She’s one of the biggest-selling artists of all time and the undisputed Queen of Christmas, but there’s a lot more to Mariah Carey. We’ve compiled a list of 10 interesting facts about the singing superstar that will ensure your entry into her Lambily.
Mariah Carey at VH1’s Divas Holiday: Unsilent Night
1. She was named after a song from musical ‘Paint Your Wagon’ – Mariah’s mother Patricia Hickey must have had an idea her daughter would follow a career in music, as she named her after the song ‘They Call The Wind Mariah’ from the musical ‘Paint Your Wagon’.
2. Mariah revealed her musical talents young – Patricia Hickey was a mezzo-soprano who had performed in the opera in New York. One day her two-year-old daughter shocked her by imitating her singing. Two years later Mariah had her first voice lesson.
3. Her high school nickname was “Mirage” – Mariah earned the nickname “Mirage” in high school from her classmates because she was rarely seen on campus. The aspiring singer had a habit of cutting class which understandably worried her guidance councillors who wanted her to focus more on her education. Mariah would later say: “I don’t blame them for trying to encourage me to do better scholastically because they never saw me sing.”
4. But Mariah did have a backup plan – After graduating high school Mariah studied cosmetology in New York, while working for her big break in music.
5. Patti LaBelle is her “godmother” – Mariah has long refereed to Patti LaBelle as her “godmother” and says the legendary singer helps guide her career. During an appearance on ‘The Wendy Williams Show’ LaBelle revealed that Carey sends her flowers and bottles of Cristal for her birthdays and Christmas, but asked that she stop sending the expensive booze.
6. Mariah suffered a miscarriage in 2008 – In 2010 Mariah announced she was expecting twins during an interview on the Today show. But during the interview she also opened up for the first time about suffering a miscarriage in 2008. Sitting alongside then-husband Nick Cannon, Mariah said: “It’s even strange for me to talk to people I know about it, because I just never did. It kind of shook us both and took us to a place that was really dark and difficult.”
7. She paid a hefty price for Marilyn Monroe’s piano – In 1999 Mariah bought Marilyn Monroe’s white baby grand piano for over $600,000. The singer has had a lifelong obsession with the actress and later said of the piano: “It was her only piece of the childhood she’d never had. It was very important for her to find something to cling to.”
8. Her children’s names have special meaning – Speaking of Marilyn, Mariah named her daughter Monroe after the actress. She named her son Moroccan after the ‘Moroccan room’ at the top of her New York apartment, which is where Nick Cannon proposed.
9. The ‘Glitter’ soundtrack was released on September 11, 2001 – Mariah hasn’t had many failures in her career, but the 2001 movie ‘Glitter’ and it’s accompanying soundtrack was a low point. The film was doomed from the beginning, with the soundtrack being released on September 11, 2001 and the movie ten days later. Mariah later said of the film: “If I could go back in time and not do it, yeah, I would definitely not do it.”
10, Her legs are worth a lot of money – In 2006 Mariah signed a contract with shaving company Gillette to be the face and legs of their “Legs Of A Goddess” advertisement campaign. During that time she reportedly insured her legs for $1 billion, making them probably the most expensive pins on the planet.