To celebrate her forthcoming Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special, airing on December 4 on Apple TV+, Mariah Carey appears on a special digital holiday cover of ELLE photographed by Ruven Afanador and styled by DiAndre Tristan.
Mariah gets candid about her history with the holiday, why Christmas isn’t cancelled, creating the Christmas she always wanted as a kid, why she doesn’t see herself as a celebrity, staying hopeful this holiday season and more.
Mariah on the continued cultural currency of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You”: This year, it even made an appearance during an impromptu postelection celebration thrown by the comedians Demi Adejuyigbe and Addie Weyrich. Carey herself reposted the clip: the giddy hosts, barely old enough to remember the 1994 hit’s release, gyrating atop a car at an L.A. gas station. “It felt great to be a part of those celebratory moments—and it totally took me by surprise,” Carey says of the song’s early-November resurgence when we speak via Zoom. “It’s been such a hard year, and I really feel like people so need a celebratory moment. At every turn, it’s like, ‘We can’t be [together]; you can’t celebrate. This is canceled; that’s canceled.’ ”
Mariah on not seeing herself as a celebrity: “When you frame it as ‘celebrity,’ I don’t really know how to answer that question,” she says, momentarily flummoxed. “Because I don’t really see myself as a celebrity. I’m a recording artist. I make music, occasionally. Not to be like, ‘How dare you call me a celebrity?’ ” But the music is what she’s really here for, she says. “I love the glamorous stuff and the dress-up of it all. But the truth is, that’s work to me.”
[Photo Credit: Ruven Afanador for ELLE Magazine]