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Early life and discovery
Carey was born in Long Island, New York. She is the third and youngest child of Patricia Hickey, a former opera singer and voice coach of Irish American Roman Catholic extraction, and Alfred Roy Carey, an aeronautical engineer of Afro-Venezuelan descent. As a multiracial family, the Careys endured racial slurs, hostility, and sometimes violence, causing the family to frequently relocate in the New York and Rhode Island areas. The strain on the family led to the divorce of Carey's parents when she was three years old.

Carey had little contact with her father, and her mother worked several jobs to support the family. Spending much of her time at home alone, Carey turned to music as an outlet. She began singing at around the age of three, performing for the first time in public during elementary school, and was writing her own songs by junior high. Carey graduated from Harborfields High School in Greenlawn, New York, although she was frequently absent due to her popularity as a demo singer for local recording studios. Her renown within the Long Island music scene gave her opportunities to work with musicians such as Gavin Christopher and Ben Margulies, with whom she co-wrote material for her demo tape. After moving to New York City, Carey worked numerous part-time jobs to pay the rent and completed five hundred hours of beauty school. Eventually, she became a backup singer for Brenda K. Starr.

In 1988 Carey met Columbia Records executive Tommy Mottola at a party, where Starr gave him Carey's demo tape. Mottola played the tape while leaving the party and was very impressed with what he heard. He returned to the party to find Carey, but she had left. Nevertheless, Mottola tracked her down and signed her to a recording contract. This Cinderella-like story became part of the standard publicity surrounding Carey's entrance into the industry.

1990–1992: Early commercial success
Carey co-wrote all of the original compositions on her 1990 debut album Mariah Carey, and continued to co-write nearly all of her material for the rest of her career, but expressed dissatisfaction with the contributions of producers such as Ric Wake and Rhett Lawrence (who had been brought in by label executives). With substantial promotion the album ascended to number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, where it remained for several weeks. It produced four number-one singles and made Carey a star in the United States, but its success elsewhere was limited. Critics rated the album highly, and Carey won Grammy Awards for "Best New Artist" and "Best Female Pop Vocal Performance" (for her debut single "Vision of Love").

Carey's 1992 MTV Unplugged concert showed her ability to reproduce her vocal style outside of a studio setting. Audio sample of "Emotions" (help·info)Emotions, Carey's second album, was conceived as an homage to Motown soul music (see Motown Sound) and saw Carey working with Walter Afanasieff and the dance group C&C Music Factory. It was released soon after her debut album in the fall of 1991, but was neither critically nor commercially as successful; Rolling Stone described it as "more of the same, with less interesting material ... pop-psych love songs played with airless, intimidating expertise". The title track "Emotions" made Carey the only recording act to have their first five singles reach number-one on the U.S. Hot 100 chart, though the album's follow-up singles failed to match this feat. Carey had been lobbying to produce her own songs, and beginning with Emotions, she would co-produce most of her material. "I didn't want [Emotions] to be somebody else's vision of me," she said. "There's more of me on this album." She would also begin writing and producing for other artists, such as Penny Ford and Daryl Hall, within the coming year.

Although she had occasionally performed live, stage fright had prevented Carey from embarking on any major public tours. Her first widely-seen concert appearance was on the television show MTV Unplugged in 1992, and she said she felt that her performance proved her vocal abilities were not, as some had previously speculated, simulated using studio techniques. In addition to acoustic versions of some of her earlier songs, Carey premiered a cover of The Jackson 5's "I'll Be There" with back-up singer Trey Lorenz. Released as a single, the duet reached number one in the U.S. and led to a record deal for Lorenz, whose debut album Carey produced. Because of strong ratings for the Unplugged television special, the concert's set list was released on the EP MTV Unplugged, which Entertainment Weekly called "the strongest, most genuinely musical record she has ever made ... Did this live performance help her take her first steps toward growing up?"

1993–1996: Worldwide popularity
Carey and Tommy Mottola had become romantically involved during the making of her debut album, and in June 1993 they were married.

Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds consulted on the album Music Box, which was released later that year and became Carey's most successful worldwide. It yielded her first UK number-one, a cover of Badfinger's "Without You", as well as the U.S. number-ones "Dreamlover" and "Hero". Billboard magazine proclaimed it as "heart-piercing ... easily the most elemental of Carey's releases, her vocal eurythmics in natural sync with the songs", but TIME magazine lamented Carey's attempt at a mellower work: "[Music Box] seems perfunctory and almost passionless ... Carey could be a pop-soul great; instead she has once again settled for Salieri-like mediocrity." A subsequent U.S. tour was slated by most critics. Carey said in a Vogue interview: "As soon as you have a big success, a lot of people don't like that. There's nothing I can do about it. All I can do is make music I believe in."

