Butterflies are always following me, everywhere I go.
Mariah Carey was born in 1970 to Patricia Hickey and Alfred Roy Carey. She moved to New York City when she was 17 to fulfil her ambition of becoming a star.
Having secured work as a session singer for Brenda K. Starr, her luck came good when Starr gave Mariah’s demo tape to the head of Columbia Records, Tommy Mottola.
Mottola was quick to sign the young singer, and within a couple of years she was showcasing the five-octave voice that would see her becoming the best-selling female performer of the 1990s.
Her self-titled debut album in 1990 included four number one hit singles and led to Mariah picking up a Grammy award for Best New Artist and Best Female Vocalist. With the singer keen to capitalise on this success, second album ‘Emotions’ came along quickly in 1991. The album topped the charts, and an MTV Unplugged EP that included a cover of the Jackson 5's 'I'll Be There' clocked up yet more sales.
Carey married Mottola, some 20 years her senior, in 1993. Her next album ‘Music Box’ included two more hit singles, 'Dreamlover' and 'Hero'.
A Christmas album and 1995's 'Daydream' both did well in the charts. Following her divorce from Mottola, Mariah returned with 'Butterfly' in 1997. Heavily influenced by hip-hop, the album also saw a change of image for the young singer, who started dressing more provocatively.
Following the first single from her 1999 album 'Rainbow', Carey became the first artist to top the charts in each year of the 1990s. However, by the turn of the millennium things were starting to go wrong in the Carey camp.
After receiving Billboard's Artist of the Decade Award and the World Music Award for Best-Selling Female Artist of the Millennium, Carey parted from Columbia and signed a contract with EMI's Virgin Records worth a reported $80 million.
However, the record-breaking deal was cut short after a number of career lows. Her movie 'Glitter' and accompanying soundtrack were critical disasters which led to her new record company paying her $28 million dollars just to drop her. The stresses of work led to a personal breakdown and in 2001, Mariah sought professional help after posting suicidal messages on her website.
But after an extended break, Mariah bounced back. In 2005 her album 'The Emancipation of Mimi' – featuring contributions from producers such as The Neptunes, Kanye West and Carey's longtime collaborator, Jermaine Dupri – shot to the top of the charts. The album also earned her a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R&B Album, and the single 'We Belong Together' won Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song.
In 2008, her musical rehabilitation continued with the release of her eleventh studio album. 'E=MC²'. As well as being a play on Einstein's famous theory for energy, the title was also said by Carey to represent "Emancipation of Mimi to the second power". Again, the diva looked to integrate other genres into her pop and R&B sound, including hip-hop and gospel. As the first single, 'Touch My Body', rose to the top of the charts, Carey enjoyed the 18th number-one single of her career on the Billboard Hot 100: enough to push her past Elvis Presley among all artists of the modern era, leaving her second only to the Beatles.
This also represented a new period of stability in her personal life, as Carey settled down with her second husband, actor and comedian Nick Cannon, after a wedding in the Bahamas. In February 2011, the couple announced that they were expecting twins, a boy and a girl. The singer and record producer told Life & Style magazine: "Even before we announced it was twins, I was trying to keep everything gender-neutral because I didn't want to impose an identity on them too soon."
Her happiness at home has been reflected in continued musical success, with the releases of 'Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel' (2009) and 'Merry Christmas II You' (2010). Away from the microphone, Carey won several new fans after dropping her usual diva image to play the role of social worker Miss Weiss in the hard-hitting 2009 feature 'Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire'. Mariah was nominated for a number of awards for her performance and won the Breakthrough Performance Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.
On 30 April 2011, Carey gave birth to twins Monroe and Moroccan Scott. Her daughter was named after actress Marilyn Monroe and her son was named after the Moroccan-style room in her home where husband Nick Cannon proposed.
The singer spoke of motherhood during an interview with OK magazine, saying: "It's going to be a delicate balance between raising them around glitz and glamour and keeping them grounded."
Carey posed nude for the magazine, showing off her pregnancy bump. "I felt very vulnerable about taking the nude pregnancy pictures, but then I didn't want to miss the opportunity to document a once-in-a-lifetime experience."
The singer's husband revealed in an interview with Billboard that the star has been working since the birth of the twins and was "inspired on so many different levels" by the pregnancy. He said fans should expect some "phenomenal new music". The album 'Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse' was released in 2014.