Mariah Carey’s new memoir, “The Meaning of Mariah Carey” due Sept. 29


In 1990, while Grunge and heavy metal were fighting their own grudge match, Mariah Carey burst into the world of pop music like no one few people had ever heard. Her looks did not hurt, but it was the voice, the stratospheric notes that gave some of her phrasing a stylistic push, that made Carey into the icon she is today. Publicity about the singer’s new book due out Tuesday, Sept. 29 is fairly wide-reaching. From Oprah’s AppleTV show, to Pink Planet, USA Today and elsewhere, it seems as though excitement is building for “The Meaning of Mariah Carey.”

Mariah Carey: Talented legend; legendary shade-giver

Audiences who have been listening to Carey since her debut in 1990, have likely followed her career in the almost three decades since. A standout performer in her own right, Carey has also teamed up with some of the music industry’s biggest legends to create songs that people love. Artists such as the late Rick James, Carole King, Missy Elliott and others have joined Carey on wax.

A search through Carey’s catalog reveals that her body of work is almost overwhelming. Her cover songs include titles by Phil Collins, R.E.M., and Carey has proven herself skillful at singing secular holiday tunes as well as Gospel tracks and Gospel holiday songs.

“Me. I Am Mariah…the Elusive Chanteuse,” (Def Jam 2014) found the singer using her considerable talents on songs like “Cry,” “Faded,” and “Dedicated.” The title of the album also indicates the public perception of the singer. As an “elusive chanteuse,” few people knew the real Carey. Instead, they knew her more for her gif-friendly expressions and her claim not to know Jennifer Lopez.

The claim that she does not know Lopez is something the writers at Pink Planet find hilarious. They have decided that Carey should earn “a Booker Prize, Pulitzer Prize, and Noble Prize” for the way she “shades” Lopez.

What might be more interesting to a larger demographic is how does Carey’s rags-to-riches dynamic put her at odds with her siblings, sometimes referred to as “ex-brother” and “ex-sister.” The difficulties with her siblings, her arguably problematic marriages, her bipolar disorder, and her being the mother of twins, give her something in common with millions of Americans because those facets make her human. That her difficulties have not dulled her willingness to sing make “The Meaning of Mariah Carey” worth reading.

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana who lives in New York City where she studies creative nonfiction at Columbia University. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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