Ten things you never know about Mariah Carey
1. Mariah's white Irish-American mum was disowned by her family for marrying her black Venezuelan dad. They produced a son and two daughters before divorcing when Mariah was three.
2. Mariah's school pals gave her the nickname "Mirage" because she was too busy working as a demo singer for local recording studios to show up for class. Tsk tsk, Mimi!
3. Mariah has described her early life as a "friggin' soap opera". Her white Long Island neighbours poisoned her family's dog and set fire to their car, while her sis Alison had a baby in her teens, became a drug addict and prostitute and eventually contracted HIV.
4. Mariah still has nightmares about her biggest fashion faux-pas - dying her hair orange and shaving off her eyebrows when she was 12. She recalls: "It was hideous. Hideosity. It took two years to grow out!"
5. Before hitting the big time, Mariah completed 500 hours of beauty school and paid her way working as a hat/coat-checker, hostess, waitress and hair sweeper in a salon. She later revealed that she was fired from all her jobs because she was only interested in warbling.
6. Mariah's 1993 wedding to Sony Music chairman Tommy Mottola was modeled after the lavish wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Di. Her tiara, a family heirloom, was redesigned to look like Diana's, while her frock had an 8.25-metre train which needed six girls to lift. The whole shebang cost somewhere in the region of $5 million. Unfortunately, she knew it had been a mistake by the end of the honeymoon. Oops!
7. Mariah admits to being something of a night owl. She says, "I rarely go to bed before 5 or 6 am. I am a girl of the night. I hate getting up before 2pm. The night inspires me."
8. Mariah goes to great lengths to protect her voice. She says, "Literally, I'll have 20 humidifiers around the bed. Basically, it's like sleeping in a steam room. The bed is all terry-cloth, the ceiling is pitched so the water can't fall on my head, and it drips down to my side, and the TV is behind glass."
9. Mariah doesn't like eating in public and instead enjoys her chow in bed while wearing a bib.
10. What's the most ridiculous report of diva-like behaviour Mariah has read about herself? She says, "That I refuse to walk on grass. Even funnier is that apparently I also refuse to walk on carpeting. So I guess I hover. How do people think I get from Point A to Point B?" However, she does admit that her dog travels around in a chauffeur-driven Merc!
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