Biographic by Steve McGarry for January 29, 2006
Born in Huntington, New York, on March 27, 1970, she was named for the song "They Call the Wind Maria" which came from the 1969 Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood movie "Paint Your Wagon" her mother was a voice coach and opera singer so it ws no surprise that Mariah Carey grew up determined to become a professional singer. Mariah Carey began singing at the age of 4 and first performed in public at the age of 6. At 17, she moved to Manhattan, working as a waitress while pursuing her dream of a career in music. Mariah landed a job as a backup singer for Brenda K. Starr. A few months later, Starr gave Mariah's demo tape to Columbia records head Tommy Mottola at a party. One listen on his car stereo was enough to land Mariah a recording contract! She became the first artist in history to have her first five singles top the U.S. charts. Meanwhile, she had become romantically involved with Mottala 20 years her senior the couple were married in 1993. Mariah and Tommy separated in 1997, by which time she was established as one of the most successful artists in the world, and as a producer and songwriter of great acclaim. But by the end of the decade, relations with her record company and soured, and she signed with another label. It was the beginning of a period of both professional and personal difficulty, her semi-autobiographical movie "Glitter" was a flop, as was the soundtrack album. Her health was suffering, and she checked into a hospital to recuperate, in early 2002, her new record company paid $28 million to terminate her contract. To add to her woes, her father died of cancer in 2003. In 2005, the pendulum swung back. Her album "The Emancipation of Mimi" sold more than 7 million copies and earned eight Grammy nominations. The single "We Belong Together" not only gave Mariah her first U.S> no. 1 in five years, but it also topped the charts for 14 weeks and was named the world's most-played single of the Year.