After weathering so many ups and downs throughout her career, Mariah Carey has seemed more at peace. Strolling into a Brazilian restaurant in New York City for an exclusive interview with In Touch, Mariah is nothing like the diva she's perceived to be.
The Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter looks gorgeous, wearing little makeup and dressed casually in black pants, a black shirt and big black belt. Usually guarded about her love life, this time, she's brought along her husband, Nick Cannon. "I love where I am in life right now," Mariah, 39, tells In Touch as she sips on a glass of cabernet.
And shouldn't she? She's got a man who writes her love notes each morning, even after a year-and-a-half of marriage. She's got a highly anticipated new album, Memoirs of An Imperfect Angel, which dropped September 29. And putting the disastrous Glitter behind her for good, Mariah is getting Oscar buzz for her gritty role in the upcoming movie Precious, which has already gotten accolades at the Sundance and Toronto film festivals. "I can't even imagine that," Mariah tells In Touc. "I don't even want to think about it!"
One thing Mariah and Nick, 29, are definitely thinking about is starting a family. Over dinner, the couple opened up to In Touch about their solid marriage and having a baby. "We would be happy with whatever God blessed us with," says Mariah.
So, are you ready for kids?
Mariah: Definitely, we want a family.
Nick: Yes, of course. It's at the forefront of our minds. We're very close. But we want to enjoy our first year together. We didn't have a stable environment. The first year we were in L.A. in a hotel and then we were like, "Let's get a house."
Mariah: But don't think I'm moving to L.A.
Nick: We live in both places. We need to figure out where we are going to raise our kids. Here or L.A.
Mariah: New York.
How many kids?
Nick: We'd like two.
Mariah: Of course, we'd be happy with one. I want to be able to manage the right amount of attention. We are so busy if you have six kids running around, no one gets what they need. Kids need a lot of attention.
Who wants a baby more?
Nick: It's an equal thing. We both understand that it's a major priority for us, but we want to make sure we're ready when the time comes.
Do you have names picked out?
Mariah: We picked out names before we were married!
Nick: We can't tell, though. They're special names we want to hold on to.
Why is Mariah going to be a great mother?
Nick: Her nurturing spirit. One thing people are always surprised about with her is how giving she is to everyone around her. Everyone expects a diva, but she is the exact opposite of that.
Would you consider adoption?
Nick: It's never out of the question. I was raised by my grandmother, who was also a foster mom, so I grew up around a lot of kids.
Mariah, could you let Nick be the sole breadwinner and just be a mom?
Mariah: I could definitely just be a mommy, but I would do other stuff like working on my fragrance, Forever. I love working but I would be able to be with my kids. I could do it.
So you can see yourself having one by the end of 2010?
Mariah: Yeah. What do you think?
Nick: I think that's what the world is waiting for.
Mariah: Oh, my goodness, that's so much pressure on our kids!
Would you mind gaining the baby weight?
Mariah: No, I wouldn't mind. I'd be fine with it. I'm not one of those people who is usually a size 2 to start with and gets scared they will end up a size 3.
Nick is 10 years younger than you. Does that ever worry you?
Mariah: I am very happy. I don't believe in numbers or ages. I don't celebrate birthdays I celebrate anniversaries. I think it's sexist that people make such a big deal that women marry men who are younger men do it all the time. Age ain't nothin' but a number. Who cares?
It seems like 40 is a pivotal age in Hollywood.
Mariah: I find it offensive. It unfairly taints women in particular, and makes people look at you differently. I lived with that my whole life. Honestly, I never thought I'd live this long.
You thought you'd die by now?
Mariah: I have always been grateful for everything I had, but my personal life was a mess. So many artists just exist for their careers and then burn out quickly. That was me before I met Nick, and he helped me. I always thought that I wouldn't be here at this point. I was thinking, "Okay, I've got another year of life left. This has got to be the end of it." Finally, he was like, "Stop talking like that." I have been obsessed with the whole Marilyn Monroe thing my whole life all those artists who died young.
And Michael Jackson, too.
Mariah: Yes. Michael Jackson. At one point, we talked about that stuff. I can't reveal what he thought. But yes, we had a conversation about it once.
How do you stay grounded?
Mariah: Faith plays a big part of that for me. I've always been a very spiritual person. That's how we connected, right?
Nick: Before she goes to sleep, she reads the Bible every night.
Do you believe faith brought you and Nick together?
Mariah: I do. It just seems like there are a lot of problems. but if you believe in things bigger than yourself, then you can do anything. No matter how low my life has gone, I will not lose faith.