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Mariah Carey Biography

Pop singer Mariah Carey was born on March 27, 1970 in Huntington, N.Y., to an Irish-American opera singer mother and an African-Venezuelan engineer father. Carey's mother encouraged her daughter's vocal skills from an early age, and by age 15, Mariah was performing in New York City, often skipping school to play in clubs late into the night. After graduating from high school, Carey moved to New York to attend beauty school and shop her rough demos around town. She eventually landed a job as a backup singer for Brenda K. Starr, who introduced her to music industry execs; one night Carey handed her demo tape to Tommy Mottola, the president of Columbia Records, and had a deal the next month. Collaborating with several established pop producers as well as friend Ben Margulies, Carey released her debut album, Vision of Love, in 1990. The record shot to the top of the R&B, pop, and adult contemporary charts, spawning four No. 1 hits, selling over six million copies in the U.S., and winning two Grammys.

For her 1991 follow-up, Emotions, Carey wrote all of her own material. Though the first single, "Emotions," reached No. 1, other singles "only" reached the Top 10, and the album's sales were somewhat disappointing. Though critics praised her five-octave voice, her sappy, simplistic lyrics made her an easy target for detractors. Carey also faced legal problems from several songwriters who claimed she plagiarized their melodies or lyrics; several cases were dismissed, while others were settled out of court. Additionally, Carey was sued by her mother's second husband for a share of royalties, but the apparently groundless case was quickly thrown out of court.

In June 1993 the 24-year-old Carey married the 43-year-old Tommy Mottola in a lavish half-million dollar ceremony. Later that year she released Music Box, her biggest record yet, featuring No. 1 singles like "Hero" and "Dreamlover."

Carey's next album, 1995's Daydream, which featured a No. 1 duet with Boyz II Men ("One Sweet Day"), found the singer heading in an R&B direction. A massive tour of Europe and Japan followed.

When she returned to the United States, Carey became embroiled in a custody case over her niece, whose mother (Carey's older sister) was an AIDS-infected heroin addict. Soon after, Carey divorced Mottola.

In 1997 Carey released the smash Butterfly, a hip-hop/R&B-influenced album featuring guest appearances by Dru Hill, Wish Bone and Krayzie Bone. A greatest hits package, #1's, a collection of her 13 No. 1 singles plus four bonus tracks, was released in 1998.

Carey's album,, Rainbow, hit record stores in November 1999. Two years later she left Columbia, her label of ten years, for Virgin Records. Her first album for Virgin is the soundtrack to the movie Glitter, in which she plays the starring role.

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Mariah Carey Pictures

On how to act to succeed in getting her attention...
"I don't know, I don't know, just be, just be real and be a good person, and be funny, not be judgmental and be mature but have the ability to be immature when it's appropriate."

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