is an American singer, songwriter, actress, record producer, and entrepreneur. Referred to as the "Songbird Supreme" by the Guinness World Records, she is noted for her five-octave vocal range, power, agility, melismatic style, and signature use of the whistle register. She rose to fame in 1990 after signing to Columbia Records and releasing her eponymous debut album, which topped the US Billboard 200 for eleven consecutive weeks. Soon after, Carey became the first and only artist to have their first five singles reach number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, including, "Vision of Love", "Love Takes Time", "Someday", "I Don't Wanna Cry", and "Emotions". . Vision of Love is often credited as popularising the use of melisma in mainstream Pop and R&B music.
Carey married Sony Music head Tommy Mottola in 1993. Shortly after Carey became the label's highest-selling act with the worldwide success of follow-up album Music Box, which sold 28 million copies & remains the highest selling album of her career. It was certified diamond & became one of the best-selling albums of all time.
Her major success continued with Merry Christmas, eventually becoming the best-selling Christmas album of all time. Carey then released Daydream, it was certified diamond for selling over 20 million copies worldwide.
These albums spawned some of Carey's most successful singles, including "Dreamlover", "Hero", "Without You", "All I Want for Christmas Is You", and "Fantasy". Carey released, "One Sweet Day" ; it became the longest-running U.S. number-one single in history, with a total of sixteen weeks. Another song, "Always Be My Baby", also peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. After separating from Mottola in 1997, Carey adopted a new image and incorporated more elements of hip hop into her music with the release of Butterfly . Billboard named her the most successful artist of the 1990s in the United States, while the World Music Awards honored her as the world's best-selling recording artist of the 1990s.
After eleven consecutive years charting a Billboard Hot 100 number-one single, Carey parted ways with Columbia in 2000 and signed a record-breaking $100 million recording contract with Virgin Records. However, following her highly publicized physical and emotional breakdown, as well as the critical and commercial failure of her film Glitter and its accompanying soundtrack, her contract was bought out for $50 million by Virgin and she signed with Island Records the next year. After a relatively unsuccessful period, she returned to the top of music charts with The Emancipation of Mimi . It became the world's second best-selling album of 2005 and produced "We Belong Together", which spent fourteen non-consecutive weeks at number one on the US charts and made her the only artist to top the Billboard Hot 100 Decade-End chart twice. With the release of "Touch My Body", Carey gained her eighteenth number-one single in the United States, more than any other solo artist in the history of recorded music, and extended her lead as the artist to have spent the most cumulative weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. She is also the female songwriter and producer with the most number-one singles in U.S. chart history.
Carey ventured into film with a critically acclaimed role in Precious . The film was directed by Lee Daniels; and based on the novel Push by "Sapphire". Carey released the moderate success Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel . The album peaked at number three on the Billboard 200 chart. That was followed by Carey's second holiday album; Merry Christmas II You ; the lead single "Oh Santa!" peaked at number one on the Billboard Holiday Digital Songs chart. In 2013 she appeared as a judge on American Idol, and the following year released her studio album Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse . In November 2018, Carey released her 15th studio album; Caution . It received universal acclaim from critics and was featured at the top of numerous year-end lists. She also became the only artist in history to replace herself at number one on the since its inception in 2002.
Throughout her career, Carey has sold more than 200 million records worldwide, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, she is the third-best-selling female artist in the United States, with 64 million certified albums. In 2012, she was ranked second on VH1's list of the 100 Greatest Women in Music. Aside from her commercial accomplishments, Carey has won five Grammy Awards, nineteen World Music Awards, ten American Music Awards, and fifteen Billboard Music Awards. She has consistently been credited with inspiring a generation of singers, and is hailed as being one of the pioneers of Contemporary R&B music.