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Mariah Carey

Then & Now

2009 The Ballads--And beyond

Carey celebrates 2009 with the release of a compliation of her hit love songs, The Ballads. She also performs "Hero" at the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball after Barack Obama is sworn in as the first African-American president in history on January 20. Talk on the street hints at plans for her next studio album to come later this year.

2008 E=Mc2--Breaking records

Carey's 11th release debuts at No. 1 on the sales charts--her highest first-week sales to date--and, with her No. 1 lead single, "Touch My Body," Carey would beat Elvis Presley as the solo artist with the most No. 1 singles. Shortly after the release of her album, Carey marries boyfriend Nick Cannon.


2005 The Emancipation Of Mimi

Carey's "We Belong Together," co-produced by her long-time collaborator Jermaine Dupri, becomes one of the biggest singles in history. This album also includes "Shake It Off" and the set's debut track "It's Like That."


2002 Charmbracelet

Though Carey's relationship with Virgin Records ended on a sour note, she quickly secures another label home, joining the Island Def Jam roster along with the ranks of Ashanti, Ludacris, and the pre-retirement Jay-Z. Charmbracelet quickly reclaims her status with multiple hits.




2001 Glitter--Controversy

2001 had the potential for being a great year for Carey: She signed one of the most lucrative recording deals of all time with Virgin Records. She recorded for the label the soundtrack to a film Glitter. She even starred in the film loosely based on her life. But things turned downhill as she experiences what was described in the press as a "nervous breakdown." Later confirmed rumors circulate that Tommy Mottola, upset about Carey's split from him and exit from Sony, attempted to sabotage Glitter. Mottola allegedly heard songs that Ja Rule & Irv Gotti produced for Glitter and hired the hip-hop partners to produce similar tracks for Sony's then-new pop queen Jennifer Lopez which were released before Glitter. Carey complains publicly about the plotting against her, and cancels much of the Glitter publicity at the last minute. Fans prove unsympathetic, resulting in an embarrassing opening weekend for the film and just as disappointing sales for the soundtrack. Things reach a low as Virgin Records subsequently drops Carey from its roster. Some claim her career is over.


1999 Rainbow


Carey keeps the momentum going with this effort that includes songs "Heartbreaker," "Crybaby," and "Thank God I Found You."


1997 Butterfly--Emerging from her cocoon

Although to the public her life seemed fairy-tale perfect, Carey claimed later that she felt isolated and controlled by her relationship with Mottola. After separating from him in 1997 (divorcing a year later), she pours her emotions into this breakthrough hip-hop soul album. This set shows a sassier and more-scantily clad Carey partying to hip-hop fused tracks with P. Diddy ("Honey") and Bone: Thugs-N-Harmony ("Breakdown").




A few classic collaborations made this one of the hottest albums of the year. Carey's teamed up on this album with the late Ol' Dirty Bastard, as well as the record-setting R&B quartet Boyz II Men.




1994Merry Christmas

Carey's Christmas album includes her interpretations of many of history's favorite holiday songs, including "All I Want For Christmas Is You," "Joy To The World," and "O' Holy Night."


1993Music Box--Picking up the pace

This year, Carey marries Mottola, who is now head of Sony Records, in a lavish wedding. She also releases her third record--while primarily known as a balladeer, she picks up the pace a bit with her bouncy, mid-tempo smash "Dream Lover." This album also includes one of her biggest records to date--the anthemic "Hero," often used as a music bed for tributes to troops and dads. 



Sophomore jinx? No way. Just one year after releasing her debut, Carey's powerhouse vocals and infectious songwriting and production keep her at the top of the charts with hits such as "Emotions," "Make It Happen," and "Can't Let Go."

1990 Mariah Carey--On her way

Carey's 1990 self-titled debut proves that Whitney Houston wasn't the only sophisticated super diva on the R&B pop scene. Fueled by first single, "Vision Of Love," this release paves the way for Carey to become one of the best selling female vocalist of all time.


1988 A Cinderella story

Carey meets Columbia Records executive Tommy Mottola at a party. Mottola obtains a copy of Carey's demo tape, which he listens to as he's leaving the party. He is blown away by her talent, tracks her down, and signs her to a recording contract.

1970 A future star is born

Mariah Carey is born in Long Island, NY. A child of divorced working parents, she spent much time alone and turned to music at an early age to fill her hours. After graduating high school, she moves to New York City and eventually lands a job as backup singer for dance-pop artist Brenda K. Starr.

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