MARIAH: 25 YEARS IN AND THRIVING
By CHRIS AZZOPARDI
I told my mom I interviewed Mariah Carey and she cried. “I know how much this means to you,” she said, verklempt.
She knows Mariah saved my life. I was 10 and confused and gay when I first heard her voice. It was one of those meant-to-be moments: A friend eagerly, and thankfully, played me the cassette single of “Emotions.” That voice, all seven octaves, captivated me, changed me. Years later, when I heard the curly-haired, hand-wavey songstress singing pickme-ups like “Hero,” “Make It Happen” and “Can’t Take That Away (Mariah’s Theme),” I was lifted beyond those signature high notes.
Nearly 25 years after first hearing her voice on cassette, my phone rings. It’s Mariah Carey, the sales-crushing icon with a whopping 18 No. 1 singles, the five-time Grammy winner, my childhood lifeline, our ally. We talk about Vegas, where she’s wrapping up a headlining spot at The Colosseum