In Praise Of Mariah Carey

Posted by : foongpc | Wednesday, September 17, 2008 | Published in


Name me one of the most successful female singer in the world today, and Mariah Carey’s name would come to mind.

Oh, there is Whitney, Celine, Beyonce, Rihanna, Aguilera and what not, but surely Mariah is way above them all. OK, I may be a little bit biased here, but if you’ve been reading my blog, you would know that I’m a huge fan of Mariah. I have all her CDs (well, almost all) and even own a biography book about her life.

My favourite album "Daydream" which first introduced me to Mariah

Still, I don’t consider myself to be a very huge fan. I know of someone who is an even bigger fan. He collects all her CDs including every one of her singles. And he even took leave from work and flew to Singapore to watch her show when she performed there a few years back.

Unfortunately, this world is divided into Mariah lovers and Mariah haters. You either love or hate her. I don’t think there’s any in-betweens.

The "Butterfly" album where Mariah started to get all sexy

The reason I’m blogging about Mariah today is because I just got a little irritated when a friend recently said she hated Mariah. She hated everything about Mariah – the way she dressed, the way she pretended to be nice when she’s really a bitch, even the way she speak. To add insult to injury, she said Mariah could not sing.

I was like, excuse me, you can criticize anything about her, except her singing ability. Why, she’s known for her five octave range, for goodness sake! And if she could not sing, you think she can last this long?

If you really want to know which female artiste who can’t sing but still sell loads of albums, I’ll tell you. She’s Madonna, that’s who. She can’t sing to save her life! I am sorry, I am not supposed to be putting down other singers, but I just hate it when people compare Madonna to Mariah. What were these people thinking? There’s simply no comparison! Madonna loses hands down!

Yes, I can't deny the fact that Madonna is very good at reinventing herself, and that’s probably why she could last so long. But her singing? I tell you. If you were to place both Mariah and Madonna together and ask them to sing, Madonna would look like a total amateur. But to be fair, Madonna will surely beat Mariah performance-wise. On this, I’m not going to argue.

The album that was a commercial flop and led to Mariah's nervous breakdown

Coming back to my friend, the Mariah hater. She said that the only reason Mariah is so successful is because she dresses so little and flirts her way around. Well actually I can’t blame my friend. Mariah did come out with the song “Touch My Body” which to some people, is absolutely in poor taste. But if they really watch the video, they would know it’s meant to be funny, in other words, it’s a joke. Mariah herself said, why take things so seriously?

In fact, I myself did not like it when she was so scantily clad, especially during those days when she was not exactly slim! Her fashion sense was disastrous and it was certainly not flattering! But her singing ability was good and that’s all that really matters. Nowadays, she has slimmed down a lot and even cut a really nice figure, so I no longer have any qualms about her dressing sexily.

To be fair to Mariah, she DID NOT become successful after she started dressing sexily. She was already a major success when she debuted in 1990 with her song “Vision Of Love”. At that time, she was dressing up like, in her own words, Mary Poppins. That by itself prove that she has real talent.

Of course I am not saying her voice is better than Whitney Houston or Celine Dion. These two have powerful vocals and they are great too. In fact, I’m a fan of both Whitney and Celine. What the heck, I even like Beyonce, Aguilera and the latest star, Rihanna.

But what really sets Mariah apart from say, Whitney or Celine, is that Mariah actually writes her own songs, and co-produces her own tracks. She is even quite business savvy in promoting her albums. And not forgetting, she has a No.1 hit on the Billboard singles chart with every one of her albums (except Glitter and Charmbracelets) and almost all of those No. 1 songs were written by her. That got to make her one of the most successful singer-songwriter in the world today!

Mariah's #1's compilation album stayed at No.1 on Malaysian RIM Chart for over 22 weeks!

As for her character, I don’t think you can judge a person by simply relying on newspapers and gossip magazines. I won’t know the true Mariah, would I? What is she like in private? Nobody will know except those close to her.

In fact, what Mariah does in her private life is none of our business! We can listen to the gossips and rumours, but let us not judge the person based purely on those.

There are some people who said they prefer the old Mariah who dressed nicely and sang power inspirational ballads. I love the old Mariah too, but hey, she needed to keep up with the times! The trend in music now is not power ballads, but more on R&B and hip hop.

