Things You Might Not Know About Mariah CareyPublished on March 24, 2016. Updated March 16, 2020
When it comes to famous female singers, few are more famous than Mariah Carey. She’s been around for almost three decades and is one of the best selling music artists of all time. Since she’s launching a new show, here are 11 things you didn’t know about the celebrated singer:
Her father, Alfred Roy, was of African American and Afro-Venezuelan descent and her mother Patricia (Hickey) was a white Irish-Catholic woman. Growing up, her family struggled in their community because of their ethnicity.
10. A Fractured Family
Mariah’s mother’s family disowned her for marrying Alfred Roy because he was black. Her parents’ relationship also didn’t work out. They divorced after only three years of marriage.
9. Mariah Núñez
Her Venezuelan grandfather, Francisco Núñez, adopted the name “Carey” when he immigrated to New York.
8. Marilyn Monroe’s Piano
She bought Marilyn Monroe’s childhood piano at an auction for $600,000. “I had to fight for it…That piano is a symbolic thing,” she told Playboy. “It was the only thing she had from her childhood.”
7. Fighting On Set
She got into a skirmish with Mira Sorvino on the set WiseGirls. She threw a saltshaker at the actress who then wrestled Mariah to the floor.
6. Mariah the Waitress/Coat Check Girl
Before her music career was launched, she used to work as a coat-checker/waitress in Manhattan. She worked for several different restaurants and usually got fired after two weeks.
5. Being Discovered
She met her first husband, Sony Music mogul Tommy Mottola, at a Columbia Records party in 1988. She handed him her demo tape and he listened to it on the way home. After only two songs, he was so enamored by her voice that he spent two weeks trying to find her. When he finally found her, he immediately signed her.
She possesses a five-octave vocal range, but has the ability to reach notes beyond the seventh octave range.
After her parents’ divorce, Mariah became estranged from her father. They got back in touch after her divorce from Tommy Mottola, but her father died soon after of cancer.
2. Born to Sing
At the age of two, she stunned her opera singer mother by imitating her singing. When she was four, she finally started receiving singing lessons.
1. Beauty School Dropout
Before she made it big, she was studying cosmetology in New York City.