Mariah Carey’s ‘Messed Up Childhood’ Led Her To Her Love For Christmas


Although Mariah Carey’s name has become closely related to Christmas, her childhood experiences of the period were not particularly happy ones. The 52-year-old, in an interview with W Magazine, gave insights into her obsession with Christmas and the story behind her classic hit, “All I Want for Christmas.”

“I know a lot of the time people are like, ‘Oh, yay! Look at her! She’s, like, so festive and such a Christmas girl,’ or whatever,” she stated. “But, really, Christmas makes me happy. People think I had this princess-style life or whatever, a kind of fairy-tale existence where I just emerged, like, ‘Here I am!’ And that is not what it is.”


Mariah Carey speaks about her childhood

A CHRISTMAS MELODY, Mariah Carey, (airs Dec. 18, 2015). photo: Brian Douglas / ©Hallmark Channel / courtesy Everett Collection

Carey admits her love for Christmas stems from her tough childhood. “When you grow up with a messed-up life, and then you’re able to have this transformation where you can make your life what you want it to be? That is joy for me,” the singer disclosed. “That’s why I want my kids to have everything they can have. I want them to be able to understand that they can be anything they want to be.”


RELATED: Mariah Carey Lost The Trademark For ‘Queen Of Christmas’

She also wrote about her harsh childhood in her 2020 memoir The Meaning of Mariah Carey, where she claimed that her elder brother was so abusive that she once had to call the cops on him. “Choking in tears, I did my best to calmly tell her, ‘My brother really hurt my mother, and I’m home alone. Please come help,’” she wrote. “One of the cops, looking down at me but speaking to another cop beside him, said, ‘If this kid makes it, it’ll be a miracle.’ And that night, I became less of a kid and more of a miracle.”

MARIAH CAREY’S MAGICAL CHRISTMAS SPECIAL, Mariah Carey, (aired Dec. 4, 2020). photo: ©Apple TV+ / Courtesy Everett Collection

She explains how “All I Want for Christmas” came to be

The iconic singer revealed that her record company birthed the idea of making a Christmas album, but she opposed it because she felt her career was just picking up. “It was very early in my career, and I thought it was a little early for me to be doing that, but I was like, ‘Well, I love Christmas.’ I had some very sad Christmases as a child, but I always try to find the bright light there.”

Carey explained that she wrote the hit song late at night while playing the keyboard. “I didn’t want it to feel specific to any era, so we didn’t use sounds that were happening at that time,” she said. “That way, it would feel classic and timeless. But I could never have imagined that it would become such a major part of my life.”

MARIAH CAREY’S MAGICAL CHRISTMAS SPECIAL, Mariah Carey, (aired Dec. 4, 2020). photo: ©Apple TV+ / Courtesy Everett Collection

The song became an instant rave and has maintained its position on the Billboard Top 100 chart every holiday season since its release. “All I Want for Christmas” is unarguably the greatest international hit song of Mariah Carey, with close to 6 million copies sold globally.

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