This week I’m celebrating Mariah Carey.
2016 marks 20 years of me being a Mariah Carey fan. It was the summer of 1996 around the time “Always Be My Baby” started playing on the radio. I had the whole house to myself and I saw we had the Daydream album so I unwrapped it and put the CD on and it was a “sweet, sweet fantasy” ever since.
Funny thing was I wasn’t even the first Mariah Carey fan in the family. I remember “Hero” (from the album Music Box) being played and I didn’t like it back then. I also didn’t care for “Fantasy” because I kept hearing it everywhere. Then, “One Sweet Day” came on and I remember recording it on a cassette tape from the radio and writing down the lyrics by playing the tape, pausing it, and playing it again and rewinding it if necessary.
Butterfly was the first album I bought of hers. Then I started collecting all her albums and singles. I even started a Collector’s Club where people from all over the world can trade or buy and sell their items with other fans.
One of the only times I was ever really bad in life was when I snuck back into the movie theater to watch Glitter. I paid for a ticket to watch it the first time but then hid in the bathroom until the next showing.
When I lived in the Philippines, people would always tell me if Mariah was on TV so I wouldn’t miss her. I remember one time, someone called from another city at 10 at night just to let me know there was a Mariah Carey concert on TV. I thought there was an emergency because who calls that late in the evening! And, I may have been late to school one morning because MTV had been playing a marathon of her music videos. Luckily I came up with an excuse to cover it up!
I’ve gotten to see her in concert 5 times. The first time (for her Charmbracelet album) was definitely the best because everything was new and exciting. The most recent time (for her #1 to Infinity residency) was last year and there was a situation. When I posted Mariah’s concert was cancelled, I started getting texts of condolences. It was kind of funny because my family and friends knew I was looking forward to it.
Even with all these stories I’ve just shared, I wouldn’t really call myself obsessive or anything. Compared to other fans, I’m very tame. But, throughout the years, I have become a fan not only of her music but also of just her as a human being. Despite all her success, she doesn’t really get the respect she deserves for all her contribution the music industry. People tend to get hung up on her diva persona and skimpy wardrobe choices. They expect her to still be in top vocal form even after 26 years in the business. It’s crazy and unfair and really an interesting case study of how media treats celebrities.
To end things, I’m going back to the music. When I’m having a bad day or need cheering up, her songs are my therapy. Her voice carries me. Her lyrics talk of love, loss, faith, and identity. Her remixes are fun and brilliant. I love even the background vocals which are almost like their own separate songs. It’s no surprise that the soundtrack of my life is basically just one very long Mariah Carey album!
What’s your favorite Mariah Carey album or song?
Which singer has made an impact in your life?
What are you celebrating this week?