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Black Sounds Beautiful: How Mariah Carey Went From Feeling Out Of Place To One Of The Bestselling Woman Artists Of All Time

Mariah Carey

Photo: Kevin Winter

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Black Sounds Beautiful: How Mariah Carey Went From Feeling Out Of Place To One Of The Bestselling Woman Artists Of All Time

The newest episode of Black Sounds Beautiful highlights five-time GRAMMY winner Mariah Carey and her four-decade stint at the top of the charts

GRAMMYs/Oct 6, 2021 - 01:12 am

Mariah Carey has been at the top of the music world for a while—four decades, to be specific.

At just 20 years old, the singer/songwriter topped the US Billboard Hot 100 chart five times with singles from her self-titled debut album. The eponymous album earned Carey five GRAMMY nominations at the 33rd Annual GRAMMY Awards in 1991, including two wins for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for her single "Vision Of Love."

Watch the newest episode of Black Sounds Beautiful below to learn how the five-octave singer continued to reach new heights throughout her career.

Coming from Irish, African American and Afro Venezuelan descent, Carey faced peculiar criticisms regarding her racial identity throughout her career. She sang about how the commentary affected her on her 1997 track "Outside."

"It's hard to explain," the 34-time GRAMMY nominee sang. "Inherently, it's just always been strange/ Neither here nor there/ Always somewhat out of place everywhere."

"Outside" was the outro song on Carey's Butterfly album, which would earn the megastar three GRAMMY nominations for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best Rhythm & Blues Song.

Watch the video above to see how Carey made a home for herself at the top of the charts and how she's using her success to give back to the community.

Check down below for more breakdowns on some of the top Black artists in music.

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Mariah Carey Tells Fans Fire Music Is Coming With New Album 'Caution'

Mariah Carey

Photo: David Crotty/Getty Images

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Mariah Carey Tells Fans Fire Music Is Coming With New Album 'Caution'

The sultry R&B/pop superstar has announced she will release her 15th studio album next month – what will she bring us this time around?

GRAMMYs/Oct 17, 2018 - 05:39 am

Never one to do things quietly, the GRAMMY-winning R&B/pop diva with the angelic voice Mariah Carey came boldly onto the scene in 1990 with her GRAMMY-nominated debut self-titled album. At the 33rd GRAMMY Awards she took home her first two wins: Best New Artist and for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female for "Vision Of Love," which she performed on the GRAMMY stage. The song was the album's first single and Carey's first No. 1 song. Since taking center stage at the beginning of the '90s the star hasn't looked back, releasing 13 studio albums and plenty of hits over the years. Four years after the release of her last album, she has announced that her next one is a month away. What will she serve up on her 15th LP?

The star recently shared on Twitter that her latest album is called Caution and will be released on Nov. 16, 2018. We first got a hint of a new album on Sept. 13 when she announced an album was in the works and released the lead single, "GTFO." The album's second single, "With You," followed on Oct. 4.

On "GTFO" she confidently asks a soon-to-be-ex lover "How 'bout you get the f*** out?" in breathy vocals over a slow, melodic beat by GRAMMY-winning producer Nineteen85. "With You" feels like a classic Carey R&B love song with her angelic vocals backed by snapping and a melodic slow jam groove produced by hip-hop beat maker DJ Mustard, who lets her voice shine on an uncharacteristically mellow track for him. These songs hint that her latest release will give us songs that not only showcase her incredible vocal range and versatility, but also give us both nostalgia-inducing tracks as well as radio-ready hits.

"GTFO" gives us a taste of some of the new flavor that she is bringing to her new album, singing the song's coy lyrics completely in more-understated breathy vocals without belting any big high notes, not even during the chorus. It's a catchy, playful breakup song, as she confidently sings "get the f*** out/how 'bout you take your tings and be on your merry way?/Fly off with the wind, bye bye baby/How 'bout you scusami, Mimi'll call you a valet."

The song was co-written and co-produced by Jeff Jefferies aka Nineteen85, who is half of OVO R&B duo dvsn and is responsible for producing some of Drake's biggest hits, including the GRAMMY-winning mega-hit "Hotline Bling." On the Drake's song "Emotionless" from his latest album, Scorpion, he samples Carey's lyrics from remixed classic hit "Emotions." Hopefully Jefferies has some catchy hits up his sleeve for Carey, and maybe even brings in some OVO artist surprises.

