Mariah Carey

     
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Real Name: Mariah Carey
Birthday: March 27, 1970

 

Biography:

A Long Island born and raised singer and songwriter who dominated the decade with several hot record releases and several number one hit songs, Mariah Carey became a pop music legend with a truly remarkable range and talent for writing songs and ballads that hit Top 10 music charts. 

Beginning as a backup singer for Brenda K. Starr, the young singer passed her demo tape out to Columbia Records head Tommy Mottola in 1988. Impressed by her vocal range, Mottola signed the artist to a record deal, and in 1990, her self-titled debut album hit the charts on the success of the smash hit songs "Vision of Love", "I Don't Wanna Cry", "Someday" and "Love Takes Time". Winning Grammy awards in the Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal categories in early 1991, Mariah followed with "Emotions", a second effort that launched the title hit as well as the songs "Make it Happen" and "Can't Let Go",

As writer or co-writer of nearly all of her own songs, Mariah Carey appeared to have her finger on the pulse of pop music, writing wonderful ballads and fast paced dance songs that were played on 1990s radio. Her remarkable appearance on "MTV Unplugged" resulted in a multi-platinum album of the same name in 1993, and she hit the charts with her version of the Jackson 5 hit "I'll Be There". 

That same year Carey had her first television network special, NBC's "Mariah Carey", showcasing her incredible voice to a prime-time audience. 1993's legendary wedding to Sony Music president Tommy Mottola also kept the singer in the public and media eye, and when her album "Music Box" hit stores later that year, her public interest and popular hit songs helped to make it her fastest selling album to date.

While enjoying the success of "Music Box", Mariah Carey recorded a duet with R&B star Luther Vandross, updating the 1980s hit "Endless Love" by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross. An active supporter of the Fresh Air Fund, a charity designed to bring nature to the lives of underprivileged urban youth, Mariah cut the ribbon on her "Camp Mariah" in 1994. Also that  year, her holiday album "Merry Christmas" was released and flew off store shelves, thanks to the rock version of  "All I Want For Christmas", which had an energetic beat, strong melody and sad message.

1995 saw the release of her next album, "Daydream", another hit-filled record that music fans purchased by the millions. While the songs "Fantasy" and "Always Be My Baby" received a lot of radio play, in 1996, the single "One Sweet Day" spent a remarkable eighteen weeks in the number one slot, making the collaboration between Mariah Carey and the R&B vocal group "Boyz II Men" the biggest song of the year.

In 1996, Carey created Crave Records, a division of Sony Music that had releases by the R&B groups "Allure" and "7 Mile". By 1998, following the divorce of her and Mottola, Crave was closed down. The couple separated in May of 1997 and were divorced less then a year later, after she released her "Butterfly" project album. A big change from her earlier records, "Butterfly" had an edgier sound, introducing more hip-hop fundamentals into her R&B pop sound, and seemed to be her statement of independence. The hit songs "Honey" and "My All" made certain that she would enjoy the same success she had always won.


With well over 100 million records sold, Mariah Carey was one of pop music's heavy hitters, and appeared on the VH1 special "Celine, Aretha, Gloria, Shania and Mariah: Divas Live" as a testimony to her talent and vocal skill. The next CD was very successful and certainly showed her as deserving of the title. She teamed with another diva that year, singing "When You Believe" with Whitney Houston for "The Prince of Egypt" movie soundtrack. Though rumors flew that the two were involved in power struggles, the song ended up being a big hit.

Carey followed Whitney Houston's footsteps to the big screen in 1999, taking a small role as an opera singer in "The Bachelor", a romantic comedy starring Chris O'Donnell as a man who must commit to love. That same year Carey visited her hometown high school for the FOX "Mariah Carey's Homecoming Special" and teamed up with Jay-Z on "Heartbreaker", the first song from her album "Rainbow". In 2000, her contributions were rewarded, winning several awards for her musical hit making and being named the Artist of the Decade by Billboard. 

Later in the year, Mariah Carey hit some rougher patches, stopped from touring with a bad case of food poisoning and named in a lawsuit alleging her hit "Thank God I Found You" was stolen from the Xscape song "One of Those Love Songs". In the first half of 2001, she left Columbia Records for Virgin after her later albums for the company released after her split from Mottola were not given and marketing. 


That August, Carey started on her acting career by appearing in  "Glitter" (2001), a film telling the story of the the rise of a struggling singer from humble beginnings. Based on an idea by the singer turned actress the film would either mark the launch of an all new career for the performer or be trashed as a vanity project with a decent soundtrack. Carey continued with the crime-drama "Wise Girls" (2002) where she co-starred with Mira Sorvino, and the action comedy "Double-O-Soul", starring Chris Tucker.

In 1995, Mariah Carey starred in the music drama "State Property 2" (2005), about three gangsters who vie for control of the streets of Philadelphia. Next was the dramatic "Tennessee" (2008) where Carter and his younger brother Ellis embark on a journey from New Mexico to Tennessee to find their estranged father - a trip which might hold Ellis's life in the balance. 

 

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