Mariah Carey's Life in Pictures

Mariah Carey has enjoyed massive pop success, endured volatile relationships and everything in between during her 30-year music career

01 of 18

Always Be My Baby

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Courtesy Mariah Carey

Mariah was born in Huntington, New York, to parents Alfred Roy and Patricia Carey. The couple divorced when Mariah was 3 years old.

02 of 18

Vision of Love

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Robin Platzer/IMAGES/Getty

The singer released her debut album, Mariah Carey, in 1990. It went on to become the best-selling album in the U.S. and earned her the best female pop vocal performance and new artist gramophones at the 1991 Grammy Awards.

03 of 18

Everything Fades Away

The Wedding of Mariah Carey and Tommy Mottola
Mitchell Gerber/Corbis/VCG/Getty

Mariah wed Sony Music head Tommy Mottola on June 5, 1993, when she was 23 and he was 43. However, the pair divorced after four years of marriage and she has publicly stated many times that their relationship was turbulent due to his allegedly controlling nature.

04 of 18

All I Want for Christmas

Mariah Carey All I Want for Christmas Is You 2005

Mariah became the undisputed queen of Christmas in 1994 when she released her holiday album, Merry Christmas, which has sold more than 15 million copies worldwide and is the best-selling Christmas album of all time thanks to its iconic single, "All I Want for Christmas Is You."

05 of 18

When You Believe

Mariah Carey Glitter 2001

After a role in 1999's The Bachelor, Mariah landed arguably her biggest movie credit to date in 2001's Glitter which was considered a major flop, grossing just over $2 million at the box office. However, she's gone on to star in Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' By Sapphire (2009) and The Butler (2013).

06 of 18

Emotions

Mariah Carey on TRL 2001Credit: MTV
MTV

Mariah was promoting Glitter on Total Request Live in 2001 when she suffered a breakdown and was hospitalized. Her publicist at the time described the incident as "an emotional and physical breakdown."

07 of 18

The Elusive Chanteuse

Mariah Carey The Emancipation of Mimi 2005

The Emancipation of Mimi marked a definitive shift for Mariah as her decade-long pop dominance had waned — but not for long. The album's second single, "We Belong Together," is one of her most popular and successful songs to date.

08 of 18

We Belong Together

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Pascal Le Segretain/Getty

After meeting in 2005, Mariah and Nick Cannon started dating in March 2008 but shocked everyone weeks later when they wed in a sunset, ocean-side ceremony April 30 at her Bahamian estate. For their fifth anniversary in May 2013, they renewed their vows at Disneyland.

09 of 18

Dem Babies

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Mariah Carey/Instagram

On their third wedding anniversary, Mariah and Nick welcomed twins, daughter Monroe and son Moroccan, after she underwent fertility treatments to try to get pregnant after experiencing a miscarriage.

10 of 18

American Idol

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FOX via Getty

Mariah was added to the Fox series as the replacement for Jennifer Lopez on season 12 in 2012, joining Randy Jackson, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban on the judges' panel. Her season-long gig was much-talked-about due to her feud with Minaj — complete with f-bombs and a reported gun threat.

11 of 18

Vegas, Baby

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Mariah joined the ranks of Céline Dion, Cher and Britney Spears in January 2015 when she announced her Las Vegas residency, Mariah #1 to Infinity, The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. The 50-show series kicked off on May 6, 2015, and concluded on July 18, 2017.

12 of 18

Bye, Bye

20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Arrivals
Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

Nick filed for divorce from Mariah on Dec 12, 2014, in New York after six years of marriage. Their divorce was finalized in November 2016 following a contentious separation.

13 of 18

Open Arms

Opening Of Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd.'s Studio City Casino Resort
Justin Chin/Bloomberg via Getty

Mariah made her relationship with billionaire James Packer public for the first time in June 2015, nearly a year after producer Brett Ratner introduced the pair. Then on Jan. 21, 2016, Packer proposed in her hometown with a massive 35-carat ring worth $10 million. They called off their engagement in October 2016.

14 of 18

Heartbreaker

Private Party At Catch For Mariah Carey's New Single "I Don't" ft YG
FilmMagic

After calling it quits with fiancé Packer, Mariah began dating choreographer Bryan Tanaka, who is 10 years her junior. At the time, it was believed that Packer was concerned about her closeness to Tanaka prior to the end of their engagement. Mariah confirmed they were official in February 2017. They briefly split that April but were back together a month later, and have been since.

15 of 18

Shake It Off

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Noam Galai/FilmMagic

Mariah closed out 2016 on a sour note when her live broadcast of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest was plagued by sound problems and technical difficulties. A year later, Mariah was redeemed when her 2017 performance on the same NYE show went off without a hitch — though she lamented the lack of hot tea onstage.

16 of 18

A True Icon

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MAY 01: Honoree Mariah Carey accepts the Icon Award onstage during the 2019 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 01, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for dcp)
Mariah Carey. Kevin Winter/Getty

On May 1, 2019, Carey was honored with the prestigious icon award at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

The R&B legend took the stage to perform a medley of hits — including "A No No," "Always Be My Baby," "Emotions," "We Belong Together" and "Hero" — before Jennifer Hudson presented her with her award. In her emotional acceptance speech, Carey thanked her fans, as well as her kids, 8-year-old twins Moroccon and Monroe, wishing them a happy birthday.

"Thank you so much for this gorgeous award … I'm so nervous. Thank you, Billboard, for letting me grow up on the charts with you and for this incredible honor," Carey said. "Icon? I really don't think of myself in that way. I started making music out of a necessity to survive and to express myself and I just wanted to create something so I could feel worthy of existing, and if I've learned anything — anything at all in this life — it's that truly all things are possible with God."

17 of 18

Bringing Cheer

Mariah Carey, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson
Mariah Carey and Ariana Grande.

The COVID-19 pandemic wasn't going to get her down! In December 2020, Carey brought together famous friends including Ariana Grande (pictured), Jennifer Hudson and Tiffany Haddish for the Apple TV+ event, Mariah Carey's Magical Christmas Special. Even sweeter? She released a line of cookies that month, as well.

18 of 18

Holiday Helper

Mariah Carey The Christmas Princess
Henry Holt Books for Young Readers

The Christmas Queen brought her good cheer to many platforms in 2021, dropping a single "Fall in Love at Christmas" to accompany her Apple TV+ special Mariah's Christmas: The Magic Continues. Her "All I Want for Christmas Is You" became the first holiday single to ever receive the RIAA Diamond Award, and she released a holiday kids' book, The Christmas Princess.

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