Carey has released some great collabs over the years, a majority with R&B and hip-hop artists, including Boyz II Men on heartfelt slow jam "One Sweet Day" from 1995's Daydream and Jay-Z on the upbeat classic belter "Heartbreaker" from 1999's Rainbow. We can only hope that the new album will offer some new, soon-to-be-classic hits with some of our other favorite artists.

Her most recent album, Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse, released in 2014, had more collab tracks than usual for her, which could perhaps point towards some hot features on Caution. The deluxe edition of the 2014 album had six songs with other artists, including rappers Nas, Fabolous, Wale and R. Kelly as well as R&B singers Miguel and Mary J. Blige. The  album's lead single, "Beautiful," has Miguel and Carey singing a soulful, feel-good duet, while "Dedicated" features a bounce-y, electronic-infused hip-hop beat with a verse from Nas. Seeing that she worked with big-time hip-hop producers on the new album's lead singles, we can only hope that they not only offered their production genus to more of the tracks, but perhaps brought some of their friends into the studio as well.

Fans only have to wait a month for the full dose of new music from Carey, but until then we will send our prayers to the music gods that the album will feature all of our dream collabs, perhaps some old and new friends, and offer up some new favorite songs, with some to slow dance to and others to belt out in the shower.

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GRAMMY Insider: Mariah Carey, Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift, Halestorm, Bob Dylan, Kanye West, And Usher

All the GRAMMY winners news, including who will take the stage to perform on the Fourth of July

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

(The GRAMMY Insider keeps you up to date about news on your favorite GRAMMY winners, including new album releases, tour updates, notable TV appearances, interviews, and more.)

Fourth Of July Music
The "37th Annual Macy's 4th Of July Fireworks" spectacular will air from New York at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET and feature a fireworks show directed by Usher, and performances by Nick Cannon, Mariah Carey, Selena Gomez, Tim McGraw, and Taylor Swift. … Barry Manilow will take the stage during "A Capitol Fourth — America's Independence Day Celebration" from Washington, D.C., at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. on PBS. … For more Fourth of July music, check out our GRAMMY playlist.     

Lists And Polls
She's been previously voted as one of the hottest female singers of all time, but who does Cher fancy? During a recent appearance on "Watch What Happens Live," the vivacious songstress engaged in a game of "Truth or Cher" with host Andy Cohen, during which she revealed that actor Tom Cruise ranks high on her favorite lovers list. "Well, he was in the top five," said Cher. "It's not a long list, it's a good list." … The fans have spoken and Taylor Swift ruled the 2013 edition of Billboard's Mid-Year Music Awards poll in three categories: First-Half MVP, Favorite Billboard 200 No. 1 Album for Red and the voter's favorite live show of 2013. Other GRAMMY winners who dominated poll categories included Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Pink, Fun.'s Nate Ruess, and Britney Spears.

Museum Exhibits
The late Amy Winehouse is being commemorated with a new exhibit at the Jewish Museum in London. Created in collaboration with Winehouse's brother, Alex Winehouse, the exhibit features intimate items owned by the singer, including the actual list of songs on her "chill-out tape."

New Music
Nine Inch Nails are rivaling Kanye West for the most epilepsy-inducing music video with the release of the visual component to their new single "Came Back Haunted." Directed by filmmaker/musician David Lynch, the video features flashing images of human insects, strange faces and frontman Trent Reznor.

Album Reviews
Kanye West took a walk on the wild side with his new album Yeezus, and it has garnered praise from none other than Lou Reed. In a review for TheTalkhouse.com, Reed wrote that the album is a mix of "supreme beauty … greatness … [and] the same old s***," and that West "really, really, really is talented." "No one's near doing what he's doing, it's not even on the same planet," he added.

Auctions
News is out that the electric guitar with which Bob Dylan shook up the folk world will be auctioned later this year and is expected to bring in $500,000. The Fender Stratocaster that Dylan played at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 is being auctioned by owner Dawn Peterson, who showcased the guitar on an episode of PBS' "History Detectives," where she got the estimate. After the PBS episode aired, Dylan reportedly claimed ownership, but a deal was worked out for Peterson to auction the guitar, preventing the whole thing from being tangled up in red (tape).

Awards
Pianist Keith Jarrett is among four artists named to the 2014 National Endowment for the Arts' Jazz Masters class. Jarrett's classic 1975 live album, The Köln Concert, was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame in 2011.

