Mariah Carey; light of my life, soundtrack to my shower-singing and the first person I learnt that thing where you hoik up your bra with a hair tie to make your cans look huge.
I first fell in love with Mariah when everyone else was creaming themselves over the Spice Girls, like, shaking and crying in LOVE with them, not in a "That's so 90s! I'm going to re-post it on my tumblr!" way. But in reality, deep down I thought they were a bunch of clown-whores in stupid shoes that couldn't sing. Nevertheless, I continued to point-and-pout in the playground with my pals, as if idolising Vicky from up the road in Watford was a thing I actually wanted to do.
After that, I entered that awk pre-teen phase of thinking I should be more discerning about my music taste and pretended to take an interest Brit-pop (shut up). But, again, even though I thought Justine Frischmann looked like she'd been slamming crystal meth for six months, I faked giving a shit, in constant fear my older sister would walk in on me trying to emulate Mariah's eyes-closed-one-hand-holding-a-mic-the-other-hand-stroking-an-imaginary-window-pane singing technique.
But, somewhere between finding the music I really liked and then being paid to openly have an opinion on it, I stopped caring and started to fan-girl for Mimi openly. On that note, here's my Noisey guide to some of Mariah Carey's finest, moments.
THE TIME SHE COULDN'T PUT A JACKET ON ALL THE WAY
Remember when mini-Mariah first broke and she had poodle hair and all-black-everything outfits? But even though she was singing with a gospel choir about long walks in the park and maybe holding hands on the third date, you just knew that every time she was physically incapable of putting a jacket on all the way, she was BUSTING to break out the booty shorts and perspex stilettos. Which brings me to…
THE TIME SHE DIVORCED TOMMY MOTTOLA FOR BEING A DICKBAG AND RELEASED "HONEY" LIKE IT WAS NBD
What's the best way to get back at your domineering record executive ex-hubby who kept you out of push-up bras and in waistcoats? Get Bad Boy to remix your latest song, crowbar more semen references into it than I can shake a bumper pack of sex wipes at, then spend the entirety of the music video getting in and out of a wetsuit.
AND THEN EVERY TIME SHE'S BEEN ALLERGIC TO WEARING A BRA
When has crochet ever been a viable means of support?
THAT TIME SHE SAT IN HER JACUZZI-BATH ON MTV CRIBS
Everyone remembers where they were when they first saw Mariah Carey's episode of MTV Cribs, right? I was sitting in front of it in awe, daydreaming with the naivety of youth that one day I'd be able to have a mortgage for something as substantial as the lingerie section of her closet alone. How wrong I was! (Seriously, my rent is making me so poor, waking up is a struggle.)
After showing MTV her private militia of teacup dogs and the twenty-seventh mermaid themed lounge, she proceeded to have a candlelit bubble bath in front of twenty camera-men, because LOL, she's Mariah. She probably had that wet towel destroyed in her special towel destroying room afterwards.
EVERY TIME SHE'S HAD GREAT HAIR
My favorite thing about Mariah Carey is that the only significant image overhaul she's had throughout her twenty-year strong career is a blowdry and a sudden dedication to flouting the tits or ass rule. Y'know why that is, Rihanna / Madonna/ Gaga? 'Cos Mariah has a seven octave vocal range, bitch.
THAT TIME SHE PHOTOSHOPPED HER LEGS
Something about body dysmorphia, blah, blah, detrimental effect on young women, summat about the media being scumbags etc. But, hello, DEM LEGZ. If I were as famous as Mariah Carey, I'd have a better personality and dry ice at my feet photoshopped into paparazzi shots.
I don't even know.
That's right, she's versatile, motherfuckers.
THAT TIME SHE COVERED "WITHOUT YOU" AND EVERYONE BORN AFTER 1990 FORGOT ABOUT THE HARRY NILSSON VERSION
Y'know what the best thing to do is when your boyfriend suddenly dumps you for that slut from hell that he was tagged in a Facebook photo with ages ago? You fill their car lock with plumbing sealant and threaten to disembowel them while they're sleeping is what you do. Kidding! No, you stick on Carey's massive 1994 cover of "Without You" on, you do the bad-crying for a couple of hours and then you shake it off.
