Interesting Facts About Mariah Carey

by Nancy Hayden
Mariah Carey has one of the top-selling Christmas albums of all time.

Mariah Carey has one of the top-selling Christmas albums of all time.

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Pop diva Mariah Carey has had a long and storied singing career. She burst onto the music scene in 1990 and blew everyone away with her five-octave range. Since then, Mariah has enjoyed many successes and faced difficult struggles, but her fans have loved her through it all.


Mariah is the youngest of three children: she has both an older brother and sister. She was named for a song entitled "They Call the Wind Mariah" from the musical "Paint Your Wagon." Her father was an aerospace engineer from Venezuela, and her mother was an opera singer. According to Mariah's mother, Patricia, she knew her daughter had a gift for song when she was practicing an aria and missed her cue to sing. She suddenly heard a 2-year-old Mariah singing; she came in exactly on cue and sang in Italian. By the age of four, Mariah was taking singing lessons.

Career Start and Achievements

By the age of 18, Carey had moved to Manhattan. She was working as a coat check girl when she and a friend decided to go to a party for Columbia Records. Carey hoped to give her demo to executive Jerry Greenberg, but Columbia president Tommy Mottola fortuitously intercepted the demo himself. Since her self-titled first album, Carey has become the top-selling female singer of all time, with more than 80 million albums sold. In 2008, Mariah achieved her 18th #1 hit, surpassing Elvis Presley's 17 and second only to the Beatles, who have 20.

Personal Life

After Tommy Mottola made her a star, Carey married him in 1994 at the age of 24. Her lavish wedding cost a reported $500,000, and Mariah wore a princess-style wedding gown with a 27-foot train that required six attendants to lift. Their marriage ended four years later, and despite her continued success, Mariah had troubled times and a well-publicized breakdown in the early 2000s. She bounced back with an album that included her nickname, Mimi, in the title: "The Emancipation of Mimi." She later married Nick Cannon and gave birth to twins: son Moroccan and daughter Monroe.

Favorite Things

According to People, Mariah's daughter is named for one of her favorite actresses of all time, Marilyn Monroe. Carey purchased Marilyn's childhood piano at an auction for $600,000, and she was quoted in Playboy as saying she wanted the piano because "it was the only thing she (Monroe) had from her childhood." Mariah also loves butterflies. She named a 1997 album "Butterfly" and has a butterfly tattoo on her lower back with the words "Mrs. Cannon" written vertically down the middle. Mariah's favorite features are her legs -- she had them insured for $1 billion.

Photo Credits

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