Mariah Carey: Pop Princess Mariah Carey grew up in Long Island, New York. Her mother was an opera singer who fostered her daughter's natural singing talent. By eighth grade, Carey was writing her own songs; by age 13, she was performing radio jingles. After graduation, Carey headed to Manhattan to follow her show-business dreams. Before long, she was singing backup for Brenda Kiss Star. The seasoned singer took Carey under her wing and introduced her to record executive Tommy Mottola, who quickly began grooming the teenager for superstardom. In July 1990, Carey released her first album, "Vision of Love." The album produced four number one hits and garnered two Grammy Awards: one for Best New Artist and another for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. But the 20-year-old didn't sit back and bask in the glory; she immediately returned to the studio and released "Emotions" in September 1991. A recording of her MTV Unplugged concert followed. As Carey's career continued to blossom, so did her relationship with Mottola. On June 6, 1993, the 23-year-old singer wed her 42-year-old boss in an extravagant gala with 300 guests. After the honeymoon was over, Carey came out with three more best-selling albums in the span of three years. Eventually, Carey tired of Mottola's controlling hold over her life, and the couple separated in 1997. That same year, Carey broke away from her sweet image with a sexier style for the release of her album "Butterfly." Her next record, "Rainbow," produced the singer's biggest hit: "Heartbreaker." Feeling unstoppable, Carey decided to try her hand at acting, portraying an aspiring crooner in the 2001 flick "Glitter." But her workaholic ways finally got the better of her: In the summer of 2001, Carey collapsed from exhaustion. The tabloids had a field day while speculating about the cause of the pop star's breakdown, and to make matters worse, "Glitter" was shredded to pieces by critics. Soon afterward, the Sony record label broke its contract with Carey. But Carey wasn't easily defeated. Within the year, she joined the Island Def Jam Music Group and formed her own label: MonarC Records. In addition, her acting in the independent film "Wisegirl" was universally praised. And if Carey needed more confirmation of her star appeal, she could look to her 2002 album, "Charmbracelet," which sold 241,000 copies in its first week. Carey's reign as a pop princess continues!moreless
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