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Mariah Carey, Singer/songwriter
Birthdate: March 27, 1969
Birthplace: Long Island, NY
Grammy winning singer and songwriter Mariah Carey was born Mariah Angela Carey on March 27, 1969 in Huntington, Long Island in New York. Her mom, Patricia Hickey, was a former opera singer and vocal coach of Irish descent. Alfred Roy Carey, her father, was an aeronautical engineer of Afro-Venezuelan descent.
Mariah was the youngest of three children. The parents faced extreme prejudice including having their dog poisoned and their car blown up, the stress of which eventually led her parents to divorce when Mariah was 3.
After the divorce, Carey had very little contact with her dad and her mother worked at several different jobs to support the family. Her mother nurtured Carey's talent and let her daughter perform in talent shows and at folk music festivals.
Carey graduated from Greenlawn's Harborfields High School and moved into New York City the next day to pursue her career in music.
She worked various jobs, including several waitressing jobs and as a backup singer for Puerto Rican freestyle singer Brenda K. Starr. In 1988, Carey met Tommy Mottola, a Columbia Records executive, when Starr gave him a copy of Carey's demo tape. Carey had left the party, but Mottola tracked her down to begin her Cinderella story into the music industry.
She co-wrote the tracks on her first album, which debuted in June of 1990 at #73, self-titled "Mariah Carey." The album continued to gain success and hit #1 in August. The album went multi-platinum and produced four consecutive #1 singles: "Vision of Love," "Love Takes Time," "Someday" and "I Don't Wanna Cry." It led to two Grammy's for Best New Artist and Best Female Vocalist.
Her second album, "Emotions," was homage to Motown soul music, and gained some success with "Can't Let Go," "Emotions" and "Make It Happen." Early on, Carey faced extreme stage fright and though she performed live occasionally, she didn't take on a national tour.
Carey next release was 1992's MTV Unplugged EP, which spawned the number one cover of the Jackson Five's "I'll Be There For You" with backup singer Trey Lorenz.
Mariah Carey and Tommy Mottola became romantically involved during the making of her debut album and in June of 1993 the two wed, though Mottola was two decades her senior.
Her next album, "Music Box," was released just a couple of months later after marrying Mottola and went ten times platinum. Her first tour followed and received some pretty harsh words from the critics.
In 1994, Carey released a duet with Luther Vandross, a cover of Lionel Ritchie and Diana Ross' "Endless Love." Later that year, she released her holiday album "Merry Christmas" which became the biggest selling holiday album of all time.
In 1995, her fifth full length album was released titled "Daydream." Her first single "Fantasy," debuted at number one and made Carey the first female artist and second performer to accomplish the feat. The second single "One Sweet Day" was collaboration with Boyz II Men that repeated the feat and remained at the top of the charts for 16 weeks.
In 1997, she officially separated from Mottolla, later saying that she often felt trapped in the controlling relationship. The next album she recorded was "Butterfly" and produced the number one single "Honey," which also presented a more sexual side of Carey.
In 1999, she released "Rainbow" and had success, but at this point was her lowest selling album yet.
During the turn of the century, she faced a downturn in her career. She signed a contract with EMI's Virgin Records worth a reported \$80 million in 2001 and shortly after, in June, it was widely speculated that she suffered a personal and professional breakdown that included rambling and suicidal messages posted on her website. By the end of the month, she checked herself into a hospital and her publicist said she was taking a break from public appearances. The release of the movie "Glitter," Carey's delay semi-autobiographical film was a failure and didn't help her problems.
Carey and Virgin Records parted ways in 2002, with the label buying out her contract for \$28 million. Shortly after, she signed on with Island/Def Jam records where she set up her own label, MonarC. In December, she released her ninth album, "Charmbracelet," which failed to become successful
It took three years for her comeback, but in 2005 she released "The Emancipation of Mimi," which climbed to multiplatinum sales and earned Carey a Grammy. Her latest album, "E=MC2," was released in April of 2008 and scored her eighteenth number one hit with "Touch My Body" and put her into the second place among all artists with the most chart topping singles.
On April 30, 2008, Carey married actor/rapper Nick Cannon at her private estate on Windermere Island in the Bahamas.