Looking from the outside in, Mariah Carey seemingly has it all. However, it hasn’t been an easy journey.
Carey speaks out about some of the extreme challenges she’s faced, in both her personal life and in the music industry, in a new interview with “CBS Sunday Morning” anchor Jane Pauley.
“I always knew that I would do this, and it was just a matter of when it was going to happen,” the singer tells Pauley. “Because I came from, you know, a broken and dysfunctional family and without money or things that most people had.”
Carey, the youngest member of an interracial family, was three when her parents divorced. She lived with her mother, a trained opera singer, in a near-impoverished state. She tells Pauley she felt like an outsider, which she dealt with in her songs.
“Because when someone is visually ambiguous like myself, there’s a certain, there’s a lot of different misconceptions that come with that,” Carey says.
Carey also talks with Pauley about how her classmates treated her, including a sleepover with a clique of middle school girls that did not go well.
“I was so excited and innocently thinking this is going to be great. And then, you know, I just felt utterly betrayed because they cornered me, in order to — just completely derail me and use words we don’t say,” Carey recalls.
The singer tells Pauley she deals with a lot of issues in her new memoir, The Meaning of Mariah Carey, that she’s never talked about before, even with her closest friends.
Of her 1993 marriage to Sony Music CEO Tommy Mottola, Carey says she “did not have any power in that relationship.”
She was 23 and he was 44 when they married. They divorced five years later.
“I was a kid in his world, and I just kept making money for the company,” Carey says. “Just kept going in and making records and making records and writing songs and, you know, feeding the machine. And I was living a dream, but it was also a nightmare.”
Carey also discussed how she “worked myself into the ground” during the time of her film “Glitter”, describing that “era” as “an intense time. There’s very few people who understand, like, being under the constant scrutiny of the world, or the press.”
She recalled at one point getting just two hours of sleep in a six-day period. “That’s not acceptable. But I allowed myself to be put in a position for that to happen. I was working so hard and I wasn’t about to let everything I’d worked so hard for just to slip away.”
The wide-ranging interview also sees Carey talk about the connection she has with her fans.
“There’s no way to describe the relationship that I have with my fans,” Carey says of the Lambs, as they’re called. “And no, it is not lip service. It is genuine gratitude for them, and for them validating my existence.”
Carey’s full interview can be seen here.