Carey and Boyz II Men recording "One Sweet Day" (1995), one of both acts' biggest singles. Audio sample (help·info)Following a successful duet with Luther Vandross on a cover of Lionel Richie and Diana Ross' "Endless Love" in late 1994, Carey released the holiday album Merry Christmas. It contained both cover material and original compositions such as "All I Want for Christmas Is You", which became Carey's first Japanese number-one and in subsequent years emerged as one of her most perennially popular songs on U.S. radio. Critical reception to Merry Christmas was mixed, with All Music Guide dismissing it as an "otherwise vanilla set... pretensions to high opera on 'O Holy Night' and a horrid danceclub take on 'Joy to the World'". The album drew greater approval from the public, and it became the most successful Christmas album of all time.

In 1995 Carey released Daydream, which combined the pop sensibilities of Music Box with downbeat R&B and hip hop influences. Carey said that Columbia reacted negatively to her intentions for the album: "Everybody was like 'What, are you crazy?'. They're very nervous about breaking the formula." It became her biggest-selling LP in the U.S., and its singles achieved similar success: "Fantasy" became the second single to debut at number-one in the U.S. and topped the Canadian charts for twelve weeks, "One Sweet Day" (with Boyz II Men) spent a still-record sixteen weeks at number one in the U.S., and "Always Be My Baby" (co-produced by Jermaine Dupri) led the Hot 100's 1996 year-end radio airplay chart. Daydream generated career-best reviews for Carey and was named one of 1995's best albums by publications such as The New York Times, which wrote that its "best cuts bring pop candy-making to a new peak of textural refinement ... Carey's songwriting has taken a leap forward, becoming more relaxed, sexier and less reliant on thudding clichés". Sales of the album were augmented by a highly profitable world tour, and it received six Grammy Award nominations.

1997–2000: Independence and new image
Carey and Mottola separated in 1996. Although the public image of the marriage was a happy one, she said that in reality she had felt trapped by her relationship with Mottola, whom she often described as controlling. They officially announced their separation in 1997, and their divorce became final the following year. Carey hired a new attorney and manager soon after the separation, as well as an independent publicist. She became a major songwriter and producer for other artists during this period, contributing to the debut albums of Allure, 7 Mile and Blaque through her short-lived Crave Records imprint.

"Honey" (1997), Carey's first heavily hip hop-influenced single, presented a more overtly sexual image of her than had been previously seen. Audio sample (help·info)Carey's next album Butterfly (1997) yielded the number-one single "Honey", the lyrics and music video for which presented a more overtly sexual image of her than had been previously seen. She stated that Butterfly marked the point that she attained full creative control over her music, which continued to move in an R&B/hip hop direction with material co-written and produced by rappers such as Sean "Puffy" Combs and Missy Elliott, but added: "I don't think it's that much of a departure from what I've done in the past ... It's not like I went psycho and thought I was going to be a rapper. Personally, this album is about doing whatever the hell I wanted to do." Reviews were almost uniformly positive: LAUNCHcast said Butterfly "pushes the envelope", a move its critic thought "may prove disconcerting to more conservative fans" but praised as "a welcome change". The Los Angeles Times wrote: "[Butterfly] is easily the most personal, confessional-sounding record she's ever done ... Carey-bashing just might become a thing of the past." The album was a commercial success, and "My All" (her thirteenth Hot 100 number-one) gave her the record for the most U.S. number-ones by a female artist. Towards the turn of the millennium, Carey developed the film project All That Glitters, and she also wrote songs for the films Men in Black (1997) and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000).

During the production of Butterfly, Carey became involved with New York Yankees baseball player Derek Jeter. Their relationship ended in 1998, with both parties citing media interference as the main reason for the split. That year saw the release of the album #1's, a collection of her U.S. number-one singles up to that point. Carey said she recorded new material for the album as a way of rewarding her fans, and it also included "When You Believe", an Academy Award-winning duet with Whitney Houston from the soundtrack to The Prince of Egypt. #1's sold above expectations, but a review in NME labelled Carey "a purveyor of saccharine bilge like 'Hero', whose message seems wholesome enough: that if you vacate your mind of all intelligent thought, flutter your eyelashes and wish hard, sweet babies and honey will follow". Also that year she appeared on the first televised VH1 Divas benefit concert program, though her alleged prima donna behaviour had already led many to consider her a diva. By the following year, she had entered a relationship with singer Luis Miguel.

