Mariah Carey's mother was an Irish-American who married a Black Venezuelan man. Because of this, her mother's family disowned her. While growing up in Long Island, New York, her neighbors poisoned the family dog and set fire to their car, all because of their race.
The couple divorced, though, and Carey did not see her father all that much. She occupied her time singing and took to the arts during high school, then moved to New York City and worked part-time jobs while attending beauty school. She also made a demo tape, which found its way into the head of Columbia Records, Tommy Mottola, in 1988.
He signed her, Columbia spent a boatload of cash promoting her debut album, and she was an overnight star. That album, "Mariah Carey," sold over 15 million copies.
These days, Carey doesn't have to work. Her most-played hit, "All I Want for Christmas Is You," has earned more than $60 million in royalties and brings in around $600,000 just from Spotify during the holiday season, according to CNN Business.