Mariah Carey Then & Now: See The Superstar Singer’s Transformation Through The Years


Are you ready to get to know the REAL Mariah Carey? In honor of her new memoir, ‘The Meaning Of Mariah Carey,’ take a trip down memory lane to see Mariah’s evolution from teenage songstress to music icon.

It has been thirty years since Mariah Carey introduced herself to the world with her self-titled debut album, and music hasn’t been the same. In honor of this #MC30 anniversary, Mariah, 50, will release a new album — The Rarities, a collection of rare and unreleased songs on Oct. 2. That’s not all — on Sept. 29, she’ll publish her first memoir, The Meaning of Mariah Carey. Promising to be an “unfiltered” look at her struggles and triumph, Maria’s tell-all will tackle her relationships, the complex issues she faced while growing up as a biracial child, and the ups and downs of her professional career.

Oh, and it has been quite a career. Mariah was merely 18-years-old when she signed her deal with Columbia Records in 1988. The story goes that Mariah passed off her demo tape to her future husband, the then-head of Columbia Records Tommy Mottola, at an industry event. As he listened to it on the way home, Tommy, 71, told his driver to turn back so he could sign the young unknown voice he heard coming through the speakers. Since her professional debut, Mariah has shattered sale records and racked up countless awards. In honor of #MC30 and the release of The Meaning Of Mariah Carey, we’ve rounded up photos of some of her best moments throughout her time in the music business.


Mariah was always a powerhouse vocalist, but her look at the start of her career was much different than it is now. She had much darker hair, for one, and it was generally wildly styled in tight curls. Back in the day, Mariah wasn’t known to wear outfits that accentuated her figure as much as she does now, and it’s safe to say that her style has definitely evolved, along with her look.

mariah carey

More recently, Mariah favors hip-hugging dresses that show off her enviable curves. Many of her looks often also have low-cut necklines to allow her to show some skin, even if the outfit is long-sleeved or with fabric covering up most of her skin. When it comes to her looks onstage, Mariah loves dramatic bodysuits and dresses, and we’ve seen her wear SO many different sparkly and bright performance looks.

Over the years, Mariah has released FIFTEEN records, and her career truly stands the test of time. She has five Grammy Awards but has been nominated 29 other times, as well. She also received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2016 and was even nominated for a Golden Globe Award in 2018.

Of course, in addition to her career, one of Mariah’s most proud accomplishments is her twins, Moroccan and Monroe. She shares the babies with her ex-husband, Nick Cannon, who she remains close friends with. Becoming a mother was a big part of her transformation. Scroll through the gallery above to check out photos of Mariah over the years to see how much she’s changed since she got her start in the industry!

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