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Born (March 27, 1970) and raised with the New York City Opera and a vocal coach, Mariah began singing at age four. By the time she was in junior high school, she had begun to write songs. After her high school graduation, she got her first big break, singing backup for Brenda K. Starr, a break that led to her signing with Columbia Records.
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Mariah's 1990 eponymous debut album launched an unparalleled unbroken string of successes. Mariah Carey has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide, was certified 8x RIAA-platinum, and yielded a record-setting four consecutive #1 singles: "Vision of Love," "Love Takes Time," "Someday," and "I Don't Wanna Cry."
The title track of 1992's quadruple-platinum Emotions generated her fifth consecutive #1 single, placing Mariah Carey in the Top Ten All-Time achievers of Most Consecutive #1 Hits. Emotions earned Mariah two Grammy® nominations ("Best Pop Vocal, Female" and, with Walter Afanasieff, "Best Producer") and an American Music Award ("Favorite Female Artist, Soul/R&B"). On March 17, 1992, Mariah appeared on MTV Unplugged, leading to the release of Mariah's sixth #1 single ("I'll Be There") as well as an EP which has been certified triple platinum in the U.S. and has sold more than five million copies worldwide.
In 1993, Mariah released Music Box, an album which has sold more than 24 million copies worldwide, has been certified ten times RIAA platinum, and generated her seventh and eighth #1 singles "Dreamlover" and "Hero" as well as the Top 10 hit "Without You." Mariah followed up with her holiday album, Merry Christmas, which sold eight million copies worldwide shortly after its release in November 1994 and has been certified quadruple platinum by the RIAA.
Mariah's 1995 album, Daydream, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart; generated three consecutive #1 singles -- "Fantasy," "One Sweet Day" (her duet with Boyz II Men which, having spent 16 weeks at #1, still holds the record as the longest-running #1 single in history), and "Always Be My Baby" (Mariah's ninth, tenth, and eleventh #1's) -- and has been certified 10x platinum. With Daydream, she became the first female artist in history to have three studio albums to each sell in excess of eight million copies.
Mariah's 1997 album, Butterfly, a heady sensuous mix of contemporary R&B and pop, generated the #1 hits "Honey" (featuring Ma$e & The Lox) and "My All" (her twelfth and thirteenth #1's). Butterfly has been certified quadruple platinum.
In November 1998, Mariah released her #1's album, a collection of 13 of her chart-topping megahits as well as four brand-new bonus recordings: "When You Believe (from The Prince Of Egypt)," a duet with Whitney Houston; "Whenever You Call," a duet with Brian McKnight; "I Still Believe"; and "Sweetheart." #1's has achieved RIAA triple platinum status.
Her 1999 release, Rainbow, featured Mariah's 14th #1 Hot 100 single, "Heartbreaker," which also became her 6th chart-topping R&B single. Maria Carey has had more #1 singles than any female artist, surpassing both the Supremes (12) and Madonna (11), and more #1's than any currently active recording artist. She has had more #1 singles (14) than any artist during the 1990s and seen more singles (3) debut at #1 than any artist in history. With more #1 albums (4) than any female artist in the 1990's, Mariah was the first female artist to see two of her albums (Music Box and Daydream) reach the 10 million mark in sales and is the only female artist to have eight albums certified triple-platinum or better (in Mariah's case, her entire album catalog has achieved RIAA multi-platinum status).
In fact, Mariah Carey is the only artist to have had a #1 single for every year of the 1990's. The last decade to have an artist hit #1 every single year was the 1920's when Paul Whiteman & his Orchestra hit the top slot each year. (By the end of the 1920's, Whiteman had become a Columbia Records artist.) With the exception of Merry Christmas (from which there was no single release) and #1's (a collection of her first 13 chart-toppers), Mariah has hit #1 with the debut single from every one of her albums.
With the exception of her cover version of the Jackson 5's "I'll Be There," Mariah has cowritten all of her #1's, including "Heartbreaker." With the exceptions of "I Don't Wanna Cry," "Someday," "Love Takes Time," and "Vision Of Love," Mariah has co-produced all of her chart-topping singles.
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Mariah received 1990 Grammys for Best New Artist and Best Pop Vocal Female ("Vision of Love"). The same year, Mariah pi
A perennial favorite at the American Music Awards, Mariah won Favorite Female Artist/R&B in 1992; Favorite Female Artist, Pop/Rock and Favorite Album, Adult Contemporary in 1993; Favorite Female Artist,
Mariah picked up her first Billboard Awards in 1991 for Top Adult Contemporary Artist, Top Pop Artist, Top Album Artist, Top Pop Singles Artist, and Top Pop Singles Artist/Female. In 1996, she won a Billboard Award for Hot 100 Singles Artist of the Year and, with Boyz II Men, a Special Hot 100 Singles Award for "One Sweet Day."
At the 1998 World Music Awards ceremony, Mariah won an award for Best Selling R&B Artist and the Legend Award for World's Best Selling Recording Artist of the 1990's. She won her first World Music Awards - World's Best Selling Pop Artist, World's Best American Recording Artist, and World's Overall Best Performing Artist - in 1995. The following year, she was presented with trophies for World's Best Selling R&B Female Artist of the Year, World's Best Selling Overall Recording Female Artist of the Year, World's Best Selling Pop Artist of the Year, and World's Best Selling American Female Artist of the Year.
Mariah was presented with the Aretha Franklin Entertainer Award and named Entertainer of the Year at the 1998 Lady Of Soul Awards.
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As of September 1999, Mariah Carey had sold more than 120 million albums and singles worldwide and earned an astounding 84 RIAA gold, platinum, and multi-platinum certifications for her singles, albums, and videos. As one of the most popular recording artists of the 1990s, Mariah has provided an ongoing soundtrack to the decade. With the arrival of Rainbow, she continues to give voice to the emotions ofcourage.
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