Play It Again!

She's back! The only lady in pop rumoured to have a seven-octave range... and with lungs like Mariah's, is it any wonder?

FHM Magazine by Antoine Verglas

FHM (UK) May 2005. Text by Lee Coan. Photography by Antoine Verglas.

It has been three hideously long years since FHM last got up to frivolity with our eye-popping buddy, Mariah. Back then Mariah Carey was the world's best selling R&B artist, one of FHM's most requested cover-stars and general fan of getting up to mischief on high power jet-skis. Since then however, while we were wasting our lives on pool, beer, and general Mariah-yearning, our poor heartbreaker was going to hell and back. Having starred in dodgy film Glitter, she checked herself into rehab and allegedly made demands that all rooms be filled with puppies before she'd enter. The Long Island princess went so far off the rails, we feared we'd lost her to the sticky realm of bonkers divas (see Whitney Houston) forever.

But she's back! Battling her way into our lives with a critically-acclaimed new album, sizzling string of videos and exclusive FHM photo shoot. How the heck is this possible, after such hard times? Well, having 160 million record sales already under your wee belt helps. As does having a host of rapper chums and a glorious love of wearing stilettos and tiny bikinis. Plus there's the memory of FHM saving the life of her puppy when the world had turned its back on the poor scam. "Whoa!" pipes up Miss Carey as we hook up with her in the basement of her LA studio at 4am one recent Sunday. "Let's get this straight — you never actually saved my little Jack's life. There was no real reason to jump in the pool and pull. My dog is a great swimmer..."

So we never truly saved your pooch from doggy heaven?
No! Your guy, Mike, thought he just had to dive into the pool and save him because his swimming style makes him look like he's drowning. He was actually fine — just having a good time. It says all about his swimming on his website, Love Love lack...

Your dog has a website?
He really is a very cool dog. Some of his Japanese fans built it for him.

So the rumour that you begged FHM Features Director, Mike Peake, to elope with you after his hound heroics is false too?
Sorry. Stories always grow out of control. Especially when they involve me. What can I say... Mike is still my hero — I would have liked to have run off into the sunset with him, but he never saved my dog from drowning. He's always diving off yachts and swimming to private islands and stuff. Mike should have known that.

The idiot! Talking of dogs, haven't you been hanging with that Snoop fella?
Yeah, he's on my new album. It's the third time I've worked with him. I did a song called Cry Baby with him, but Sony didn't want to release it as a single because, well... I don't know why — some stupid reason. They were always against the whole rap thing.

What do your rapper chums make of your pop roots?
Snoop loves my old records. He was really cool the first time we met — he was going on about how much he loved my song Vision Of Love. He had the single when he was in jail. The rappers always seem to love the ballads. And I've been working with rappers since Ol' Dirty Bastard way back in 1996.

Do you understand Snoop when he says stuff like, "I'm the dizzle to the izzle, to the oh, gee gizzle?"

Could you teach us the word of the moment so we can be cool, too?
Did you see the movie Mean Girls?

Well. I don't know what the FHM bag is in terms of movies, but you guys need to check it out. Okay, it's a girls' movie, but you guys would like it because it's packed with hot girls — and everyone's quoting lines from Mean Girls at the moment.

Hmm, if you say so. Has Snoop's smoking ever affected your voice?
Smoke? I don't think he smokes cigarettes. It may be smoky around Snoop but that isn't cigarettes and cigarette smoke is the worst smoke for your voice. I used to smoke for six years but I quit overnight. Rappers smoke things that don't seem to bother my throat.

What's the most bling thing you own?
I'm wearing a pretty bling ring. I can't be sure how much it's worth. It's two large butterflies. Other than that I have these two fat diamond bracelets — they are very bling.

What's the sexiest thing in your wardrobe?
Well, I have a whole sexy wardrobe — my lingerie closet. Okay, I also have a robe, some slippers and a pair of boxer shorts in there, but ignore that — and it's a lingerie closet!

So what's in there? And don't just say lingerie...
I'm extremely girly. I like lingerie that's lacy and normally white. But then I also love dressing up in pink lingerie — and black is hot, too... I don't know! I have everything laid out in colours so I can pick them out quickly. I have white lingerie, cream, then pink, then red, blue, lavender then there's my whole black lingerie section. Somebody could buy me some brown underwear then I'd have to build a bigger lingerie cupboard. I'd like that.

Of course you would! At what point did you realise you needed a whole cupboard for your hot undies?
Well, it's right off my bathroom, so rather than going down to my main closet soaking wet, all dripping and nude, I decided to make a nice lingerie closet. That way I can just jump out of my tub, run naked into the next room and put on a nice little number. But some people don't even find lingerie sexy. For some, just regular, big panties does it.

Are you single at the moment?
I'll leave that up to the readers in Britain to guess.

Nuts. What's the first thing you do when you come over to Blighty?
I'll go to a club, but you guys smoke so friggin' much, I can't sing for ages after. If everyone in England stops smoking cigarettes then I'll come and party with you all. Actually I'm doing an album release party and all you FHM people should come. Just don't smoke. Or jump into pools.

How do British blokes compare to Americans?
I don't have enough experience of British blokes — bring some to me and I'll give you a good answer. As long as I can call them geezers. Ha! Geezers! I love it when British blokes call each other "geezer". Or fridge freezer. Ha!

Right! What's your album title — The Emancipation of Mi-Mi — all about?
Mi-Mi is just a nickname that people who know me really well call me. It's cute. I don't even think of myself as Mariah. Nobody calls me that. Except for my mother.

Can we expect loads of hot videos coming off the album?
Oh yeah. I've been working with Brett Ratner who's doing it — he did the Heartbreaker video which was really hot. I would say the new ones and Heartbreaker have been my hottest videos, but I loved filming the video for Honey the most. Honey was the one where I was all tied up, then I broke free, jumped out of a window and dived into a pool wearing only Gucci stilettos and a tiny bikini. How can you beat that? Who wouldn't want to strip off and go swimming in high heels? I just ripped off my dress and went for it — it was brilliant fun.

Nearly every video on MTV features hooters. How tricky is it to make a hot video without going too over the top?
It's a really tricky thing. I mean... I don't mind going right over the top, but my latest videos actually aren't going too far. They definitely feature some really hot, sexy moments but they're not gratuitous.

Does your reputation as a raging diva make you furious?
I'm like. whatever, if I'm so mean to everybody what are you going to do about it? Whatever. My mum's an opera singer, so I know the true meaning of it. Honestly, someone would have to push me to the absolute limit to get me to vent anger at them. Most people don't see that side of me, so if they do get my anger, they should see it as a compliment.

What's the funniest thing you've ever read about your diva behaviour?
That I once refused to walk on carpets. Then I read that I refused to walk on grass. And then I demanded that a room at the Beverley Hills Hotel was redecorated all in pink... with pink toilet paper. All pink? Seriously! At the very least I'd put a hit of blue in there — give it a good contrast.

How paranoid are you of the press? Can you sunbathe in your garden?
No I can't! It's a pain. I have an apartment, and if I were to be sunbathing on my roof I would be very nervous because anyone and everyone could take a picture of me from a higher building. Though I think my roof is the highest in the area.

What's the wildest party you've had up there on your roof?
There's been some fun up there, yeah. Hopefully they'll send you out to America and we can have a nice party up on my roof. You can invite all the fridge freezers who read FHM to my house, and we'll go wild on my roof. We'll have a lot of fun!