Rainbow, Carey's sixth studio album, was released in 1999. It was again comprised of more R&B/hip hop-oriented songs, many of them co-created with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Both "Heartbreaker" and "Thank God I Found You" (the former featuring Jay-Z, the latter featuring Joe and boyband 98 Degrees) reached number one in the U.S., and the success of the former made Carey the only act to have a number-one single in each year of the 1990s. Media reception was generally enthusiastic, with the Sunday Herald saying the album "sees her impressively tottering between soul ballads and collaborations with R&B heavyweights like Snoop Doggy Dogg, Usher ... It's a polished collection of pop-soul." Similar sentiments were expressed in VIBE magazine, which wrote, "She pulls out all stops...Rainbow will garner even more adoration", but despite this it became Carey's lowest-selling LP up to that point, and there was a recurring criticism that the tracks were too alike. When the double A-side "Crybaby"/"Can't Take That Away (Mariah's Theme)" became her first single to peak outside of the top twenty, Carey accused Sony of under promoting it: "The political situation in my professional career is not positive ... I'm getting a lot of negative feedback from certain corporate people", she wrote on her official website.

2001–2004: Personal and professional struggles
After receiving Billboard's Artist of the Decade Award (see Billboard Music Awards) and the World Music Award for Best-Selling Female Artist of the Millennium, Carey parted from Columbia and signed a contract with EMI's Virgin Records worth a reported US$80 million. She often stated that Columbia had regarded her as a commodity, with her separation from Mottola exacerbating her relations with label executives. Just a few months later in July 2001, it was widely reported that Carey had suffered a physical and emotional breakdown. She had left messages on her website complaining of being overworked, and her relationship with Luis Miguel was ending. In an interview the following year, she said, "I was with people who didn't really know me, and I had no personal assistant. I'd be doing interviews all day long, getting two hours of sleep a night, if that." During an appearance on MTV's Total Request Live, Carey handed out popsicles to the audience and began what was later described as a "strip tease". By the month's end, she had checked into a hospital, and her publicist announced that she would be taking a break from public appearances.

A scene from Carey's film Glitter (2001).Critics panned Glitter, Carey's much delayed semi-autobiographical film, and it was a box office failure. The album Glitter, inspired by the music of the 1980s, generated her worst showing on the U.S. charts. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch dismissed it as "an absolute mess that'll go down as an annoying blemish on a career that, while not always critically heralded, was at least nearly consistently successful", while Blender magazine opined, "After years of trading her signature flourishes for a radio-ready purr, [Carey]'s left with almost no presence at all." "Loverboy" reached number two on the Hot 100 thanks to a price cut, but the album's follow-up singles failed to chart.

Columbia released the album Greatest Hits shortly following the failure of Glitter, and in early 2002 Virgin bought out Carey's contract for $28 million, which created further negative publicity. Carey said that her time at Virgin had been "a complete and total stress-fest ... I made a total snap decision which was based on money, and I never make decisions based on money. I learned a big lesson from that." Later that year, she signed a $20 million contract with Island Records' Def Jam and launched the record label MonarC. To add further to Carey's emotional burdens, her father died of cancer that summer.

Following a well-received supporting role in the film WiseGirls, Carey released the album Charmbracelet, which she said marked "a new lease on life" for her. Sales of Charmbracelet were lukewarm, and the quality of Carey's vocals came under severe criticism. The Boston Globe declared the album as "the worst of her career, revealing a voice no longer capable of either gravity-defying gymnastics or soft coos", and Rolling Stone commented: "Carey needs bold songs that help her use the power and range for which she is famous. Charmbracelet is like a stream of watercolors that bleed into a puddle of brown." Singles such as "Through the Rain" failed on the charts and with pop radio, whose playlists had become less open to maturing "diva" stylists such as Carey, Whitney Houston and Céline Dion.

"I Know What You Want", a 2003 Busta Rhymes single on which Carey guest-starred, fared considerably better and reached the U.S. top five. Columbia later included it on the remix collection The Remixes, Carey's lowest-selling album. That year, she was awarded the World Music Chopard Diamond Award for selling over 100 million albums worldwide. In 2004 she was featured on rapper Jadakiss' single "U Make Me Wanna", which reached the top ten on Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop chart.

