Mariah Carey is a New York-born American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. She has sold over 200 million records throughout her career, making her one of the best-selling musicians of all time.
Mariah Carey was born in Huntington, New York on March 27, 1970. She is descended from African Americans, Afro-Venezuelans, and Irish. When her father’s father moved to New York, he changed his surname from Nunez to Carey.
Her mother was an opera singer and voice instructor at one point in her life. Mariah’s parents divorced when she was three years old. Mariah began composing poems and early songs while attending Harborfields High School in Greenlawn, New York. In 1987, she graduated from high school.
Mariah met Gavin Christopher and Ben Margulies at Harborfields, with whom she quickly began writing complete songs with lyrics and melody. Following graduation and relocating to New York City, Mariah, Gavin, and Ben continued to collaborate on a full-length demo.
The demo eventually found its way to Brenda K. Starr, a pop singer. Brenda circulated the demo throughout town, bringing Mariah to various industry galas. The demo tape was presented to Tommy Mottola, the head of Columbia Records, at one of these galas.
He listened to the cassette on his way home in the car. He was confident Mariah Carey would become a star after hearing the first two songs.
Tommy spent two weeks locating Mariah, but once he did, he immediately signed her to a record deal and created a team to plan her commercial launch. Mariah, in Tommy’s opinion, would be Columbia’s Whitney Houston.
Mariah released her self-titled debut album on June 12, 1990. Columbia spent an estimated $1 million promoting the album. Sales were initially slow, but the album eventually achieved 9X platinum status in the United States alone, selling more than 15 million copies worldwide.
The album debuted at the top of the Billboard charts and won her Grammy nominations for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Mariah’s subsequent album, 1991’s “Emotions,” was likewise a huge success, but it was her third, 1993’s “Music Box,” that catapulted her career to new heights.
Music Box remained on the Billboard chart for 128 weeks and ultimately sold an astounding 28 million copies worldwide. It is one of the all-time best-selling albums.
Her success was not fleeting. Her follow-up album, “Merry Christmas,” was likewise a worldwide smash, selling more than 15 million copies. Her subsequent three albums sold a combined total of 20 million, 10 million, and 8 million copies worldwide.
“Christmas Is All I Want” Royalties
Mariah’s Christmas album is arguably most known for having the song “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” which went on to become one of the greatest-selling and most profitable songs of all time, with global sales exceeding 16 million.
The song has been featured in dozens of Christmas films and has become a major hit on streaming sites such as Spotify and Pandora over the holidays. The song, which reportedly took barely 15 minutes to write, earns Mariah and producer Walter Afanasieff an estimated $600,000 in royalties each year.
To date, the song has earned more than $60 million in gross royalties.
Mariah Carey’s Net Worth
Mariah Carey is a singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, and actor from the United States of America. Mariah Carey’s net worth is estimated to be $320 million. Mariah Carey is one of the top fifteen best-selling musical artists of all time, with over 200 million albums sold globally.
She is the world’s second best-selling female artist, after only Madonna. She has more number-one singles than any other female songwriter/producer in the history of the US chart. As of this writing, she has received five Grammys, ten American Music Awards, and fifteen Billboard Music Awards.
Contract with Virgin
Mariah departed Columbia Records in April 2001 and signed a record-breaking $100 million, five-album deal with Virgin Music. That is equivalent to $150 million adjusted for inflation. At the time, it was the largest contract in music history.
“Glitter,” Mariah’s debut album with Virgin, was released on August 18, 2001. The album served as the music of the same-named film, which was semi-autobiographical in nature and followed a fictionalized version of Mariah.
Both the album and film were critically and popularly lambasted when they were released on September 21, 2001 — ten days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The film is infamous for being one of the largest box office failures of all time.
Mariah was hospitalized for serious tiredness even before the film’s premiere. According to reports, she suffered a physical and emotional breakdown. The album eventually sold three million copies. That would have been commendable in the hands of any other artist.
Unfortunately for Mariah and Virgin’s newly-minted $100 million contract, it was a disaster. Virgin was so keen to be rid of Mariah that they agreed to pay her $28 million to terminate the deal early. When all was said and done, Mariah earned approximately $50 million for producing Virgin’s sole album.
Mariah got a $24 million, five-album deal with Island Records after being dropped by Virgin. Her Island albums did reasonably well, with 2005’s “The Emancipation of Mimi” selling ten million copies worldwide.
Mariah released one album with Def Jam before signing with Epic Records in 2015. She received $18 million in 2012 for her appearance on one season of American Idol.
In 2015, she signed a $30 million contract with Caesars Palace to perform a two-year residency. This helped her earn $27 million in total earnings, making her one of the highest-earning women in music for the year.
1993 Mariah became engaged to Tommy Motalla. In 1998, they divorced. From 2008 to 2016, she was married to actor Nick Cannon.
They share two sons, twin boys born in April 2011. She briefly engaged rich Australian James Packer in 2016 and dated musician Luis Miguel from 1998 to 2001.