A diva par excellence, the trilling pop singer with a vocal range only dolphins can hear is one of the best selling artists of all time.
After barely graduating high school, Carey landed a gig as a backing vocalist for Brenda K. Starr, who passed along Mariah's demo to Sony Music chief Tommy Mottola at a party. Legend has it, he was so impressed with what he heard riding home in his limo, he had the driver immediately turn around so he could sign her to a deal. In 1990, armed with Mottola's perfectly honed image, Carey released her self-titled debut LP, earning her four No. 1 singles. With a Best New Artist Grammy in hand, she released smash album after smash album, but 1997's Butterfly commemorated her romantic and professional split from Mottola the same year.
Following her break-up from Mottola, her career took a nosedive that led her to star in Glitter, a film practically synonymous with "trainwreck." She also suffered a series of public mental breakdowns after leaving Columbia Records. She managed to turn things around in 2005 with help from a new manager (Benny Medina), Def Jam's L.A. Reid, and a cast of big-name collaborators like Kanye West and The Neptunes: The Emancipation of Mimi was both a critical and commercial success, earned her 10 Grammy nominations, and the single "We Belong Together" spent 14 weeks at No.1 on the charts. These days she rakes in the dough with perfume launches, more albums, and that freakin' Christmas song.
Carey married Tommy Mottola in 1993 in a ceremony that lives up to her diva quota. (They divorced in 1998.) During the late '90s and early '00s, she was linked to Derek Jeter and Eminem, but in April 2008, she married significantly younger rapper Nick Cannon and the couple had twins in 2011. [Image via Getty]