2005–2007: Resurgence with The Emancipation of Mimi
Throughout 2004, Carey focused on composing material for her tenth studio album, The Emancipation of Mimi (2005). The album found Carey working predominantly with Jermaine Dupri, as well as Bryan-Michael Cox, Manuel Seal, The Neptunes and Kanye West.[138] The album debuted atop the charts in several countries, and was warmly accepted by critics. Caroline Sullivan of The Guardian defined it as "cool, focused and urban [... some of] the first Mariah Carey tunes in years which I wouldn't have to be paid to listen to again," while USA Today's Elysa Gardner wrote, "The ballads and midtempo numbers that truly reflect the renewed confidence of a songbird who has taken her shots and kept on flying." The album's second single, "We Belong Together," became a "career re-defining" song for Carey, at a point when many critics had considered her career over. Music critics heralded the song as her "return to form," as well as the "return of The Voice," while many felt it would revive "faith" in Carey's potential as a balladeer. "We Belong Together" broke several records in the United States and became Carey's sixteenth chart topper on the Billboard Hot 100. After staying at number one for fourteen non-consecutive weeks, the song became the second longest running number one song in US chart history, behind Carey's 1996 collaboration with Boyz II Men, "One Sweet Day." Billboard listed it as the "song of the decade" and the ninth most popular song of all time. Besides its chart success, the song broke several airplay records, and according to Nielsen BDS, gathered both the largest one-day and one-week audiences in history.

During the week of September 25, 2005, Carey set another record, becoming the first female to occupy the first two spots atop the Hot 100, as "We Belong Together" remained at number one, and her next single, "Shake It Off" moved into the number two spot (Ashanti had topped the chart in 2002 while being a "featured" singer on the number two single). On the Billboard Hot 100 Year-end Chart of 2005, the song was declared the number one song, a career first for Carey. Billboard listed "We Belong Together" ninth on The Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs and was declared the most popular song of the 2000s decade by Billboard. The album earned ten Grammy Award nominations in 2006–07: eight in 2006 for the original release (the most received by Carey in a single year), and two in 2007 for the Ultra Platinum Edition (from which "Don't Forget About Us" became her seventeenth number-one hit). In 2006 Carey won Best Contemporary R&B Album for The Emancipation of Mimi, as well as Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song for "We Belong Together." The Emancipation of Mimi was the best-selling album in the United States in 2005, with nearly five million units sold. It was the first album by a solo female artist to become the year's best-selling album since Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill in 1996. At the end of 2005, the IFPI reported that The Emancipation of Mimi had sold more than 7.7 million copies globally, and was the second-best-selling album of the year after Coldplay's X&Y. It was the best-selling album worldwide by a solo and female artist. To date, The Emancipation of Mimi has sold over 12 million copies worldwide. At the 48th Grammy Awards, Carey performed a medley of "We Belong Together" and "Fly Like a Bird."

In support of the album, Carey embarked on her first headlining tour in three years, named The Adventures of Mimi: The Voice, The Hits, The Tour after a "Carey-centric fan's" music diary. The tour spanned forty stops, with thirty-two in the United States and Canada, two in Africa, and six in Japan. It received warm reaction from music critics and concert goers, many of which celebrated the quality of Carey's live vocals, as well as the show as a whole. Carey played to about 60,000 fans in the two shows in Tunis. The Adventures of Mimi DVD was released in November 2007 internationally and December 2007 in the US.

2008–09: E=MC², Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, and Precious
By spring 2007, Carey had begun to work on her eleventh studio album, E=MC², in a private villa in Anguilla. Although E=MC² was well received by most critics, some of them criticized it for being very similar to the formula used on The Emancipation of Mimi. Two weeks before the album's release, "Touch My Body," the record's lead single, reached the top position on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Carey's eighteenth number one and making her the solo artist with the most number one singles in United States history, pushing her past Elvis Presley into second place according to the magazine's revised methodology. Carey is second only to The Beatles, who have twenty number-one singles. Additionally, it gave Carey her 79th week atop the Hot 100, tying her with Presley as the artist with the most weeks at number one in the Billboard chart history.

E=MC² debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with 463,000 copies sold, the biggest opening week sales of her career. In 2008, Carey also played an aspiring singer named Krystal in Tennessee and had a cameo appearance in Adam Sandler's film You Don't Mess with the Zohan, playing herself. Since the album's release, Carey had planned to embark on an extensive tour in support of E=MC². However the tour was suddenly cancelled in early December 2008. Carey later stated that she had been pregnant during that time period, and suffered a miscarriage, hence she cancelled the tour. On January 20, 2009, Carey performed "Hero" at the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball after Barack Obama was sworn as the first African-American president of the United States. On July 7, 2009, Carey – alongside Trey Lorenz – performed her version of The Jackson 5 song "I'll Be There" at the memorial service for Michael Jackson.

