Mariah embraces fans from Turkish LGBT community

Friday 8 August 2014

Since she released her first studio album "Vision of Love" in 1990, Mariah Carey has been one of the most popular singers in the world thanks to her five octave vocal range. A mother of 3-year-old twins, Monroe and Moroccan, while juggling her roles as an artist and a wife, Carey has sold more than 200 million albums around the world, earning the distinction of becoming the best-selling female artist of the millennium.

Carey's 14th studio album, "Me. I Am Mariah. The Elusive Chanteuse", which was released in May this year, sold more than 828,000 in the first three days and broke a new record as the fastest-selling album in the history of iTunes. The singer also holds 32 Billboard Music Awards, five Grammy Awards and 20 World Music Awards.

Turkey's first gay tabloid magazine, GayMag, which has been online since 2008, hit the shelves on August 5, and the American pop diva provided support to the magazine with an interview. Stating that she had many LGBT friends, Carey said: "Everybody should be able to do what they want to do and be in the pursuit of happiness. We are all the same and we all want the same things: The right to be happy, to be just who we want to be and to love who we want to love," showing her egalitarian attitude to all genders.

"Of course, I have my designer and my assistant - I have lots of LGBT members in my team. Also, since I was a little girl, my mother has been very open-minded and had many different types of friends, so being gay never seemed wrong or strange to me. Her best friends were a gay couple, Ernie and Mort, and they kind of co-raised me. They were the nicest guys ever, and they would watch my little shows when I'd sing. Today, I guess they'd be called my uncles. Sometimes they'd put us up when we didn't have a place to go. I couldn't wait to go stay at their house because it was so beautifully done," she said.

Carey has always embraced her LGBT fans, albeit without directly referring to the community in her music like Madonna or Lady Gaga. "A lot of my die-hard gay fans don't just know my singles, but they also know all the album cuts. I have songs about feeling different and alienated, because I grew up with my own issues, being biracial and not having money. Some of those lyrics can apply to anybody who feels different. My die-hard gay fans listen to songs like 'Outside' and 'Close My Eyes', songs that most people wouldn't know, and these songs have become anthemic for them for their own personal reasons. For instance Marc Jacob's ex-boyfriend Jason Preston got a big tattoo of my name on his stomach a few years ago; I've seen it, and I felt that it's amazing."

Carey said that if people from the LGBT community loved her dance remixes or heartbreak songs, it might be because the community loves strong voices like Gloria Gaynor, Donna Summer, Martha Wash and others. Touching on the most important thing that has to change about people's perception of homosexuality in the world, Carey said: "I think people just need to respect love. No matter whether it's homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual."

Noting that the right to same-sex marriage should be permitted around the world, she said: "If two people want to get married, it is their prerogative - we hope. Everybody should be able to do what they want to do and be in the pursuit of happiness."

As for "Me. I Am Mariah. The Elusive Chanteuse", Carey said she was sick with a bad sinus infection while recording it. "I recorded some song in a few minutes just as a demo and decided to keep the vocals. I lived with most of the songs for a year and never recorded the demo vocals. I really loved the imperfections, so I kept the original demos. I spent the time I'd normally spend on backgrounds and vocal production on getting the music perfect. There were days I spent solely on getting the perfect mix of sounds for the snare alone. Discipline, patience, control, truth, risk and effortlessness were all thing I thought about while I was putting this album together."

The singer also said she was definitely conscious of all the different types of people who listen to her music, adding that the she always set out to make the most personal, honest and best album every time. Having decided not to preempt the release of the album with a single or a standard campaign, Carey said she simply uploaded it to iTunes in one go. "It was a big part of challenge. I was recording, shooting videos and performing on the tour every night, all at the same time. At some point I felt like, 'What am I doing? Is this too ambitious?' Even the day the record was to be released I was scared to death. But I also knew if I was that scared, something big was about to happen."

Carey has previously been to southern vacation hotspot of Antalya. When asked what she knows most about Turkey, Carey said: "I really love Turkey and Turkish guys. The hospitality was nice, but I could not spend a long time; next time I would love to stay longer."

(Hurriyet Daily News)

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