Mariah Carey (; born March 27, 1969) is an American singer-songwriter and actress. Known for her five-octave vocal range, melismatic singing style, and signature use of the whistle register, she is referred to as the "Songbird Supreme" and the "Queen of Christmas". Carey rose to fame in 1990 with her eponymous debut album. She was the first artist to have her first five singles reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100, from "Vision of Love" to "Emotions".
Her debut album was released under the guidance of Columbia Records executive Tommy Mottola, who married her three years later. Carey achieved worldwide success with follow-up albums Music Box (1993), Merry Christmas (1994), and Daydream (1995). These albums spawned some of her most successful singles, including "Hero", "Without You", "All I Want for Christmas Is You", "Fantasy", "Always Be My Baby", as well as "One Sweet Day", which topped the US Billboard Hot 100 decade-end chart (1990s). After separating from Mottola, Carey adopted a new image and incorporated more elements of hip hop into her music with the release of Butterfly (1997). Billboard named her the Artist of the Decade (1990s), while the World Music Awards honored her as the Best Selling Female Pop Artist of the Millennium.
After eleven consecutive years charting a U.S. number-one single, Carey parted ways with Columbia in 2001 and signed a $100 million recording contract with Virgin Records in April of that year. However, following her highly publicized physical and emotional breakdown, as well as the critical and commercial failure of her film Glitter (2001) and its accompanying soundtrack, her contract was bought out for $28 million by Virgin and she signed with Island Records the following year. After a relatively unsuccessful period, she returned to the top of music charts with The Emancipation of Mimi (2005), which became the best-selling album in the US, and the world's second-best-selling album, of 2005. Its second single, "We Belong Together", topped the US Billboard Hot 100 decade-end chart (2000s). Her performance in the 2009 film Precious won her the Breakthrough Actress Performance Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Carey's subsequent ventures included serving as a judge on American Idol, starring in the docu-series Mariah's World, appearing in the films The Butler (2013), A Christmas Melody (2015), and The Lego Batman Movie (2017), and publishing her 2020 memoir The Meaning of Mariah Carey.
With sales of over 200 million records worldwide, she is also one of the best-selling music artists of all time. Nineteen of Carey's songs have topped the Billboard Hot 100, and she holds the record for the most number-one singles by a solo artist, a female songwriter, and a female producer. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), she is the highest-certified female artist in the United States, with 68.5 million certified album units tying with Barbra Streisand. Carey was ranked second on VH1's list of the 100 Greatest Women in Music, and in 2019, Billboard named her the all-time top female artist in the United States, based on both album and song chart performances. Aside from her commercial accomplishments, Carey has won five Grammy Awards, nineteen World Music Awards, ten American Music Awards, and fifteen Billboard Music Awards. An inductee of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, she is noted for inspiring other artists in R&B and was one of the first artists to popularize hip hop into popular music.