In 2009, she appeared as a social worker in Precious, the movie adaptation of the 1996 novel Push by Sapphire. The film garnered mostly positive reviews from critics, also for Carey's performance. Variety described her acting as "pitch-perfect." In January 2010, Carey won the Breakthrough Actress Performance Award for her role in Precious at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. On September 25, 2009, Carey's twelfth studio album, Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, was released. Reception for the album was mostly mixed; Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic called it "her most interesting album in a decade," while Jon Caramanica from The New York Times criticized Carey's vocal performances, decrying her overuse of her softer vocal registers at the expense of her more powerful lower and upper registers. Commercially, the album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, and became the lowest-selling studio album of her career. The album's lead single, "Obsessed," debuted at number eleven and peaked at number seven on the chart, and became Carey's 27th US top-ten hit, tying her with Elton John and Janet Jackson as the fifth most top-ten hits. The album's follow-up single, a cover of Foreigner's "I Want to Know What Love Is," managed to break airplay records in Brazil. The song spent 27 weeks atop the Brasil Hot 100 Airplay, making it the longest running song in the chart's history.

On December 31, 2009, Carey embarked her seventh concert tour, Angels Advocate Tour, which visited the United States and Canada and ended on September 26, 2010. A planned remix album of Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel; titled Angels Advocate was slated for a March 30, 2010 release, but was eventually cancelled.

2010–2014: Merry Christmas II You, American Idol, and Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse
Following the cancellation of Angels Advocate, it was announced that Carey would return to the studio to start work on her thirteenth studio album. It was later revealed that it would be her second Christmas album, and follow-up to Merry Christmas.[66] Longtime collaborators for the project included Jermaine Dupri, Johntá Austin, Bryan-Michael Cox, and Randy Jackson, as well as new collaborators such as Marc Shaiman. The release date for the album, titled Merry Christmas II You, was November 2, 2010; the track list included six new songs as well as a remix of "All I Want for Christmas Is You." Merry Christmas II You debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 with sales of 56,000 copies, becoming Carey's 16th top ten album in the United States. The album debuted at number one on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, making it only the second Christmas album to top this chart.

In May 2010, Carey dropped out of her planned appearance in For Colored Girls, the film adaptation of the play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf, citing medical reasons. In February 2011, Carey announced that she had officially began writing new material for her upcoming fourteenth studio album. Carey recorded a duet with Tony Bennett for his Duets II album, titled "When Do The Bells Ring For Me?" In October 2011, Carey announced that she re-recorded "All I Want for Christmas Is You" with Justin Bieber as a duet for his Christmas album, Under the Mistletoe. In November 2011, Carey was included in the remix to the mixtape single "Warning" by Uncle Murda; the remix also features 50 Cent and Young Jeezy. That same month, Carey released a duet with John Legend titled "When Christmas Comes," originally part of Merry Christmas II You.

On March 1, 2012, Carey performed at New York City's Gotham Hall; her first time performing since pregnancy. She also performed a three song set at a special fundraiser for US President Barack Obama held in New York's Plaza Hotel. A new song titled "Bring It On Home," which Carey wrote specifically for the event to show her support behind Obama's re-election campaign, was also performed. In August 2012, she released a stand alone single, "Triumphant (Get 'Em)," featuring American rappers Rick Ross and Meek Mill and co-written and co-produced by Carey, Jermaine Dupri, and Bryan-Michael Cox. Carey joined the judging panel of American Idol season twelve as Jennifer Lopez's replacement, joining Randy Jackson, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban. In November 2013, she explained about hating to work at American Idol adding, "It was like going to work every day in hell with Satan," referring to her on-set squabbles with Minaj. Carey appeared in Lee Daniels' 2013 film The Butler, about a White House butler who served eight American presidents over the course of three decades. Carey made guest voice-star as a redneck character on the adult animated series American Dad! on November 24, 2013.

In February 2013 Carey recorded and released a song called "Almost Home," for the soundtrack of the Walt Disney Studios film Oz the Great and Powerful. The video was directed by photographer David LaChapelle. News started coming around about the singer's fourteenth studio album. Some of the people that Carey worked with on the album included: DJ Clue?, Randy Jackson, Q-Tip, R. Kelly, David Morales, Loris Holland, Stevie J, James Fauntleroy II, Ray Angry, Afanasieff, Dupri, Bryan-Michael Cox, James "Big Jim" Wright, Hit-Boy, The-Dream, Da Brat, and Rodney Jerkins. Carey told Billboard: "It's about making sure I have tons of good music, because at the end of the day that's the most important thing... There are a lot more raw ballads than people might expect...there are also uptempo and signature-type songs that represent [my] different facets as an artist."

