Mariah Carey, from queen of Christmas to queen of music

The month of December has come and who says end of the year, also says Christmas. This means that you probably already have ears that bleed from hearing All I Want for Christmas is You of Mariah Carey. Planetary tube, qualified by the magazine RollingStone as “one of the biggest party standards”the song has become a real popular phenomenon since its release in 1994.

Composed by the pop-star herself for her album Merry Christmas, the song has long squatted the top 10 of international sales. It is also the best-selling Christmas song composed by a woman in the world. Entrance to Guinness Book records in 2019, All I Want For Christmas is You is now recognized as the best-selling Christmas song of all time. The same year, the song reached the first place in the American weekly Billboard Hot Top 100 ranking. All these records allowed Mariah Carey to become the queen of Christmas, a trademark that the artist more or less knew how to exploit.

A symbolic Christmas queen

At the time of the title’s release, Mariah Carey explained the creative process behind this song, which has become a holiday anthem, despite the essential classics of Frank Sinatra or Brenda Leespecifying : “I’ve been singing Christmas carols since I was a little girl. I used to sing Christmas songs. When we started the album, we had to find a balance between Christmas hymns and festive songs. It was a priority for me to write new songs, but for most people who really want to listen to Christmas standards, they can see that a new song is good too. »

music videoAll I Want for Christmas is You reissued. © EMS/Columbia

The singer has built a real signature around this piece, the profits of which were estimated in 2017 at more than 60 million dollars. The singer has indeed declined this phenomenal success in a story for children All I Want For Christmas (2015), in animated film, My best Christmas present (2017), but also in musical Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Specialavailable on Apple TV+ (2020).

The artist even attempted to legally file for the title of Christmas Queen in 2022. More specifically, in March 2021, Mariah Carey sent, through her company Lotion LLC, a request to the United States Office of patents and trademarks in order to have the exclusivity of the name “Queen of Christmas”. A request which was refused after the manifest opposition of other singers and the risk of monopoly that this recognition would entail.

It is therefore necessary to believe that Mariah Carey will remain the queen of Christmas simply in a symbolic way. Anyway, the artist doesn’t need an additional legal buffer given the many remixes, covers and tributes thatAll I Want For Christmas is You aroused. We think of the title covered by So So Def Remix in featuring with Jermaine Dupri and Bow Wow (2002), in the cult passage of Love Actually (2003) or even crooner Michael Bublé’s album of Christmas songsreleased in 2011. Reissued in 2013, the song will also benefit from a new clip in 2019, with many celebrities, while Mariah Carey will choose to reinterpret her iconic hit alongside Justin Bieber.

Recovery in Love Actually ofAll I Want For Christmas is You. © Universal Pictures

An icon of the 1990s

The song is anchored in our pop culture and, by reinventing it regularly, its performer has symbolically become the queen of Christmas. But to limit the work of Mariah Carey to a hit, or to a commercial empire would be simplistic. The pop-star is now considered one of the last divas, having risen alongside the greatest artists, such as Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion and Whitney Houston, thanks to an exceptional voice that can reach six octaves.

Born in 1969, in the United States, she began her career in the 1990s. Freshly arrived in New York, this autodidact lived off odd jobs before performing the backing vocals of Brenda K. Starr, who later introduced her to the producer of music Tommy Mottola. Convinced that he had just discovered a real pearl, he signed her on his label and then offered her a contract for ten albums. The first opus, soberly titled Mariah Carey (1990) was an immediate success upon its release thanks to titles like Vision of Love and I Don’t Wanna Cry. These titles often evoke love, a subject that will be found throughout the artist’s career, as well as racism, social alienation, death, world hunger and spirituality.

Clip of Vision of Love, from Mariah Carey’s debut album. © Columbia

After his eponymous album follows, a year later, emotions, another success for the artist who won his first two Grammy Awards thanks to this new creation. In the early 1990s, Mariah Carey was a hit machine. She has a string of successes, her album sales break records. The artist even silenced her detractors who accused her of being a simple studio singer, during a now cult show, MTV Unpluggedduring which it resumes I’ll Be There of the Jacksons 5. In 1993, his third album, music boxconfirms his status as an international pop-star thanks to hits like Dreamer and Hero. This enthusiasm also pushes her to undertake her first tour.

She continued in 1994 with her Christmas album Merry Christmas. Then, in 1995, with Daydream, an opus turned this time towards R’n’B and hip-hop sounds, where Mariah Carey had favored soul and pop sounds in her previous creations. However, this fifth album does not disappoint. Sold in 31 million copies worldwide, it contains in particular the titles fantasy and One Sweet Dayperformed as a duet with Boyz II Men.

From pop star to R’n’B diva

This transition to R’n’Bthe artist imposes it definitively from his sixth album, Butterfly (1997). This opus represents an artistic liberation for the singer, accustomed to the pop songs that her producer and ex-husband, as well as the label, once imposed on her. Throughout the recording and unlike her old opuses, she collaborates with hip-hop and rap producers, such as Sean Puffy Combs, Missy Elliott and Poke & Tone.

However, her most iconic duet comes a year later, and places her opposite another iconic pop diva, Whitney Houston, on the song. When You Believeincorporated into the animated film’s soundtrack The Prince of Egypt. A performance that will earn the two performers the Oscar for best original song in 1999. Since then, Mariah Carey has worked on numerous film soundtracks (The Grinch, tenness or Just for your hair…), before appearing in front of the camera herself as an actress for precious (2009) and The Butler (2013).

In 1999 released the album Rainbow which really imposes it in the world of hip hop. Whether heartbreaker, in duet with Jay-Z, ranks number 1 on the Billboard, the promotion of the album is tainted by the rivalry between Sony and Mariah Carey, who wishes to separate from her studio. Their complicated relationship, made public by the artist, founded the beginnings of a capricious image which Mariah Carey would later find difficult to get rid of, after several failed performances, her first artistic flop with Glitter (2001), a nervous breakdown and the fierceness of the press.

A triumphant artist

Nicknamed the “little Cinderella of America”, she returns to the front of the stage with her album charmbracelet in 2002, but it is above all his opus, The Emancipation of Mimi (2005) qualified as “the return of the Voice” which allows it to be rehabilitated. It’s Like That and We Belong Together are real successes. Success that will last until the release ofE=mc2 (2008), then his twelfth albumMemoirs of an Imperfect Angel (2009).

Clip of We Belong Together.

Since then, Mariah Carey has produced three additional albums and earned her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The artist has also distinguished herself at charity concerts, notably during several Divas Lives, but she also gave a series of concerts during her Residence in Las Vegas. The face of several brands, she founded her own cosmetics company and has been surfing for several years, through reissues and derivative products on All I Want For Christmas is You.

If today, his fans are waiting for the comeback of the artist in the studio, since his last original album, Bail (2018), Mariah Carey has never been very far from the spotlight. Whether it’s during the holiday season, or through her constant reinvention as a musical artist, actress and businesswoman, this icon of the 1990s has built an impressive artistic career. More than a pop star or a capricious singer, this R’n’B diva is one of the essentials of our contemporary and popular repertoire. The virtuosity of her voice allowed her to acquire the title of “supreme singer”. A recognition that proves that in addition to being the Queen of Christmas, Mariah Carey is above all a Queen of music.

Mariah Carey, from queen of Christmas to queen of music