The notoriously private Mariah Carey is sharing her personal experiences on her own terms in The Meaning Of Mariah Carey. The Grammy award-winning singer with the larger than life persona addresses her encounters with domestic violence incidents, mental health struggles, family feuds and tabloid rumors in the recently released memoir.
Co-written with former ESSENCE fashion editor and image activist Michaela angela Davis, the book spans Carey’s entire life and career. Nothing is left off the table.
Long before she was assuring Andy Cohen she had in fact never heard of a certain Bronx born Oscar-nominee, she was correcting her teachers about the origin of her curly hair and tanned skin. (Coincidentally, it’s Cohen’s Henry Holt imprint, Andy Cohen Books, published Carey’s memoir.)
In her troubled childhood, where her biracial upcoming leaves her open to microaggressions and outright scorn, she had to fight to be seen for who she was. From a grandmother who barred her father from the house because of his Blackness to a sister who sees her beauty as a cash cow, Carey found it difficult to know who she could trust growing up.
Despite her difficulties she was able to use her gift to guide her to better circumstances.
The book follows her as she climbs the R&B charts into a “gilded cage,” as she describes her a marriage to music executive Tommy Mottola. She spares no details as she relays the years of “emotional abuse” in the relationship that spurred her to seek “Honey” colored freedom in the late 90s.
Carey isn’t the first musician to reveal the true price of living in the spotlight on the page. Many artists have penned books to dispel persistent rumors and share their perspectives on their public personas.
Check out some of the most candid musical memoirs on the bookshelves below and find out about some of the hardships behind some of your favorite hits.
Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins reveals how she spent her time away from the TLC sisterhood. The 90s icon talks about her struggle with sickle cell anemia, clashing with her group mates and that signature haircut.
Carroll's dynasty started with some bumps in the road. The late diva shares the details of a childhood trauma that would follow her from the steps of her Harlem high school to Hollywood—and eventually into our hearts.
Return to the roots of funk music in this moving memoir where Day is honest about his shortcomings, his addictions and his friendship turned rivalry with Prince. Find out how he was able to start his own band, The Time, and establish a solo career that solidified his status as a multiplatinum artist.
Braxton breaks down how family values can be bent in the recording booth. She also shares how she grappled with being a sex symbol and preacher’s kid and gives readers a bird’s eye view of her sisters before they hit the small screen.