While Harry "lime in the coconut" Nilsson's version was, OKAY I GUESS, Carey's inability to stick to one note ever really captured the unbridled levels of I'm-going-to-hang-myself-with-a-dressing-gown-belt torment that women sometimes (all the time) go through immediately after a bad break-up. Find yourself contemplating backing over his dog? Press play.
THAT TIME SHE GOT ODB ON "FANTASY" LIKE IT WAS NOTHING
After her first album, Mariah took some flack for purportedly jumping on the hip-hop bandwagon to break away from her innocent
gospel roots. But Carey casually brushed off criticism by continuing to collaborate with every rapper under the sun like it was NBD and shutting interviewers the fuck down with her knowledge of Mobb Deep and Wu-Tang.
Which brings me neatly to the Ol' Dirty Bastard remix of "Fantasy." Who on God's green earth at Columbia Records made the final call on that? Sure, Ol' Dirty was filmed separately for the remix video and if he was allowed in the same studio as Carey he probably would've had to undergo a rigorous antibacterial cattle bath, but COME ON…MC AND ODB!
THAT TIME SHE HAD A BREAKDOWN THEN BOUNCED RIGHT BACK
Name me a mega-sized pop-star in history that hasn't completely lost their mind and had their breakdown play out in front of a global audience, and I will give you my laminated photo collection of a shaven-headed Britney Spears beating a car with an umbrella.
To be fair, if I had to be in the same room as personality-vacuum Carson Daly, I'd probably start undressing to amuse myself too.
THAT TIME SHE GOT DRUNK AT THE PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARDS AND PEOPLE THOUGHT SHE WAS HAVING ANOTHER BREAKDOWN
LET HER LIVE GUYS, who hasn't inhaled fifteen bottles of free champagne at a sit-down ceremony and humiliated themselves on stage. I know I have, Jesus eff.
THAT TIME SHE RELEASED THE BEST CHRISTMAS SONG OF ALL TIME
Don't you love that moment at the end of the office Christmas party when the first notes of "Fairytale Of New York" kick in and you drunkenly link arms with your colleagues, swaying as all memories of passive-aggressive emails melt into the air? Go fuck yourself, I'd rather be dancing around in my lounge in a slutty Santa outfit on my own.
THAT TIME SHE DID PREGNANCY RIGHT
Have you ever noticed how new mothers always feed you this bullshit about the beauty of childbirth? Like, glossing over the bit where you involuntarily crap yourself in front of a midwife and the father of your child at the point of expulsion, before going on to some ritualistic lying about losing the baby weight "just by being so busy running after the little monster!" and not caring about the sex of their kid "so long as they're healthy :)" Welp, in Mariah World, pregnancy means eating eat chicken fritters until you're the size of a cruise ship, popping out adorable twins, (one boy and one girl…convenient much?) and rounding all that up with a discreet tummy tuck, because Mariah and her uterus do not fuck around.
THAT TIME IN RUSH HOUR
THAT TIME SHE CUFFED NICK CANNON
"Oh hey Mariah, what are you up to today?"
"IDK, hanging out with my handsome, 10-years my junior husband that has a foot-long tattoo of my name emblazoned onto his back, I guess. What are you up to?…Oh wait, I DON'T GIVE A HOT SHIT WHAT YOU'RE DOING TODAY BECAUSE I'M MARIAH MOTHERFUCKING CAREY."
EVERY TIME SHE'S THROWN SHADE AT ANYONE EVER
I would imagine if you had even the simplest of tasks performed for you (one assistant to gauge when she needs chewing gum changed, a team of hummingbirds to dry her hands with their wings when she's in the bathroom) that that would leave a lot of time to fine-tune your shade throwing. And there's no better example than her beef with fellow American Idol Nicki Minaj, with Carey only stopping short at having her PA throw Grammy awards at Nicki. I mean, can you even fathom Mariah having that sinking feeling of l'esprit d'escalier if she were to miss out on a well-placed diss? Even if she did, she'd probably have them shot on sight later anyway.
EVERY TIME SHE HAS BEEN ABLE TO SPEAK TO DOGS ONLY
Follow Jo on Twitter - @FUERTESKNIGHT