The lead single, "Beautiful" featuring singer Miguel, was released on May 6, 2013, and peaked at number 15 on the Hot 100. Carey taped a performance of "Beautiful" along with a medley of her greatest hits on May 15, 2013; the taping aired on the American Idol finale the following day.[216] On October 14, 2013, Carey announced that the album's former title track has been chosen as the second single; it premiered via Facebook on November 11, 2013. During a Q&A session following the song's release, Carey gave an update about the album, stating: "Now I've been inspired to add two more songs, so we're almost there. I can't even express this properly but I feel like this is gonna be my favorite album." Following another song release, "You're Mine (Eternal)," it was announced that The Art of Letting Go would no longer be the title of the album. After the final name was announced, Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse was released on May 27, 2014.

In October 2014, Carey announced All I Want For Christmas Is You, A Night of Joy & Festivity, an annual residency show at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. The first leg included six shows, running from December 15–22, 2014. Carey announced the second leg in October 2015. The second leg ran for 8 shows, from December 8–18, 2015.

2015–present: Residency show, A Christmas Melody and Mariah's World
On January 15, 2015, Carey announced her Number Ones residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. On January 30, it was announced that Carey has left Universal Music Group's Def Jam Recordings to re-unite with L.A. Reid and Sony Music via Epic Records.

To coincide with the residency, Carey released #1 to Infinity, a greatest hits compilation which contains all of her eighteen Billboard Hot 100 number one singles, along with a new recording, "Infinity," which was released as a single on April 27. In 2015 Carey had her directorial debut for the Hallmark Channel Christmas movie A Christmas Melody, in which she also performed as one of the main characters. Filming for the project took place during October 2015. In December 2015, Carey announced The Sweet Sweet Fantasy Tour which will span a total of 27-dates beginning in March 2016 marking the first time the singer has done a significant tour of mainland Europe in 13 years. Four stops will include shows in South Africa.

On March 15, 2016, Carey announced that she was filming Mariah's World, a docu-series for the E! network documenting her Sweet Sweet Fantasy European tour and her wedding planning process. Carey told The New York Times, "I thought it would be a good opportunity to kind of, like, show my personality and who I am, even though I feel like my real fans have an idea of who I am... A lot of people have misperceptions about this and that." The series premiered on December 4, 2016.

Carey made a cameo in the 2017 comedy film Girls Trip, starring Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Regina Hall.

Acting career
Carey began to take professional acting lessons in 1997, and within the coming year, she was auditioning for film roles. She made her debut as an opera singer in the romantic comedy The Bachelor (1999) starring Chris O'Donnell and Renée Zellweger, and CNN derisively referred to her casting as a talentless diva as "letter-perfect".

Carey's first starring role was in Glitter (2001), and in it she played a struggling musician in the 1980s who breaks into the music industry after meeting a disc jockey (Max Beesley). While Roger Ebert said "[Carey]'s acting ranges from dutiful flirtatiousness to intense sincerity", most critics panned it: Halliwell's Film Guide called it a "vapid star vehicle for a pop singer with no visible acting ability", and The Village Voice observed: "When [Carey] tries for an emotion—any emotion—she looks as if she's lost her car keys." Glitter was a box office failure, and Carey earned a Razzie Award for her role. She later said that the film "started out as a concept with substance, but it ended up being geared to 10-year-olds. It lost a lot of grit ... I kind of got in over my head."

Carey (left), with Melora Walters and Mira Sorvino, in WiseGirls (2002).Carey, Mira Sorvino and Melora Walters co-starred as waitresses at a restaurant run by mobsters in the independent film WiseGirls (2002), which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival but went straight to cable in the U.S. Critics commended Carey for her efforts: the Hollywood Reporter predicted, "Those scathing notices for Glitter will be a forgotten memory for the singer once people warm up to Raychel", and Roger Friedman, referring to her as "a Thelma Ritter for the new millennium", said, "Her line delivery is sharp and she manages to get the right laughs". WiseGirls producer Anthony Esposito cast Carey in The Sweet Science, a film about an unknown female boxer who is recruited by a boxing manager, but it never entered production.

Carey was one of several musicians who appeared in the independently-produced Damon Dash films Death of a Dynasty (2003) and State Property 2 (2005), while her television work has been limited to a January 2002 episode of Ally McBeal. Carey joined the cast of the indie film Tennessee in 2006, taking the role of a waitress who travels with her two brothers to find their long-lost father.