Just take a look at the top 10 hits on the Billboard Chart nowadays and you can see most songs on the top 10 are hip hop and R&B songs. Mariah is just fitting into the trend. That’s what you must do to continue to survive in this challenging industry. I will even go so far as to say she is one smart girl!

Mariah's comeback album the biggest selling USA album in 2005

How then can you explain that after her melt down in 2001, she literally shot back up with her album The Emancipation Of Mimi in the year 2005 with strong hip hop songs all over the album? She made a major comeback as she was the artiste who sold the most number of albums in USA that year! Wow!

To me, Mariah deserves all the success she is getting. When she hit her 17th No.1 recently with "Touch My Body" which made her the artiste who surpassed Elvis Presley for the most No.1 US singles and second only to The Beatles, she humbly put her accomplishment in perspective by saying "I can never really put myself in the category of people who have not only revolutionised music but also change the world... I'm just feeling really happy and grateful."

That, to me, is the reason why Mariah is so successful. She is always grateful to her fans and to everyone she has worked with. And we all know the great benefit of being grateful. Read my previous post on gratefulness.

Now if you are still not convinced about Mariah’s talent and how she is actually one of the most hardworking and respected artistes in USA, I will let you in on what other major stars (singers, songwriters and producers) said about her in my next post.

Meantime, listen to Mariah belting out her self-penned inspirational song which she aptly called "Mariah's Theme". Mariah did not achieve success easily, and it was even harder to maintain her position as a top singer in the USA. She had once said that her whole life has been about obstacles. There were people and critics who wanted to see her downfall, yet she carried on fighting. This song is her heart-felt rendition of how she looked inside herself for the strength to strive towards her dreams.

Basically, it's a song that tells us to believe in ourselves, have faith in ourselves, and not let other people take away our dreams.

So turn up the volume one notch, sit back and listen to this song with the lyrics provided below. Hopefully you will, like Mariah, learn how to overcome all your life's challenges despite what others say or do to you.

They can say
Anything they want to say
Try to bring me down
But I will not allow anyone to succeed hanging clouds over me
And they can try
Hard to make me feel that I
Don't matter at all
But I refuse to falter in what I believe or lose faith in my dreams

'Cause there's
There's a light in me
That shines brightly
They can try
But they can't take that away from me

Oh they...
They can do
Anything they want to you
If you let them in
But they won't ever win
If you cling to you pride and just push them aside
See I...
I have learned
There's an inner peace I own
Something in my soul that they can not possess
So I won't be afraid and the darkness will fade

'Cause there's
There's light in me
That shines brightly, yes
They can try
But they can't take that away from me

They can't take this
Precious love I'll always have inside me
Certainly the Lord will guide me where I need to go

They can say
Anything they want to say
Try to bring me down
But I won't face the ground
I will rise steadily sailing out of their reach
Oh Lord
They do try
Hard to make me feel that I
Don't matter at all
But I refuse to falter in what I believe or lose faith in my dreams

'Cause there's a light in me
That shines brightly, yes
They can try
But they can't take that away from me

(30) Comments

  1. Anonymous

    My favorite Mariah tune is Dream Lover. Don't ask. LOL. And no, I'm not gay. :-P

    September 17, 2008 at 10:27 AM
  2. Anonymous

    Yea agreed tat mariah is much more better than madona where so lousy in singing with so anoying

    September 17, 2008 at 11:13 AM
  3. Mystery Man said...

    well put! I don't see how anyone can hate Mariah, unles they're just jealous of her talent. Mariah's vocal ability can only be contested by Christina. Now that would bea duet on par with her duet with Whitney.

    My fav Mariah songs are pretty much all of them, but Someday, Always be My Baby, Dreamlover, Touch My Body, and the much lesser known Fly Like a Bird.

    Madonna has enopugh talent to keep making albums, but like she siad, she's more entertainment than vocal ability.

    September 17, 2008 at 12:25 PM
  4. Anonymous

    I beg to disagree! I love Whitney...and the later Christina Aquilera. Mariah? Yucks!!! Hahahahaha!!!!

    September 17, 2008 at 1:43 PM
  5. HappySurfer said...

