Mariah Carey explains how much Christmas means to her because of her ‘extremely dysfunctional childhood’: ‘It’s shocking that I got through it’

By Becca Longmire.

Mariah Carey opens up about her “dysfunctional” childhood and reveals why it plays a part in how important Christmas is to her in a new interview with W magazine.

The musician, who graces the cover of the publication’s ‘Volume 6 The Holiday Issue’, shares what Christmas means to her: “Honey, listen, I know most of the time people say, ‘Oh, yay! Look She’s, like, so festive and such a Christmas girl,” or whatever. But, really, Christmas makes me happy.”

“People think I had this princess life or whatever, some sort of fairy tale existence where I just emerged, like, ‘Here I am!’ And that’s not it. I doubt you have enough time to write about all this, so we won’t go into details.

“But when you grow up with a chaotic life and you’re able to have that transformation where you can make your life whatever you want it to be?” This is joy for me. That’s why I want my children to have everything they can have. I want them to be able to understand that they can be anything they want to be.

Mariah Carey. Photographs by Ethan James Green

READ MORE: Mariah Carey’s kids join her as she sings ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ at Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade

The magazine points out that “Carey was born in Huntington, New York, to a black father, an aeronautical engineer, and a white mother, a singer who performed with the New York City Opera”.

Carey previously opened up about scenes of violence and substance abuse among her siblings in her 2020 memoir, The significance of Mariah Carey.

She adds to WMag“It was an extremely dysfunctional childhood, to the point where it’s shocking that I got away with it at all… There were no role models for people who were clearly mixed or, you know, at fair-skinned or whatever we categorized as then, so I didn’t know who to turn to when I was growing up. It was tough.”

Mariah Carey.  Photographs by Ethan James Green
Mariah Carey. Photographs by Ethan James Green

Elsewhere in the Candid Chat, Carey talks about the success of “All I Want for Christmas” and how the track came about: “Okay, so the idea of ​​me doing a Christmas album came from the house of records. It was very early in my career, and I thought it was a little early for me to do this, but I was like, ‘Well, I love Christmas.’ when I was a child, but I always try to find the bright light there.

“I was up a little late, walking around this house where I lived with my first ex-husband, and I had a keyboard, and, no, I’m not a pianist by any means, but I can pinch some chords when I need to. But I prefer to work with a virtuoso pianist because I hear the chords. I was having a conversation with Solange [Knowles] about that last night. When you hear a chord and you can sing every note to a virtuoso player, it’s a lot easier than me sitting there saying, “Oh, I know, I’m missing a little thing here”…I don’t have we don’t want it to be specific to any era, so we didn’t use the sounds that were happening at that time. This way it would feel classic and timeless. But I never could have imagined that it would become such an important part of my life…”

READ MORE: Mariah Carey reveals she’ll open for Santa at Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade: ‘My childhood dream comes to life’

The hitmaker also opens up about her reputation as a diva, telling the magazine, “There are things that people aren’t aware of, because all that quote-unquoted ‘diva’ stuff is always what people see first… Yes, I play it. And yes, some of that is real. I can not help myself. For example, what if you grew up with an opera singer for your mother, who went to Juilliard and got her start at Lincoln Center? There is just a certain amount that will emerge. So, yeah, it’s just an assignment, and sometimes it’s done on purpose, and sometimes it’s just, like, you know, an answer.

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