Mariah Carey (born March 27, 1970) is an American R&B/pop singer-songwriter, record producer and actress.
In 1988 Carey began recording music for her self-titled debut album, which was released in June 1990. The #1 Billboard 200 album was certified 9x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), denoting shipments of over nine million copies in the United States. Additionally, the album spawned four consecutive U.S. #1 singles in "Vision of Love,” "Love Takes Time," "Someday" and “I Don't Wanna Cry.” Carey became the first artist since The Jackson 5 to have their first four singles top the charts in the U.S.
In 1992, Carey released her second album, “Emotions.” The album was a commercial success, selling over eight million copies worldwide. The album debuted at #4 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and eventually certified 4x by the RIAA. The title track became Carey's fifth chart topper on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart, making her the only artist in history to have their first five singles reach the chart's summit.
In 1993, Carey released her most successful studio album, “Music Box,” which was certified diamond in the U.S. and topped the charts in many countries around the world. “Music Box” was one of the best-selling albums of 1994 in Asia and remains one of the best-selling albums of all time, with sales of over 32 million copies. Four singles were released from the album. The first three, “Dreamlover,” “Hero” and “Without You,” became worldwide chart-topping singles, the latter becoming Carey's highest charting international single of her career. “Without You” became Carey's first #1 single in most European markets and reached the Top 3 in the U.S.
In 1994 Carey released “Merry Christmas,” which has become the best-selling Christmas album of all time, and has produced the worldwide classic “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”
Following in 1995, Carey released her fifth studio album, “Daydream,” which became her most successful album in the U.S., reaching #1 and being certified diamond by the RIAA, with worldwide sales of over 25 million copies. “Fantasy,” the album's lead single, topped the Billboard Hot 100 for eight weeks, and became the second best-selling single of 1995 in the U.S.
Carey's sixth studio album “Butterfly,” was released in 1997 and reached #1 on the Billboard 200. The album introduced a new musical direction and style, as well as the video for the #1 hit “Honey” portraying Carey in revealing clothing for the first time in her career. “Butterfly” was certified 5x platinum in the U.S
“Rainbow,” Carey's seventh studio effort, was released in 1999. Peaking at #2 on the Billboard 200, “Rainbow” was certified 3x platinum by the RIAA. The album's lead single, “Heartbreaker,” featured Jay-Z and became Carey's fourteenth #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.
In 2001 Carey parted from Columbia/Sony Music and signed a contract with EMI's Virgin Records worth a reported $100 million, the largest record contract ever signed, and released her next studio album “Glitter,” which was the soundtrack album to the film of the same name. The album suffered from poor publicity and thus became a commercial failure, receiving only platinum status in the United States and becoming her second lowest selling album to date.
Carey signed a new deal in 2002 with Island Records and released her ninth studio album “Charmbracelet.” The platinum certified album reached #3 on the Billboard 200 and featured the singles, “Through the Rain” and “Boy (I Need You).”
Carey took a three year break after “Charmbracelet” to record new material and introduced a hip-hop flavored album entitled “The Emancipation of Mimi,” which became the best-selling album of 2005 in the U.S., and was a worldwide success, being certified six-times platinum by the RIAA and selling over 12 million copies worldwide. The Billboard 200 #1 album produced “We Belong Together,”, which topped the Billboard Hot 100 for 14 weeks, and reached the Top 5 in many worldwide markets.
In 2008, Carey released her eleventh studio album “E=MC²,” which was certified platinum by the RIAA, and has sold over 2.5 million copies worldwide. Another Billboard 200 #1 album, it produced the chart-topping single “Touch My Body” which broke her tie with Elvis Presley for the most #1 singles on the Hot 100.
“Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel,” Carey's 2009 release, became her least commercially successful album of her career, being certified gold in the U.S. and peaking at #3.
A second Christmas album, “Merry Christmas II You” was issued in 2010 and reached gold certification.
According to the RIAA, she is the third best-selling female artist and 16 overall recording artist with shipments of over 63 million albums in the U.S. alone. She is also ranked as the best-selling female artist of the U.S. Nielsen SoundScan era (third best-selling artist overall) with album sales of over 52 million. Carey is one of the best-selling music artists of all-time, with sales of over 200 million albums, singles and videos worldwide.