The Queen of Christmas Mariah Carey Covers W Magazine’s Volume 6

Posted on November 30, 2022

Mariah Carey covers W Magazine’s Volume 6 – The Holiday Issue. Doing part of her interview from her bathtub, Carey speaks candidly with W about the personal and professional obstacles she’s faced in her multidecade career and the many barriers she’s broken.




Recounting harrowing scenes of violence and drug abuse among her siblings: “It was an extremely dysfunctional childhood, to the point where it’s shocking that I made it out of that at all…There were no role models for people who were clearly mixed or, you know, light-skinned or whatever we were categorizing it as then, so I didn’t know who to look up to when I was growing up. It was difficult.”

On her reputation as being a diva: “There are things people are not aware of, because this whole quote unquote ‘diva’ thing is always what people see first…Yes, I play into it. And yes, part of that is real. I can’t help it. Like, what do you do if you grew up with an opera singer for a mother, who went to Juilliard and made her debut at Lincoln Center? There’s just a certain amount that is going to emerge. So, yes, it’s just an affectation, and sometimes it’s purposely done, and sometimes it’s just, like, you know, a response.”

Sharing what Christmas is like at the Carey household: “I create my own Christmas moment. I mean, Santa Claus visits us. He comes with his reindeer. I am not exaggerating—this is the truth. By the way, before my kids were born, I did all the same types of things. That’s just how it is with me and Santa and the reindeer.”

On the importance of Christmas to her: “Darling, look, 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. 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. I doubt you have enough time to write about all that, so we won’t go into it. But 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. 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.”

On how “All I Want for Christmas” came to be: “Okay, so the idea of me doing a Christmas album at all came from the record company. 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. I was sort of up late, walking around this house where I was living with my first ex-husband, and I had a keyboard, and, no, I am by no means a piano player, but I can pluck out chords when I need to. But I prefer to work with a virtuoso piano player because I hear the chords. I was actually having a conversation with Solange [Knowles] about this last night. When you’re hearing a chord, and you can sing each note to a virtuoso player, it’s much easier than me sitting there being like, ‘Oh, I know, I’m missing one little thing right here’… I didn’t want it to feel specific to any era, so we didn’t use sounds that were happening at that time. 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…”

Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of “Butterfly”: There’s a lyric in my song “Butterfly,” from the album Butterfly, which we’re celebrating 25 minutes of…Yes, darling, each year is just a minute, okay? I told you, I don’t acknowledge time! [Laughs] So, anyway, there is this lyric in my song ‘Butterfly,’ from the album Butterfly, that goes, ‘I have learned that beauty has to flourish in the light / Wild horses run unbridled / Or their spirit dies.’ So what I am really saying with that sentence is that I came out of that cocoon, which, in essence, was me being…sequestered…. But when I came out of that cocoon…I was in a place where I had finally gained the strength….The actual butterfly symbol represents emancipation; it represents freedom…What I would say is that Butterfly was my first emancipation. When I listen to that album, from top to bottom, I think to myself, This was the first time I was allowed to be myself.”


W Magazine Volume 6 The Holiday Issue is on stands December 6th.


[Photo Credit: Ethan James Green for W Magazine]

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