Mariah Carey is a household name known for her catalogue of hits and diva reputation.
But the singer, who is celebrating her 52nd birthday today, did not always choose to tell people her real name prior to finding fame as a chart-topper.
The We Belong Together hitmaker signed her first record deal aged 18 but before spending days in the music studio, she made ends meet by waiting tables.
And during her stint as a waitress the American star struggled with customers remembering her name and in a bid to make it easier for them she would go by other names – such as Debby.
Mother-of-two Mariah shared her secret name during an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in September 2020 and told how she grew tired of explaining her moniker and how to pronounce it so she edited her identity.
The bombshell told: “No one could remember my name so I didn’t want to always have to explain oh, ‘Mariah, this is how you pronounce it,’ because back then nobody had that name.
“So I would often make up a name, I would say my name was like Debby or something more common and then I’d forget what name I told that table so they’d be like ‘Debby?’ and I’m sitting there like listening to my demo like not even aware that someone’s calling me.”
Mariah was not keen on waitressing and she was later sacked for having a bad attitude but before long she got a singing gig performing backup vocals for Brenda K. Starr according to New Jersey 105.1.
Starr reportedly gave Carey’s demo to then-chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment Tommy Mottola and she signed a contract with the mega music brand.
The songstress is best known for her festive song All I Want For Christmas Is You – which reportedly earns her $600,000 to $1 million in royalties every December.
The song came out in 1994 and features is many movies and adverts and is unavoidable in the build-up to Christmas – meaning Mariah is able to top up her bank balance year on year thanks to the tune.
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Last year, the song finally made the number one spot in the UK charts, 28 years after its release.
The song, surprisingly, had only ever reached number two in the Official Charts Company, UK Top 40, despite its huge popularity.
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In December 2019 the song hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 – 25 years after its release.
Mariah took to her Twitter account to celebrate at the time by writing: “We did it” along with a string emojis – which included a face crying tears of joy, a heart, a Christmas tree, and a blue butterfly.
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