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Music / Mariah Carey

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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 (born March 27, 1970) is a singer/songwriter who debuted in 1990 with her hit "Vision of Love". 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 rangenote , 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 suffered a Creator Breakdown after the filmGlitter and her album of the same name flopped, leading to a bizarre incident where she performed a semi-striptease on TRL. She was hospitalized for exhaustion and many thought her career to be over, but in 2005 she blew away the charts with The Emancipation of Mimi and the world never questioned her relevance to pop culture ever since.

Many publications proclaim her as the best selling female artist of all time, with worldwide record sales of over 230 million. She has the most Billboard Hot 100 #1 hits for a solo artist, with 18 under her belt. note  Some of those hits include classics such as "We Belong Together," "Vision of Love," "Hero," "Fantasy," and "Always Be My Baby."


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. Unfortunately, the couple separated in 2014, and their divorce was finalized in 2016.

She served as a judge on American Idol in its 2012 season while recording new music. She left Idol a year later to tour. In 2018 she revealed that she had been diagnosed with bipolar II disorder during her Creator Breakdown in 2001.

See also Quantum Mariah Carey Problem.

As usual, you can find the basics at The Other Wiki.


Selected Filmography:

"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.
  • Beauty Inversion: She does this as part of her role as Mrs.Weiss in Precious. She's...virtually unrecognizable to say the least. Just click on this trope to see what we mean.
  • Break-Up 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.
  • Cover Version: Mariah has had success with quite a few, beginning with her chart-topping 1992 version of The Jackson 5's "I'll Be There." Most of her albums since 1993's Music Box have included at least one cover, including her hit versions of "Without You" (originally by Badfinger, later a No. 1 hit for Harry Nilsson) and "I Still Believe" (originally by Mariah's former employer, Brenda K. Starr).
  • Death Song: "One Sweet Day," "The Wind," "Bye Bye," and "The Wind."
  • Docu Soap: Mariah's World, on the E! network, documents her Sweet Sweet Fantasy world tour and the various mishaps that happen when planning and carrying out such a tour.
  • Downer Ending: Mariah even said that Rainbow was her first album with a happy ending.
    • Mariah Carey ends with "Love Takes Time," a song about the loss of a lover and how love takes time to heal.
    • Emotions ends with "The Wind," a song about a friend who died in a drunk-driving accident.
    • Music Box ends with "All I've Ever Wanted," a song about a person longing for someone they can't have.
    • Daydream ends with "Looking In," a song about how Mariah has to hide her real self from the world and how she's actually insecure and fearful on the inside.
    • Butterfly ends with "Outside," a song about how Mariah feels ostracized for being biracial.
  • E = MC Hammer: One of her albums was titled E=MC2.
  • Executive Meddling: Why her version of "Where Are You Christmas?" (which she co-wrote with James Horner and Will Jennings for How the Grinch Stole Christmas!) has never been released - the movie's soundtrack came out on another label, and Sony wouldn't cooperate). And that is how Faith Hill became The Other Marty.
  • Glurge Addict: Listen to her album names: Charmbracelet, Glitter, Butterfly, Rainbow...
  • God-Is-Love Songs: Quite a few, with "Fly Like A Bird" being a particularly strong example.
  • 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."
  • Laugh of Love: In the Mariah Carey and Miguel duet "#Beautiful", the chorus is peppered with the occasional lovestruck giggle from Mariah.
  • Melismatic Vocals: Quite possibly the Trope Codifier alongside Whitney Houston. Her singing style 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.
  • Mixed Ancestry: She's bi-racial, half-black, half-white (specifically of Irish and Afro-Venezuelan descent). Sadly, this made her the target of Half-Breed Discrimination while growing up.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Interestingly, Carey didn't really run with this until after she divorced Tommy Mottola.
  • 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.
  • Odd Friendship: You wouldn't expect a pop princess like Mariah to be friends with a gritty, Cloudcuckoolander rapper like Ol' Dirty Bastard, but they apparently became close after collaborating on the remix of her song "Fantasy." Mariah attended ODB's funeral, and included him in a montage of her deceased loved ones in her video for "Bye Bye", and even mentions him in "Candy Bling".
    Mariah Carey: 🎶Wish I could bring you back like the O.D.B.🎶
  • Product Placement: In a very dated example, "Shake It Off" mentions "the Calgon commercial."
    • Parodied on a TV sketch comedy show, where Mariah's unique form of soulful groaning was matched to the ideal commercial product - an emetic syrup used to relieve stubborn painful constipation.
  • Protest Song: "There's Got To Be a Way."
  • Remix Album: The Remixes, a Distinct Double Album with club mixes on disc 1 and hip hop mixes on disc 2.
  • 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. However, the two ladies got along just fine in real life, and performed a duet together in the song "When You Believe" on the The Prince of Egypt soundtrack.
    • It's played straight with Madonna, however. They've had bad blood for over 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". And so it began.
      Michael K.: After she took everyone to Costco by screaming out a high-note that sounded like a forklift, her longtime nemesis JLo clapped politely and made a face that said, My hex is working.
      • 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 feud 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 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. Prior to 1997 when her music became more hip-hop-oriented, she rivaled Céline Dion and Whitney Houston for supremacy in the Adult Contemporary radio format, which specializes in love songs. Her appeal to that audience has been more spotty since but she's still managed to land the occasional lite-FM radio hit, such as "I Still Believe" or "We Belong Together."
  • 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.
    • Some call her the "Queen of Shade" because she subtly dissed other people.
  • 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.


Example of: