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Mariah has to "remind people" of her songwriting skills

Friday 17 June 2022

Mariah has to remind people of her songwriting skills  | mcarchives.com
Mariah Carey is being recognized for her songwriting talents! The five-time Grammy winner was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame during the organization's 2022 ceremony on Thursday, and following an introduction from Questlove, she gave a speech about building her skills as a writer and overcoming hardships on the way to becoming a legend.

In true Carey fashion, the 53-year-old "We Belong Together" performer began her speech by ensuring the stage lighting was up to her standards. "First of all, thank you so much," she began. "Second of all, let me turn down this lighting because I'm not sure..."

"Hold on, I'm serious," Carey said while putting on sunglasses. "My lighting guy, it's a long story, but he couldn't get on the plane, so I was like, 'What am I going to do?'"

She then spoke about the honor and congratulated the other inductees, including Jody Gerson, Rick Nowels, The Isley Brothers, and The Neptunes. "It's incredible that there's even a show honoring songwriters," Carey said. "Give yourselves all a round of applause because this is a big deal."

"Congratulations to my fellow inductees," she continued, before recalling the time she inducted longtime collaborator Jermaine Dupri into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2018.

"I remember I inducted Jermaine Dupri like, I don't know, before Covid-19, like three years ago," said the superstar. "And I was like 'Jermaine, you know what, I'm really pissed at you that you were getting inducted before me,' like that's a whole other story. Hopefully someone will post that clip. JD, I'm not mad at you."

Last month, Carey was served a $20 million lawsuit by Andy Stone, a New Orleans-born musician who performs as Vince Vance and the Valiants, over her holiday classic "All I Want for Christmas Is You". He alleges "copyright infringement and unjust enrichment" over a successful song - also titled "All I Want for Christmas Is You" - he co-wrote in Nashville and released in 1989.

In her speech at the event, she seemed to nod at the situation, referencing "the verkakte lawsuits" and business complications that come along with working as a songwriter.

Carey then spoke about learning to write songs during her "dysfunctional childhood", beginning with melodies and writing poetry to accompany them. She's since written countless songs, 18 of which have topped the Billboard Hot 100, but claimed she still has to work hard to be viewed as more than a vocalist. "I constantly have to remind people I'm a songwriter. It's become a joke to the point where... Because they're all onto the diva thing, it's like 'Oh my gosh, she's a diva, wow, a diva.' Whatever," she detailed.

"You're maybe somewhat familiar with the meme of me going over and over, 'As a songwriter, as a songwriter, as a songwriter, as a songwriter,'" said Carey, referencing viral supercuts of her mentioning she writes her music. "So hopefully tonight we can create another meme as a songwriter."

Growing up, Carey said she never realized songwriters often worked apart from the musicians performing their work. "I just always assumed the person that you're listening to on the radio was the one who wrote the song," she explained. "But to know the people that are sort of the unsung heroes of the whole thing, it's an amazing situation, so please, one more round of applause for yourselves."

As a teenager, she decided not to attend college and pursue music instead, which many people around her doubted she could do successfully. "Their parents were shocked, like, 'Does your mother know you're not going to college?'," remembered Carey. "I was like, 'I don't even think my mother ever said the word 'college' to me,' but it doesn't matter, and then there would be the occasional jock at school, they'd be like, 'Yeah, you're going to be working at HoJo's in five years from now.'"

One year after the jock's comment, Carey said she received a $5000 offer in the music industry, and while she didn't accept it, the financial support let her know she was on the right path. At 20 years old, she released her debut album, Mariah Carey, which spawned her first four No. 1 singles: "Vision of Love", "Love Takes Time", "Someday", and "I Don't Wanna Cry".

At the end of Carey's speech, she read a stark statistic about the Songwriters Hall of Fame that proved the significance of her induction. "Out of the 439 total inductees into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, only 32 have been women up until this moment. Now it's 33," she said. "As my father once told me, 'You did good, kid.'"

(People)


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