Carey has said that from childhood she was stimulated by soul and R&B musicians such as Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin and Al Green. Her music also contains strong influences of gospel music, and her favourite gospel singers include The Clark Sisters, Shirley Caesar and Edwin Hawkins. As Carey began to imbue her sound with hip hop, speculation arose that she was making an attempt to take advantage of the genre's popularity, but she told Newsweek, "People just don't understand. I grew up with this music". She has expressed appreciation for rappers such as The Sugarhill Gang, Eric B. & Rakim, the Wu-Tang Clan, The Notorious B.I.G. and Mobb Deep, with whom she collaborated on the single "The Roof (Back in Time)" (1998).

Carey performing in December 1998.Carey's debut album received criticism for being too similar in style to the work of Whitney Houston, and throughout her career, Carey's vocal and musical style, along with her level of success, have been compared to Houston and Céline Dion. Carey and her peers, according to Garry Mulholland, are "the princesses of wails ... virtuoso vocalists who blend chart-oriented pop with mature MOR torch song". In She Bop II: The Definitive History of Women in Rock, Pop and Soul (2002), writer Lucy O'Brien attributed the comeback of Barbra Streisand's "old-fashioned showgirl" to Carey and Dion, and described them and Houston as "groomed, airbrushed and overblown to perfection". Carey's musical transition and the use of more revealing clothing during the late 1990s were in part initiated to distance herself from this image, and she subsequently said that most of her early work had been "schmaltzy MOR". Some have noted that unlike Houston and Dion, Carey writes all of her own songs, and the Guinness Rockopedia (1998) classified her as the "songbird supreme". As of 2006 Carey had received a career-total of five Grammy Awards.

Carey can cover all the notes from the alto vocal range leading to those of a coloratura soprano, and her vocal trademark is her ability to sing in the whistle register. She has cited Minnie Riperton as the greatest influence on her singing technique, and from a very early age, she would attempt to emulate Riperton's high notes, to increasing degrees of success as her vocal range expanded. According to most sources, she has a five-octave vocal range, though some credit her with as many as eight octaves. In 2003 her voice was voted the greatest in music in MTV and Blender magazine's countdown of the 22 Greatest Voices in Music. Carey said of the poll: "What it really means is voice of the MTV generation. Of course, it's an enormous compliment, but I don't feel that way about myself."

Carey's voice has come under considerable scrutiny from critics who believe that she does not effectively communicate the message of her songs. Rolling Stone magazine said in 1992, "Carey has a remarkable vocal gift, but to date, unfortunately, her singing has been far more impressive than expressive ... at full speed her range is so superhuman that each excessive note erodes the believability of the lyric she is singing." The New York Daily News wrote that Carey's singing "is ultimately what does her in. For Carey, vocalizing is all about the performance, not the emotions that inspired it ... Does having a great voice automatically make you a great singer? Hardly." Some interpreted Carey's decision to utilise what she described as "breathy" vocals in some of her late 1990s and early 2000s work as a sign that her voice had begun to deteriorate, but she has maintained that it "has been here all along". An article in Vibe magazine indicated that Carey's singing style highlights weaknesses in other aspects of her music: "The impressiveness of her voice—as well as her tendency to oversing—make the blandness of her material all the more flagrant".

Themes and musical style
Love is the subject of the majority of Carey's lyrics, although she has also written about themes such as racism, death and spirituality. She has said that much of her work is partly autobiographical, but TIME magazine wrote: "If only Mariah Carey's music had the drama of her life. Her songs are often sugary and artificial—NutraSweet soul. But her life has passion and conflict."

Carey's output makes great use of electronic instruments such as drum machines, synthesizers and keyboards. Many of her songs contain piano music, and she was given piano lessons when she was six years old. Carey said in one interview that she cannot read sheet music and prefers to collaborate with a pianist when composing her material, but feels that it is easier to experiment with faster and less conventional melodies and chord progressions using this technique. Some of her arrangements have been inspired by the work of musicians such as Stevie Wonder, a soul/R&B pianist whom Carey once referred to as "the genius of the [20th] century", but she has said "My voice is my instrument; it always has been." Butterfly Melodies, a tribute album containing piano renditions of some of Carey's songs, was released by Vitamin Records in 2005.

