Is Mariah Carey still relevant

Fascinating insights: "The Meaning of Mariah Carey"

“I refuse to acknowledge time,” Mariah Carey clarifies right from the start in her book. At the beginning of the year fans had puzzled whether the musician had actually just turned 50 or is already 51 years old.

But in her autobiography “The Meaning of Mariah Carey”, which has just been published in the USA, Carey is not concerned with clarifying such disgusting everyday things. "These memoirs are a collection of the moments with meaning, the moments that most accurately tell my story as I see it."

Carey is one of the most successful musicians of the past decades: around 200 million albums sold, more than a dozen songs at the top of the charts in the USA alone and super hits like “Hero”, “Without You” or the Christmas classic “All I Want” for Christmas Is You ".

The singer with the exceptional voice reaching over five octaves is also considered the “most notorious diva in the whole music business”, as the British “Guardian” once wrote. Carey has repeatedly complained about being misunderstood - with "The Meaning of Mariah Carey", written with the help of journalist Michaela Angela Davis, she wanted to clarify things, she had announced in advance.

The autobiography primarily focuses on Carey's childhood and the beginnings of her career. The singer was born in Huntington on the Long Island peninsula near New York in poor conditions. Her mother was of Irish descent and worked as a singer, her father was of African-American and Venezuelan roots and was an engineer. The couple separated a few years after Carey's birth.

Carey describes her childhood as a mixture of violence, neglect and racism. Her only friend was the actress Marilyn Monroe - as a poster in her nursery. Carey has now broken off almost all contact with her family. After she became famous, she treated her like an “ATM with a wig”. Nevertheless, the book is dedicated to her mother, among other things. "I think she was trying to do her best all along."

The music was her therapy and her escape, writes Carey. After moving out of home and getting a recording deal, her life didn't get that much easier either. In 1993 she married the boss of her record company, Tommy Mottola, who - as Carey writes - suppressed, controlled and finally even threatened her with a knife. “His presence felt restrictive and oppressive. It was like humidity - inescapable. ”In the end, however, she managed to get a divorce - also with the help of an affair with baseball star Derek Jeter.

After that, a large part of the autobiography is already through. The past 20 years, in which Carey got married again, had twins, got divorced, and released numerous albums, only play a minor role in the book. She does not address her bipolar disorder, which was made public in 2018.

Nevertheless, "The Meaning of Mariah Carey" offers fascinating insights behind the artfully staged glitter-glamor facade of the singer, who always appears with perfect styling, and her fairytale career, judged many critics. For a short time, the book, which has already been declared a “classic of pop diva literature” by the magazine “Rolling Stone”, also shot up in the US bestseller lists.

The "fascinating autobiography of a misunderstood star" does not contain "the glittering, gossiped memories of a celebrity that one might expect," wrote the Guardian, but was "a largely dark dive into her past that sometimes feels like therapy" .

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 201104-99-204528 / 3