Mariah is a mix of African-American, Venezuelan and Irish ancestry. She has had a career that has spanned two decades with numerous albums and sold more than 200 million records worldwide, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time. Mariah Carey has won five Grammy Awards, 17 World Music Awards, 11 American Music Awards, and 31 Billboard Music Awards. She is also famed for her five-octave vocal range and signature use of the whistle register.
But getting there wasn't easy. Growing up in a multiracial family, Mariah Carey experienced violence, with crosses burnt on their lawn, their dogs positioned, their car blown up, and a shot fired through the window during mealtime. Her mother, Patricia, was also disowned by her family when she married Alfred (aceshowbiz.com). Mariah's parents eventually divorced.
Mariah's mother, an opera singer, nurtured Mariah's voice and talent from the time Mariah was only three years old. Mariah then performed in talent shows and folk music festivals. At 16, Mariah began writing her own songs. Mariah's nickname in high school was "Mirage," because she never showed up for class. The reason being, she was traveling to New York City to study music with professionals. After she graduated, Mariah became a back-up singer for Brenda K. Starr.
Later on, Brenda took Mariah to a party where she met Columbia head Tommy Mottola, and Mariah gave him her demo tape. The next day, Mottola signed her with a record deal with CBS Columbia. Her self-titled debut album "Mariah Carey" came out in 1990 when she was 20 years old. The album was a huge hit. The rest is history.
She has two older siblings, Alison and Morgan. Her godmother is Patti LaBelle. Supposedly, her legs are insured for $1 billion dollars.
Prior to becoming a singer, Mariah Carey studied over 500 hours of beauty school.
Mariah has also appeared on screen, including "Glitter" and "Precious." But she may be best known to some audiences for her role on "The X Factor" and "American Idol."
Mariah also supports philanthropy. She founded Camp Mariah for inner-city youth to embrace the arts, introduce career opportunities and build self-esteem
Mariah Carey owns a three-floor apartment in New York City and splits her time between the East Coast and Beverly Hills, California. She is married to Nick Cannon and gave birth to twins at age 41, a son Moroccan Scott Cannon and a daughter, Monroe Cannon in April 2011.