Carey began commissioning remixes of her material early in her career and helped spearhead the practice of recording entirely new vocals for remixes. Disc jockey David Morales has collaborated with Carey several times, starting with "Dreamlover" (1993), which popularised the tradition of remixing pop songs into house records and which Slant magazine named one of the greatest dance songs of all time. From "Fantasy" (1995) onward, she would enlist both hip hop and house producers to re-imagine her album compositions. Entertainment Weekly included two remixes of "Fantasy" on a list of Carey's greatest recordings compiled in 2005: a National Dance Music Award-winning remix produced by Morales and another featuring rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard, and the latter has been credited with initiating the trend of the pop/hip hop collaboration which has continued into the 2000s through artists such as Beyoncé Knowles and Ashanti. Sean Combs, who co-produced the hip hop remix, said that Carey "knows the importance of mixes, so you feel like you're with an artist who appreciates your work—an artist who wants to come up with something with you". She continues to consult on remixes by producers such as Morales, Jermaine Dupri, Junior Vasquez and DJ Clue, and guest performers contribute frequently to them. The popularity of these remixes, which often sound radically different from their album counterparts, has been known to eclipse the success of the original songs.

Philanthropy and other activities
Carey with children at the Fresh Air Fund's Camp Mariah.Carey is a philanthropist who has donated time and money to organizations such as the Fresh Air Fund. She became associated with the Fund in the early 1990s, and is the co-founder of a camp located in Fishkill, New York, that enables inner-city youth to embrace the arts and introduces them to career opportunities. The camp was called Camp Mariah "for her generous support and dedication to Fresh Air children", and she received a Congressional Horizon Award for her youth-related charity work. She is also well-known nationally for her work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation in granting the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses, has volunteered for the New York City Police Athletic League and contributed to the obstetrics department of New York Presbyterian Hospital Cornell Medical Center. A percentage of the sales of MTV Unplugged was donated to various other charities.

One of Carey's most high-profile benefit concert appearances was on VH1's Divas Live special in 1998, where she performed alongside other female singers in support of the Save the Music Foundation. The concert was a ratings success, and Carey participated in the 2000 special. She appeared at the America: A Tribute to Heroes nationally televised fundraiser in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, and in December 2001 she performed before peacekeeping troops in Kosovo. Carey also hosted the CBS television special At Home for the Holidays, which documented real-life stories of adopted children and foster families, and she has worked with the New York City Administration for Children's Services. In 2005 Carey performed for Live 8 and at the Hurricane Katrina relief telethon Shelter from the Storm.

Carey has participated in endorsements for Berlitz Language Schools and the Aeon English College in Japan, Nescafé coffee, and Intel Centrino personal computers. In early 2006 she launched a jewelry and accessories line for teenagers, "Glamorized", in U.S. Claire's and Icing stores. Later that year it was announced she had signed a licensing deal with the cosmetics company Elizabeth Arden to release a fragrance in 2007.. During this period, as part of a promotion for Pepsi and Motorola, Carey produced a series of exclusive ringtones and starred in a television advertisement.

In August 2008, Carey and other singers recorded the charity single, "Just Stand Up" produced by Babyface and L. A. Reid, to support "Stand Up to Cancer." In 2008, Carey performed in a New Year's Eve concert for the family of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, something she later claimed to "feel horrible and embarrassed to have participated in." In March 2011, Carey's representative Cindi Berger stated that royalties for the song "Save The Day," which was written for her fourteenth studio album, will be donated to charities that create awareness to human rights issues to make amends for the Gadaffi error. Berger also said that "Mariah has and continues to donate her time, money and countless hours of personal service to many organizations both here and abroad."

Declining offers to appear in commercials in the United States during her early career, Carey was not involved in brand marketing initiatives until 2006, when she participated in endorsements for Intel Centrino personal computers and launched a jewelry and accessories line for teenagers, Glamorized, in American Claire's and Icing stores. During this period, as part of a partnership with Pepsi and Motorola, Carey recorded and promoted a series of exclusive ringtones, including "Time of Your Life." She signed a licensing deal with the cosmetics company Elizabeth Arden, and in 2007, she released her own fragrance, "M." The Elizabeth Arden deal has netted her $150 million. In 2007, Forbes named her as the fifth richest woman in entertainment, with an estimated net worth of US$270 million. In November 2011, it was reported that Carey's net worth was valued at more than $500 million. On November 29, 2010, she debuted a collection on HSN, which included jewelry, shoes and fragrances. In November 2011, Carey was announced as the new global ambassador for Jenny Craig, following her weight loss with the program after giving birth to fraternal twins in April. Carey claims she lost 70 pounds (32 kg) on the program. In 2013, human rights activists criticized Carey for performing in a concert for Angola's "father-daughter kleptocracy" and accused her of accepting "dictator cash."
































































































































































































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