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Whistle Me Home, Essay Example

Pages: 3

Words: 693

Essay

As one of the best known female singers of the twentieth century, Mariah Carey’s reputation as an influential pop diva has been well-earned.  Currently holding the record for the most Number One debuts in Billboard Hot 100 history, Carey was also the first-ever recording artist to have her first five released songs all debut on the Billboard Hot 100.  Although many have tried to imitate her distinctive style, few recording artists can match her remarkable five-octave vocal range and mastery of the whistle register, the highest vocal register of the human voice.  Her musical accomplishments have led to Carey receiving five Grammys and seventeen World Music Awards and selling more than 200 million albums worldwide over the course of her two-decade career.

Carey’s success in the highly-competitive music industry can be attributed, in part, to her dedication and drive.  Her desire to become a singer was nurtured from an early age during a childhood spent studying piano, dance, and singing.  Her mother, Patricia, a voice coach and former opera singer, was amazed to hear two-year-old Mariah imitate operatic vocal styling, and began introducing her daughter to the professional world of music at the age of four.  Although Carey’s current popularity and glamourous lifestyle has often led to charges that she can be unreasonable and difficult to work with, she has stated that her need to be in control of her own life and career has led to her reputation for diva-like behavior.  She has said that “if you see me as just the princess then you misunderstand who I am and what I have been through,” (ThinkExist), acknowledging that her fame has tended to overshadow her personal and professional struggles.

Carey’s serendipitous rise to fame came at the tender age of eighteen when she attended a party at CBS Records and was introduced to the company president, Tommy Mottola.  Carey, who had been supporting herself as a waitress and coat check girl while studying cosmetology, had brought a demo tape with her, which she gave to Mottola.  The CBS Records president signed her to his company almost immediately and she began recording songs for her first album, Mariah Carey.  After appearing on MTV’s Unplugged to promote her new record, Carey received unprecedented publicity and saw her debut album result in numerous Number One hits.  Subsequent albums have explored pop music, R&B, and hip hop, allowing Carey to experiment with her vocal arrangements and lyrics, while expanding her career aspirations into such diverse areas as clothing design, film, books, and philanthropy.

Carey has been lauded by a number of organizations designed to help impoverished and disadvantaged youth through her youth charity work.  She founded Camp Mariah, with the support of the Fresh Air Fund, to promote the creative arts for inner-city children who might not otherwise get the opportunity to explore music, dance, and literature.  Carey has also been noted for her involvement with the Red Cross, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and the World Hunger Relief Movement, and has recorded singles for charities and performed in many benefit concerts aimed at raising money and awareness for a variety of different causes.  She sees her charitable work as an essential way to give children direction and advice to ensure “that they get a better life” (Look to the Stars).

Over the span of her two-decade music career, Carey’s musical life has sometimes been overshadowed by her tumultuous personal life, including a sensational marriage and subsequent divorce to Tommy Mottola, the Columbia record executive who was instrumental in launching her career.  Carey herself has discounted the influence of her private life on her popularity, stating that “if critics have problems with my personal life, it’s their problem.  Anybody with half a brain would realize that it’s the charts that count” (ThinkExist).

Carey recently had twins with current husband, Nick Cannon, and divides her time between volunteer work, songwriting, and family life.

Works Cited

Biography.com. Mariah Carey. A & E Television, 2011. Web. 19 Oct. 2011.

Look to the Stars. Mariah Carey Charitable Work. Look to the Stars, 2011. Web. 19 Oct. 2011.

Mariah: The Official Fan Site. Automatic Princess Holdings, 2011. Web. 19 Oct. 2011.

Think Exist.  Mariah Carey Quotations. Think Exist, 2011. Web. 19 Oct. 2011.

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