Mariah Carey (born March 27, 1970 in Huntington, New York, United States) is a singer, songwriter, producer, actress, writer, director, model and philanthropist. Carey came to prominence following the release of her eponymous debut album in June 1990, which was certified multi-platinum and yielded four singles that topped the US Billboard Hot 100. Under the guidance of the then executive director of Columbia Records and later husband Tommy Mottola, she gained international success with her subsequent studio albums Emotions (1991), Music Box (1993) and Merry Christmas (1994); This success established her as the biggest selling artist of Columbia. Her fifth studio album Daydream (1995) made history when the second single "One Sweet Day," a duet with the group Boyz II Men, remained for sixteen consecutive weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100, a record that has not been surpassed to this day. While recording the album, Carey began to deviate from her initial musical styles like R & B and pop, starting her work with hip hop. This musical change became evident with the release of her subsequent album Butterfly (1997), which was the first album Carey made after her split with Mottola.
Carey left Columbia in 2000 and signed a five-album deal worth US $ 100 million with Virgin Records, a subsidiary of EMI Music. Before the release of the film Glitter (2001), in which she played the protagonist Billie Frank, she suffered an "emotional and physical collapse" and was hospitalized due to severe exhaustion. With poor critical and commercial reception of the film and its homonymous soundtrack (2001), Carey had her contract with Virgin canceled and the record company paid her only US$ 49 million. The following year, she was hired by Island Records and made a comeback with the release of her tenth studio album, The Emancipation of Mimi (2005). The second single from it, "We Belong Together" was the most famous song in the United States in the 2000s, receiving the award for "Song of the Decade" by Billboard. In 2009, she did another film role, participating in the film Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire; Carey was also awarded the prize for "Breakthrough Performance Award" in the Palm Springs International Film Festival, Black Reel Awards and NAACP Image Awards 2010.
Throughout her career, Carey sold over 200 million records worldwide, making her one of the biggest selling musical artists of all time. In 1998, she was honored as the artist with the most albums sold in the 1990s in the United States during the World Music Awards. In 2000, Carey was declared the female artist who sold more albums in America this millennium. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), she was positioned in third place among the female artists with best-selling in the United States with sales estimated at 64 million albums, behind only Barbra Streisand and Madonna. With the release of "Touch My Body" (2008), Carey got her 18th number one in the United States, surpassing the record previously held by Elvis Presley among solo artists with the most numbers one in the country. In 2012, Carey was second in the list of the top 100 women in music, published by VH1. In addition to its commercial awards, Carey has earned 5 Grammy Awards, 20 World Music Awards, 23 American Music Awards and 32 Billboard Music Awards. Known as the "wild supreme" by Guinness World Records, she is also known for her vocal reaches five octaves, her style melisma and the recurrent use of the register whistle.