Mariah Carey has seen it all.
On Thursday night, the iconic singer appeared remotely on “The Daily Show” and was asked by Trevor Noah about the racism she experienced as a child.
In one incident recounted in her new book The Meaning of Mariah, Carey was invited to a birthday party when she was a kid, and while there, was locked in a room by the other kids and called the N-word repeatedly.
“Yes, that was a very harrowing experience,” Carey said, according to Billboard. “I don’t know that I ever felt the need to talk to anybody about it because I don’t feel like I’m the only person in the world that ever went through something traumatic. But that was very specific.”
She continued, “I think the reason why most people wouldn’t expect it is because…I don’t know. Because of the racial ambiguity? Because of whatever. But I didn’t always have my hair done and makeup and clothes and nice things, you know?”
Carey also explained that she grew up in “predominantly white neighbourhoods with people that had nice houses. And I’m not even gonna say they were predominantly white. They were all white. And there I was, to most of them — I hate to use this word but — a mongrel. So they really didn’t have a very high opinion of me for that reason.”
The book isn’t all sad stories, though, and Noah noted that Carey displays plenty of humour even when writing about difficult subjects.
“I definitely go to the place of humour as opposed to, like, ‘Oh, I’m so sad, I’m crying and depressed,'” she said. “That’s why labels on people and ‘Oh, you’re this and you’re that’ or whatever…It’s hard. You know that it’s difficult, I don’t have to tell you. But…yeah, I would rather laugh than cry.”