Mariah Carey is the best-selling female artist of all time with more than 200 million albums sold to date and eighteen Billboard #1 singles (seventeen self-penned), more than any solo artist in history. With her distinct five-octave vocal range, prolific songwriting, and producing talent, Carey has defined the modern pop performance. As a singer/songwriter/producer, she has been recognized with five Grammy Awards, nine American Music Awards, Billboard’s “Artist of the Decade” Award, the World Music Award for “World’s Best Selling Female Artist of the Millennium,” and BMI’s “Icon Award” for her outstanding achievements in songwriting, to name a few.
Mariah Carey exploded upon the scene with the debut of her self-titled album in 1990, combining angelic allure and a vocal intensity never heard before. The critically acclaimed album spawned an extraordinary four #1 singles. Carey continued her early success with a series of hit singles from her subsequent albums; Emotions (1991) and MTV Unplugged (1992) that would secure her place at the top of the charts and pop culture.
With the release of Music Box (1993), Carey produced her most commercially successful album selling an astounding 30 million units. In 1994, Carey released the classic holiday album, Merry Christmas which features her original timeless holiday hit “All I want for Christmas is you.” In 1995, Mariah became the second artist in history and the first female performer to have a song debut at #1 with the smash single, “Fantasy” off her hit album, Daydream. “Fantasy” helped define a new genre of music with the surprising hit collaboration with rap group Wu-Tang Clan’s O.D.B. She produced a second #1 debut single off Daydream with the Boyz II Men collaboration “One sweet day” which subsequently became the 90’s song of the decade. She followed with the hip-hop and R&B-infused Butterfly (1997), a natural progression to “Daydream”, which introduced a new chapter in her career and life, again working with the hottest names in the music business including Sean Combs and Missy Elliott.
In 1998, eight years after her debut, Carey released #1’s, a compilation of her chart-topping hits. The album also included a new song, “When You Believe” (from the Dreamworks film, The Prince of Egypt), a duet with Whitney Houston that paired two of the most successful female recording artists in pop history. The song went on to win the 1999 Academy Award for “best original song.”
“Heartbreaker,” the first single off of her landmark album, Rainbow (1999) led Carey to become “the first artist to top the charts in each year of the 1990s.” Consequently, the record also pushed her ahead of The Beatles as the artist with the most cumulative weeks spent atop the Hot 100 singles chart. Mariah Carey subsequently sparked the interest of Universal Music Group’s Island Def Jam Records, which signed her to an exclusive recording contract in May 2002. Later that year, she made her label debut with the release of the multi-platinum Charmbracelet.
Evoking a nickname used by those closest to her, The Emancipation of Mimi marked Mariah Carey’s tenth studio album with its release in April of 2005. The album, which features Billboard song of the decade, “We belong together” earned three Grammys following a string of wins at the Vibe Awards, the American Music Awards and Billboard Music Awards. Mimi was the biggest selling album of the year.
In 2008, the first single off E=MC ², “Touch my body” became Mariah’s 18th Billboard #1 single, surpassing the longstanding record for most #1 singles by a solo artist, held by Elvis Presley with 17. To celebrate this monumental achievement, the world famous Empire State building lit the tower in Mariah’s favorite colors, pink yet lavender.
In the thirteen songs on her spellbinding album, Memoirs of an imperfect Angel, released in 2009, Mariah explored the aspects of our shared humanity with a rare depth, honesty and open-heartedness: it’s one of the strongest statements in her long, distinguished career. With just one exception, Carey wrote and produced the entire album in collaboration with The-Dream and Tricky Stewart. Mariah scored another #1 club hit with “Obsessed,” the lead single from Memoirs. The video, directed by Brett Ratner was a huge success and a comedic triumph.
Merry Christmas II You, Mariah’s thirteenth studio album and second holiday album was released in November 2010. In addition to traditional yuletide, Merry Christmas II You also contained original songs composed by Mariah, “Oh Santa!” and “All I Want For Christmas Is You” among them. Merry Christmas II You made chart history when Mariah became the first artist to claim the top two spots on Billboard’s Holiday Digital Songs chart, “Oh Santa!” debuting at #1, in front of the new recording of her all-time standard, “All I Want For Christmas Is You” at #2. Mariah rounded out her chart-topping success with a # 1 debut on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop albums Chart.
Mariah Carey’s ongoing impact transcends the music industry to leave an indelible imprint upon the world at large. Recently, she’s made a substantial mark in film with her critically acclaimed role as a social worker inPrecious, the 2009 film based on the novelPush by Sapphire. A Congressional Award recipient, Carey has generously donated her time and energy to a range of philanthropic causes near to her heart including Save the Music, The Make-A-Wish Foundation, World Hunger Relief, and the Elton John Aids Foundation, among many others. A tremendous supporter of children’s charities, both domestic and international, Mariah Carey, in partnership with the Fresh Air Fund founded Camp Mariah, a retreat for inner city children to explore career development.
Mariah is currently in the studio, writing, recording and executive-producing her next album for Island Def Jam Music Group with the lead single “Triumphant.” Carey also made worldwide headlines this summer with the exciting news that she will join the judges’ panel of FOX’s American Idol when the series returns in 2013.