Her mother Patricia is an opera singer. She taught Mariah how to sing.
She demands to be photographed only from the right side, which she considers her "good side."
She is the best-selling female singer of the '90s.
In 2001, she left Sony Records and signed with Virgin. The deal paid her $80 million for 5 albums, which was the biggest music deal ever until Whitney Houston signed with Arista Records for $100 million a few months later. In 2002, after Carey's unsuccessful Glitter album, they cut their losses and paid Carey $28 million to leave the label. She later signed with Island/Def Jam.
The rider for her 2000 tour required Cristal champagne and bendy straws provided backstage at her concerts.
She was a backup singer for Brenda K. Starr. In 1999, she covered Starr's "I Still Believe."
In 1990, she won the Grammy for Best New Artist. At the American Music Awards, she lost the Favorite New Artist award to Vanilla Ice. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
In 2001, after a promotional tour for Glitter, a movie she starred in and co-produced, she had a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized. She missed the MTV 20th anniversary special, which she was supposed to headline, as a result.
Mariah's heritage is multiracial. Her mother, Patricia Carey, is Irish-American and her father, Alfred Roy Carey, is African-American and Venezuelan. (thanks, Britney - Calabasas, CA)
Mariah sings in a 5-octave range and she masters the whistle register. She made the Guiness book of world records for the highest whistle register in history. (thanks, Nicholas Thompson - Landover, MD)
From 1993-1998, she was married to Tommy Mottola, who was president of Sony Music.
Mariah was conspicuously omitted from VH1's televised countdown of "The 100 Top Women of Rock," despite being the top-selling female of the entire decade of the 1990s, and having 15 #1 singles to her credit at the time the special aired. (thanks, Paul - Detroit, MI, for above 2)
Carey is the first recording artist in history to have her first 5 singles hit the #1 spot on the Hot 100: "Vision of Love" (1990), "Love Takes Time" (1990), "Someday" (1991), "I Don't Wanna Cry" (1991), "Emotions" (1991). (thanks, Maurice - Chicago, IL)
Her older sister Alison was arrested twice in 2005 for prostitution. She is HIV positive. (thanks, George - Melbourne, Australia)
Mariah moved around a lot growing up. At one point she lived in Rosie O'Donnell's neighborhood in Commack, Long Island. Rosie was in high school and Mariah was just a little girl.
When Mariah was in high school, she was already busy juggling her fledgling professional singing career, doing studio work and back up singing gigs. As a result, she frequently missed school. Her classmates grew so accustomed to her absences that they began to refer to her by the nickname, "Mirage."
Despite her diva reputation, Mariah is known for her sense of humor. She likes to joke with interviewers about her 500 hours of beauty school education, which she endured in order to have a fall-back plan if singing failed to pay the bills.On the Rosie O'Donnell Show she even gave the host a brief on the spot makeover, in order to vouch for her cosmetic skills. Mariah assessed Rosie's "photogenic qualities" and decided that a flip of the hair and a re-location of the part line would improve Rosie's look. Rosie did look pretty fashion-forward as a result.
Mariah has a great ear for music and can mimic just about anything she hears with pinpoint accuracy. This ability came to new use when she guest-mentored on the 7th season of American Idol, and was able to work with the contestants on their vocal and music arrangements. Mariah gave many astute and helpful suggestions, like telling David Archuleta not to be afraid to go to his falsetto range, and offered him an example of what she meant, singing the melody for him. The contestants from season 7 have said that Mariah was really nice and down to earth, that she gave them thoughtful advice and was great to work with. (thanks, sally - New Orleans, LA, for above 4)
Mariah married Nick Cannon, the host of America's Got Talent, on April 30, 2008.
Mariah has owned several Jack Russell terriers. A sampling of names: Jack, Jack Junior (JJ), Cha-Cha and Squeak.
Carey gave birth to fraternal twins via C-section in April 2011. The babies were named Monroe, after Marilyn Monroe (Carey's icon of inspiration) and Moroccan Scott, after the Moroccan-style room in which Cannon proposed to Carey. Cannon's son also shares the same middle name, Scott, as his actor dad. Carey's single "We Belong Together
" was the music playing after the twins arrived.