    Foong, that's a nice tribute. I'm not a fan of Mariah's. The only song I like of hers is "Butterfly". Is there such a song? See, I'm not even sure. :p

    Whitney has an 8-octave range.

    September 17, 2008 at 2:54 PM
  6. foongpc said...

    gallivanter, I like Dreamlover too, though it's not my top favourites. But why would liking that song make you gay?

    darren, yeah, Madonna sucks.

    mystery man, you are right. Christina Aguilera can give Mariah a run for her money. Madonna cannot even compare with these two, but her concerts are always a sell-out cos she's good in entertaining people.
    I love almost all Mariah's songs the latest being "Bye Bye" and "I Stay In Love"

    September 17, 2008 at 4:21 PM
  7. foongpc said...

    suituapui, Whitney and Christina are both great singers. But I like Mariah for she writes some of the best songs.

    happysurfer, yes there's such a song called "Butterfly". It's my favourite too.
    No human beings have 8-octave range! The most is 5-octave, and very few people have that : )

    September 17, 2008 at 4:25 PM
  8. Anonymous

    I used to like her songs but not anymore these days..she has reinvented her style to cater to what is in I don't really blame her. Her old songs are much better. Now, I think she's selling more of an image. But she does have amazing vocals!

    September 17, 2008 at 5:48 PM
  9. HappySurfer said...

    Foong, you said, No human beings have 8-octave range! The most is 5-octave, and very few people have that.

    Not true.
    From Wikipedia, Georgia Brown is a Brazilian singer noted for her extensive vocal range. She currently holds the Guinness World Records for singing the highest recorded vocal note and for possessing the largest recorded vocal range, which spans exactly 8 octaves from G2-G10 using scientific pitch notation.

    Another singer with a higher than 5-octave range is the late Minnie Riperton. She has also been credited for her ability to sustain notes in the sixth and seventh octave for long periods of time. - Wikipedia also.

    She is also noted for her five-and-a-half octave vocal range, with her 1975 single "Lovin' You." I love this song.

    I don't have citation for Whitney however. I'll need to check with my friend the source of his info.

    September 17, 2008 at 6:56 PM
  10. foongpc said...

    my bug life, yes her old songs are very good. I know a lot of people who no longer listen to her songs because she's now into hip hop. I did not like it at first, but now I'm used to it and I think her hip hop songs are very nice and catchy, especially with her last two albums.

    September 17, 2008 at 10:49 PM
  11. foongpc said...

    happysurfer, oops! You are correct. I just checked on wikipedia. But this Brazilian lady must be superhuman to do that, cos to my knowledge, no humans can do that. Even 5 octaves are already very remarkable.

    In fact, I even doubt Mariah can do 5 octaves, more likely 4 and a half. Searching on the internet is rather frustrating cos there are some who even said she can reach 7 octaves.

    Minnie Riperton - yes she can hit very high notes, and she is said to have influenced Mariah in reaching the high registers.
    Guess what? I can do only 2 octaves. Haha!

    Anyway, regardless how many octaves one can reach does not really matter, its how you control the tone that's important. To me, Mariah is one singer who really know how to make use of her voice effectively, even though her voice is not as powerful as Whitney and some other singers.

    September 17, 2008 at 11:40 PM

    I have always like Mariah's music and as for her as a person who knows as like you said, you can never trust the magazines. I am glad she seems happy in love now.

    September 18, 2008 at 7:20 AM
  13. Tekkaus said...

    Mariah carey rocks! I would rate her amongst the best with celine dion and witney houstan! haha =) Ok, she's dressing rather scantily or little these few days, but she does has her vocal to back that up! having ups and downs in her career, I must say she is a survivor in her own right! And she survived all those criticisms because she still have her voice to pull her through the hard times. All in all she's a great singer. If you can't bear the sight of her, just listen to her voice. =)

    September 18, 2008 at 12:05 PM
  14. Mariuca said...

    YAY! I LOVE Mariah Carey, she is my Diva! :):):)

    September 18, 2008 at 12:41 PM
  15. eiling lim said...

    Wow, you really is a MC fan! no comments about her personality but she definitely can sing.

