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The singer recently spoke about the complexity of her identity in her musical career. Photo: Reuters
The singer recently spoke about the complexity of her identity in her musical career. Photo: Reuters

Mariah Carey, what is it like to be a mixed race woman in a white man's industry?

The legendary artist and diva of the 90s talked about her career and the difficulties of being a biracial woman in the music industry 

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In her 2020 autobiography, The Meaning of Mariah Carey, the famous singer and diva reveals her story to stardom first hand and discusses issues she had not shared before about her journey through the music industry.

With 15 albums in her career, 72 chart-topping singles, over 200 million records sold and now a best-selling book, Mariah spoke in her latest interview on the popular podcast of Questlove Supreme (leader of the band The Roots) about the difficulties a biracial woman can experience along the way. 

With an African-American and Afro-Venezuelan father and an Irish mother, Mariah talked about her personal relationship with herself, the identity conflicts, and how her position as a biracial woman conditioned many moments of her career.

"My story doesn't start with the release of my first album... It all begins when I use the 'wrong' crayon to draw my father, who is black, when I don't understand my own hair because I am half black. It all starts with those identity problems, with those internal struggles, with those things that are beyond your control. It also starts when record company executives don't know which audience to target because, on a racial level, I'm ambiguous," Mariah explained in the interview. 

The 90s was a vibrant period during which many stereotypes were broke, and women were able to make their way in the industry through hard work. At the beginning of her career, the singer went through R&B, pop and hip hop, trying to discover who her audience was — although with her amazing talent, who wasn't?

But Carey makes it clear in the interview that personally, the challenge was as much about musical property as being a woman in the 1990s, color and race.

A singer, song writer, music producer, actress and philanthropist, in addition to her enormous talent, Carey is an example of personal pursuit, perseverance and struggle in a white man's world.

 

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