the Grammy for Best New Artist that year. She is famous for her wide vocal range and hitting almost inhumanly-high notes in her songs. Initially, she sang old fashioned ballads and was a rival for Whitney Houston
, but after divorcing Tommy Mottola, she began collaborating with rappers, evolving into a more contemporary R&B sound.
Carey has also been known for her five octave vocal range, which she attributes to the nodules she's had on her vocal cords since childhood. With them, she is able to use the belting technique and the whistle register which have become signature characteristics in her songs.
In 2000, Billboard
named her the best selling solo artist of the 90's while the World Music Awards named her the best selling female artist of the millennium.
In 2001, she had some sort of breakdown after her movie and album of the same name, Glitter
, flopped and she took her clothes off on TRL
. She was hospitalized for exhaustion and many thought her career to be over, but in 2005 she returned with The Emancipation of Mimi
and has been on top of the charts ever since.
Many publications proclaim her as the best selling female artist of all time, with worldwide record sales of over 200 million.
After feuding with Eminem
over whether they were ever together or not, she settled down and got married to Nick Cannon
in 2008, becoming a mother (of twins) in 2011.
She served as a judge on American Idol
in its 2012 season while recording new music. She left Idol
a year later to tour more often.
See also Quantum Mariah Carey Problem
As usual, you can find the basics at The Other Wiki
Discography (Studio Albums)Selected Filmography
- 2001: Glitter — Billie Frank
- 2008: Tennessee — Krystal
- 2009: Precious — Mrs. Weiss
"I had a vision of tropes, and it's all that you've given to me":
- Affair Hair: Jay-Z raps about this in "Heartbreaker."
- Alter Ego Acting: Bianca in the "Heartbreaker" video.
- Animal Motifs: She loves to incorporate butterflies in her photoshoots.
- Breakup Song: Quite a few, actually. Many (like "Love Takes Time") have a regretful tone, but "Someday" is an example of the don't-want-you-back type.
- Death Song: "One Sweet Day," with Boyz II Men.
- E = MC Hammer: One of her albums was titled E=MC2.
- Follow the Leader: Talent Show contestants as we know them today wouldn't have existed without her, Whitney Houston or CÚline Dion.
- Glurge Addict: Listen to her album names: Charmbracelet, Glitter, Butterfly, Rainbow...
- Incredibly Long Note: All the time.
- Taken to the extreme in her match with Jim Carrey on Celebrity Deathmatch.note Jim almost got her with a sleeper hold, but Mariah got up, walked to the center of the ring, and just proceeded to sing the highest, longest note she could, cracking the In-Universe TV cameras and causing Jim's head to swell up and explode, giving her the win.
- Intercourse with You: "Touch My Body."
- Melismatic Vocals: Possibly the Queen of this trope who spawned countless imitators...most of them a lot less skilled. Paula Abdul even said that a surefire way of getting kicked off American Idol is to do a Mariah Carey song, since it always involves Hopeless Auditionees screeching their lungs out thinking it'll impress the judges.
- Ms. Fanservice: After her divorce.
- New Sound Album: Butterfly.
- Actually, all, if not most of her albums, count as this. Sometimes they go back to the previous genre she's already covered, but, surprisingly, she has fresh(ish) material/overall genres with each album release.
- Old Shame: American Idol (and not only because of Onika Tanya Minaj).
- Playing Against Type: Her dressed down in Precious.
- Product Placement: In a very dated example, "Shake It Off" mentions "the Calgon commercial."
- Protest Song: "There's Got To Be a Way."
- The Rival:
- Subverted. Her most famous "rivalry" was with Whitney Houston, but this was created entirely by media hype, due to Mariah being seen by some as an imitator, and the two singers never had any particular beef with each other, even dueting in the song "When You Believe" on The Prince of Egypt's soundtrack.
- It's played straight with Madonna, however. They've had bad blood for almost twenty years.
- Her rivalry with Jennifer Lopez stems from an alleged stealing of a sample that Carey was going to use but that Lopez had used for her song, "I'm Real". Carey also said that it was part of her ex-husband Tommy Mottola's doing, since he was the head of Lopez's record label at the time.
- Carey had a brief spat with Christina Aguilera back in the early to mid '00s due to a misunderstanding. It led to a back and forth trade of jabs through the press before both settled the dust and made peace.
- Her current feud is with rap diva Nicki Minaj. The two did collabo together back in late 2009 for a track on Mariah's then album Memoirs of An Imperfect Angel called "Up Out My Face". However, the friendship was over a few years later when it was announced that Minaj would be joining Carey on the judging panel of American Idol, much to the dismay of Carey. Reports were released right away of tension on the set of "Idol" between Carey and Minaj and the two feuding. Then came an infamous video from TMZ.com that recorded the two lashing out at each other on the set. The two decided to stay neutral while shooting the show, for the most part - ultimately, both left the show after one season.
- She's Got Legs: And doesn't she know it.
- Silly Love Songs: Take your pick. A great majority of her work falls somewhere in this category.
- Singing Voice Dissonance: Part of her five octave vocal range with her speaking voice being low and huskey and being able to use the whistle register in her songs.
- Take That: "Clown" off the Charmbracelet album and "Obsessed" off Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel album are both targeted at Eminem, who previously had Take That songs about her.
- She's said some very notable  back in the day to the point where she's infamous in pop circles as the "Queen of Shade"
- Three Minutes of Writhing: Most of her post-Daydream videos.
- Truck Driver's Gear Change: Not to the extent of R&B singers like Anita Baker, but she does use this cliche in quite a few of her songs.
- Oddly enough, she did them pretty often (with layered belts to disguise this) in her early career, before she moved onto more contemporary r&b, where now she just layers belts over the chorus. For a prime example of her doing this today, there's "I Wanna Know What Love Is" (notable because it changes down half an octave), but back then, the song "Whenever You Call" uses this trope three times. "We Belong Together" also counts as an example but it's pulled off rather well.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: "Hero," of course. See the quote at the top of this page.