    September 18, 2008 at 1:36 PM
  16. Johnny Ong said...

    she's only one of the few singers who could sing a wide range of octaves

    September 18, 2008 at 1:56 PM
  17. Anonymous

    Thanks for the up close and personal elaboration of Mariah Carey singing career. To be honest, I am not really a big fan of her, not to say the whole english song industry. A lot of time I found a song I like which I dun know the artist name.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:41 PM
  18. Anonymous

    Oh yes, her voice is very sweet.

    September 18, 2008 at 10:02 PM
  19. day-dreamer said...

    Coincidentally I'm listening to Mariah Carey's "Bye Bye" while typing this... it's a very nice song.

    I don't deny her singing talents. But it's up to other people to like or hate her. Don't get too worked up over people like your friend...

    September 18, 2008 at 10:56 PM
  20. foongpc said...

    cc, I agree with you - she does have an angel's voice! : )

    health nut wannabee mom, great to know you are another fan of Mariah! Yeah, she does seem happier nowadays.

    tekkaus, you are right. She lasts this long because she has real talent and a good voice. And good advice you gave there - if you can't bear to see her, just listen to her sing : )

    September 19, 2008 at 2:15 AM
  21. foongpc said...

    mariuca, thanks for dropping by! Glad to know Mariah is your kind of diva
    : )

    eiling, yes, I'm totally a Mariah Carey fan! Yeah, she is a very talented singer - I like the way she improvise on the melody.

    johnny ong, yes 4 and a half octaves to be exact if you don't count her high shrill which she sometimes use in her singing.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:23 AM
  22. foongpc said...

    jam, you don't like English songs? Maybe you prefer Chinese songs? I guess if you don't like rap and hip hop which is prevalent in the charts nowadays, you won't like English songs that much then.

    neo, yeah, sweet as Honey : )

    day-dreamer, Bye Bye is a very beautiful and touching song if you relate to someone close who just died. Absolutely love that song!
    Don't worry - I'm not getting worked up at all. Everyone has their likes and dislikes and everyone is free to voice his or her opinions : )

    September 19, 2008 at 2:30 AM
  23. sean tan said...

    its mC! her songs..well..the old ones are just classic... as for the latest album, there are 2 tracks that keep playin in my lists :- I Stay in Love and Bye Bye .. so nice!

    September 20, 2008 at 10:30 AM
  24. foongpc said...

    sean, those two songs are my favourites too! I've been listening to her latest album since May this year and had not gotten bored yet!: )

    September 20, 2008 at 10:17 PM
  25. Anonymous

    i like her sexy long legs! :D *drool*

    September 21, 2008 at 12:07 PM
  26. foongpc said...

    Yeah, she looks better after her strict workout with a personal trainer. Hope she keeps it that way! you should have seen her legs last time when she was plump - it's horrible! : )

    September 22, 2008 at 11:03 AM
  27. Anonymous

    Hi there!
    Yeay... MC lover huh? Me too!!
    I've been her fan since she first started.. I still have her video!
    Anyway although I'm a fan, I have to say that yes, she's changed a lot now.. I honestly prefer her then.. But she's way prettier now.. Only that now her image is this very, very "girly", which I don't really agree..
    And, no way... NOBODY can ever say that she can't sing.. Cos she's one hell of a singer and nobody can top that..
    Anyway, if you are interested, you can read up my Tokyo post cos I was one of the lucky winners to get to meet her. :)

    September 24, 2008 at 1:24 PM
  28. foongpc said...

    cashmere, wow! meeting up with Mariah Carey in person is a dream come true! Will go read your blog. Thanks! : )

    September 25, 2008 at 12:57 AM
  29. Colin said...

    whatever other people tell about mariah carey... whether be it good or bad... we can't deny the fact that she is the best diva!!! and i love her so much!!! nothing comes closer to her!!!

    April 12, 2009 at 7:48 PM
  30. Anonymous

    hello i'm writing tonight from Paris
    this is so amazing
    i have read the whole text that you wrote about MC and this is exactly what i think it's so bizarre when i read it i was like 'these are the exact same words i would have written if i had a blog about mariah'
    about her keeping up with her music
    about her singing ability , pretty much about everything you wrote
    anyway keep it up
    ciao MGM

    July 26, 2009 at 5:35 AM