#theysaidit
Does winning a GRAMMY make you rich? Not necessarily, according to recent GRAMMY winner Lzzy Hale of Halestorm. "It's all been great, but there's a lot of people who are like, 'Wow, they're rich,'" she told Pulse Of Radio. "No, no, the GRAMMY didn't come with a million dollars. We just got a statue."

 

GRAMMY Rewind: Watch U2 Win Album Of The Year At The 2006 GRAMMY Awards

U2 at 2006 GRAMMYs

U2 at 2006 GRAMMYs

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GRAMMY Rewind: Watch U2 Win Album Of The Year At The 2006 GRAMMY Awards

Watch U2 accept the high honor of Album Of The Year for 'How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb' at the 48th GRAMMY Awards in 2006

GRAMMYs/Mar 14, 2020 - 12:25 am

For the latest episode of GRAMMY Rewind, please join us in celebrating U2 bassist Adam Clayton's 60th birthday today, March 13, with this look back at one of the legendary rock band's GRAMMY highlights. At the 48th GRAMMY Awards in 2006, the Irish rock legends took home five golden gramophones, including for the high honors of Song Of The Year and Album Of The Year.

Below, watch U2 accept the Album Of The Year GRAMMY for their 11th studio album, How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, with a charming speech where Bono shouts out fellow Album Of The Year nominees Kanye West (Late Registration), Mariah Carey (The Emancipation of Mimi) and Gwen Stefani (Love. Angel. Music. Baby.).

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As Bono, Clayton, The Edge and Larry Mullen Jr. approach the stage to accept the award, fellow Album Of The Year nominees Paul McCartney (Chaos and Creation In The Backyard) and West, dressed in a fierce lavender tux, congratulate the band.

"This is our second Album Of The Year, but we've lost two, Achtung Baby and All That You Can't Leave Behind, so now it feels that Kanye, you're next. [He's] a great artist that's been on the road with us [on the Vertigo Tour], [he's] extraordinary," Bono said on stage, rocking his signature tinted rimless shades with a cowboy hat and leather jacket. After also sharing complements for Carey and Stefani, he adds: "This is really a big, big night for our band."

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"If ever there should have been a record called 'Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own,' it should've been this one," Clayton added. "We had a lot of producers; Danny Lanois, Brian Eno, Flood, Nellee Hooper, Jacknife Lee, Carl Glanville, Chris Tomas and our friend Steve Lillywhite."

The GRAMMY-winning album was released on Nov. 22, 2004, including classic hits "Vertigo," "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own" and "City Of Blinding Lights." The five GRAMMYs it helped the band win include Best Rock Album and Song Of The Year and Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal for "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own."

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Black Sounds Beautiful: Five Years After His Death, Prince’s Genius Remains Uncontainable
Black Sounds Beautiful: Prince

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Black Sounds Beautiful: Five Years After His Death, Prince’s Genius Remains Uncontainable

In the latest episode of Black Sounds Beautiful, explore Prince Rogers Nelson’s GRAMMYs legacy and consider how—five years after his passing—we’ve only scratched the surface of his bottomless talent

GRAMMYs/Jun 19, 2021 - 02:05 am

Some artists celebrate Black genius pointedly through their lyrics and public statements. Others like Prince, simply live it by being exceptional.

Not that the Purple One, who passed away in 2016, didn’t acknowledge race. In the midst of acrimony with a major record label, he scrawled “SLAVE” on his face. He called his name change to the infamous “Love Symbol” “the first step I have taken towards the ultimate goal of emancipation.”

In the end, though, he knew his inimitable writing, production work and guitar playing would be his true statement to the world. attacking others for their immutable characteristics wasn’t the answer. 

“Nothing more ugly in the whole wide world than INTOLERANCE (between) Black, white, red, yellow, boy or girl,” he wrote in his personal archives. (He punctuated it with an extra “INTOLERANCE” at the end.)

In the latest episode of Black Sounds Beautiful, take a brief tour through Prince’s astonishing history as a GRAMMY winner and nominee. Without cheating, try to guess how many wins and nominations he earned before pressing play.

Then, when you’re done, chase it with one of those recent boxed sets of 1999 or Sign o’ the Times. Or, if you’re pressed for time, peep his outrageous, spotlight-stealing guitar solo on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” (Seriously, you’ll be glad you did.)

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