It’s been thirty years since Mariah Carey has graced the world with her self-titled debut album hit shelves and ever since, she has stayed at the top of the game, becoming one of the legends of our time. While most of her adult life has been lived out in the public eye, the singer has now decided to invite fans behind the velvet rope into the more intimate details of her life.
Wow. Stunned, humbled & grateful. Writing this memoir nearly consumed my life for the last three years. ❤️U MAD. 🙏🙏 to everyone who has taken the time to read my story & make this dream a reality. It almost makes it tolerable to have lived through these experiences! LOL 😁💞💞 pic.twitter.com/4uzofhNPao— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) October 8, 2020
Carey released her memoir, The Meaning of Mariah Carey, on September 29th, filled with previously untold stories of her upbringing, including family trauma and her rise to superstardom. She dives into the complexities of growing up biracial and her struggles with her identity.
The “We Belong Together” singer often felt as though she didn’t belong or deserve to exist due to having a Black father and a White mother. “There was a time in my early childhood when I didn’t believe I was worthy of being alive,” she writes. “I was too young to contemplate ending my life but just old enough to know I hadn’t begun living nor found where I belonged. Nowhere in my world did I see anyone who looked like me or reflected how I felt inside.”
Growing up in her household did not prove to be the most healthy for Carey, who also recalls moments where violence would run rampant. “‘My brother really hurt my mother, and I’m home alone. Please come help,’” she wrote of her violent and abusive brother Morgan who had hurt her mother in an incident when she was six years old. “One of the cops, looking down at me but speaking to another cop beside him, said, ‘If this kid makes it, it’ll be a miracle.’ And that night, I became less of a kid and more of a miracle.”
Other moments would occur where her life was severely threatened by one of her mother’s lovers when he attempted to kill her and her mother for leaving him. There was not much safety net in her family either as her sister drugged her with a valium when she was 12, leaving her prey to her older boyfriend while in a car ride and he had a gun.
“John, his gun, and I made two stops: a card game and a drive-in movie,” Carey writes. “John put his arm around me. My body went stiff. My eyes were fixed on his gun. John pushed in closer and forced a hard kiss on me. I was nauseous and scared; I felt immobilized.” But thankfully, she was saved by an elderly man “peering directly into John’s car … I committed that man’s face to memory.”
The bombshell memoir also touched on her relationship with her grandmother. Carey, a constant victim of racism outside of the home, would often experience it within her family as well, being the product of biracial parents. Her maternal grandmother, who was estranged from her mother, would only allow her to visit, while her step siblings were not. “I was a 12-year-old little girl and didn’t quite understand why she only invited me,” Carey said. “Looking back, I suspect it was because I was blond-ish and very fair for a mixed kid.”
The Meaning of Mariah Carey is available everywhere that books are sold. The singer has also dropped a new project in celebration of her 30 year anniversary, The Rarities, which included previously unreleased material “with personal relevance and meaning” to Carey—some of which are discussed in her memoir.