The Most Shocking Revelations From The Meaning of Mariah Carey

She gets real about her past marriages.

by Jessica Lachenal
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Mariah Carey is a household name. But despite being in the public eye ever since her debut album in 1990, details about her childhood and other private matters have remained scarce. Now, with the release of her memoir, The Meaning of Mariah Carey, the legendary singer reveals all, delving into the various parts of her life that she's managed to keep a secret.

Of special note are the stories Carey shares about her childhood, which, up until now, hadn't been made public. In The Meaning of Mariah Carey, she goes into detail about the abusive household she grew up in. She describes her older brother as violent and she alleges her mother was often neglectful, according to the New York Times.

But both seem to pale in comparison to Carey's story about her abusive older sister, Alison. According to the New York Post, Carey alleged that her older sister tried to drug her and leave Carey with her boyfriend when she was only 12. "John put his arm around me. My body went stiff. My eyes were fixed on his gun. John pushed in closer and forced a hard kiss on me. I was nauseous and scared; I felt immobilized."

Read on for the most surprising revelations in The Meaning of Mariah Carey that will make you want to pick up a copy ASAP.

Carey grew up in an abusive household

Carey reveals that she grew up in a household plagued by violence. According to the New York Post, when Carey was only 6-years-old, she had to call the police to save her mother from her abusive and violent older brother, Morgan. The passage reads, "Choking in tears, I did my best to calmly tell her, ‘My brother really hurt my mother, and I’m home alone. Please come help.’ … One of the cops, looking down at me but speaking to another cop beside him, said, ‘If this kid makes it, it’ll be a miracle.’"

She considers her first marriage to have been emotionally abusive

Per the New York Times, Carey describes having to sleep with a "to go" bag under her bed, "filled with essentials just in case I had to make a quick escape," when she was married to music mogul Tommy Mottola. She refers to their home as "Sing Sing," a reference to a maximum security prison in New York.

The artist once recorded a grunge album

An excerpt from Carey's memoir, shared by The Guardian, reads, "I was playing with the style of the breezy-grunge, punk-light white female singers who were popular at the time. You know the ones who seemed to be so carefree with their feelings and their image." She continued, "They could be angry, angsty and messy, with old shoes, wrinkled slips and unruly eyebrows, while every move I made was so calculated and manicured."

That infamous TRL appearance was a publicty stunt

When Carey made a surprise appearance on MTV's TRL in 2001 pushing an ice cream cart, many saw it as a "breakdown." It was a fairly awkward appearance, with host Carson Daly appearing to not really know what was going on. However, in The Meaning of Mariah Carey, the singer reveals that it was a publicity stunt. Per NYT, "Maybe Carson Daly didn’t know I was coming. But producers had to schedule my appearance — coordinators, publicists, whole-ass teams of people knew I was coming."

Carey loved that Nick Cannon was faith-based

The revelation that Carey and comedian Cannon married back in 2008 sent a shock through Hollywood. It was a bit of a surprise, as details about their connection and eventual separation were kept under very tight wraps — until now. The Meaning of Mariah Carey delves into their meeting and their marriage, according to Cosmopolitan. "He was faith-based. He was ambitious. He had been in the entertainment industry for a long time, so he understood the madness. He paid attention to me," she writes.

The Making of Mariah isn't all shock and sad stories, however. On the contrary; there are plenty of stories about how Carey's fallen into and out of love, as well as her thoughts on being a mother and how she's trying to provide her children, Roc and Roe, with a childhood decidedly different from her own.