'Nick Reads Stories To My Tummy'

Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon share their joy and excitement with the world in advance of the imminent arrival of their twins with a new set of photographs...

OK! (UK) April 19, 2011. Text by Alison Crombie.

With her unique talent and signature vocal abilities, Mariah Carey commanded the world's attention when she made her musical debut as a teen in the '90s. In less than a decade she emerged as one of the most popular and widely acclaimed talents in music. As a singer, songwriter and producer, Mariah Carey has been recognised with the most prestigious accolades in the industry including five Grammy Awards, eight American Music Awards, Billboard's Artist Of The Decade Award and numerous World Music Awards, including the World Music Award for World's Best Selling Female Artist Of The Millennium.

As the best-selling female artist of all time, with over 250 million records behind her and as one of the media's biggest stars, Mariah Carey — who has been hailed as the most exciting woman in the world — has continuously raised the bar and set the standard of excellence within the music industry worldwide. Outside of her music career, Mariah recently received awards and great critical acclaim for her role in the film Precious, she has also launched her own perfumes with Elizabeth Arden and a footwear range in the US.

Mariah's husband, multi-millionaire Nick Cannon, has also achieved big success in his career. Known as one of the hardest-working men in showbiz, Nick launched his career in Hollywood in his teens and went on to become an actor, comedian, rapper and music producer. Nick is currently the host of America's Got Talent, CEO of Nickelodeon's TeenNick and host of his own breakfast radio show.

Together, Mariah and Nick have become America's new power couple, and in these new exclusive photographs, taken by photographer and friend of the couple Kristofer Buckle, they share their happiness and joy in advance of the arrival of their twins, a baby boy and a baby girl...

You're looking radiant! Are you feeling ready to have the twins now?
Thank you. I am beyond ready! [Laughs] On a serious note, I am so excited to meet our babies and I am looking forward to being a mother. This is truly a blessing for Nick and I.

How did you feel when you learned you were having twins?
I was elated, surprised and a bit overwhelmed.

In the images you look wonderfully healthy — what has your approach been to your diet and exercise?
As far as exercise, I love the water. I always have. I was swimming daily until the doctors advised me to limit my activities. There will be time for that afterwards! People that know me call me a mermaid because I love the water so much, be it an ocean, lake, water park, even a river or a creek. I'm actually in the bathtub right now!

Has your appetite changed — can you share any thoughts on any surprising or humorous cravings?
In the beginning of my pregnancy, I was cooking almost every day but I can't be on my feet that long any more, so that's a wrap for now. It's funny, with this being the one time in my life that I can actually eat what I want and indulge any craving, I thought I would have taken advantage of it. But in my case, I haven't had much of an appetite at all, due to the babies taking up so much room in my belly. I do make sure I get my daily meals, vitamins, but mainly stick with small portions of fruit and protein. Every now and then I have a toasted marshmallow as dessert.

How have your preparations for their imminent arrival been going — have you been able to get their room ready? And you said recently that you can almost tell their personalities already! Are you excited to be having a baby boy and girl?
The preparations have been going great! We've just completed the LA nursery and are in the process of getting the New York nursery set. It's been so much fun designing their rooms. Oh yes! You can tell the personalities a bit. In viewing our ultrasounds, our boy is all ready like Nick, like: 'Here I am, take my picture or don't,' and our girl is coyly facing the other way, like: 'No pictures,' waiting for a proper debut. [Laughs] I took some ultrasound footage of them in the womb that I think they'll definitely find interesting later in life. Having a girl and boy at the same time couldn't be more perfect.

Are you close to choosing names for them both? What sort of inspiration will you take to choose their names?
We've had names picked out since we first met, believe it or not. We go back and forth, but want to wait until we meet them.

Tell me about how Nick is feeling — you said he's been incredibly supportive! Is he as excited about the birth? Do you think he will be a hands-on dad?
Nick is so excited about being a father. He already has this natural talent with children, they take to him right away. He's so nurturing, loving and fun. He definitely will be a hands-on dad. He already reads stories to my tummy.

What are you looking forward to once they arrive?
For starters, I'll be happy when they get off my bladder! [Laughs] Also, it will be nice to breathe when they get off my lungs — but honestly I'm just looking forward to bonding with them outside of my tummy! It's a whole new beginning and I am so beyond excited about it.

And how do you plan to spend the first weeks and months as a family?
Hopefully, Nick will take a bit of time off. [Sighs heavily, shakes head, rolls eyes and laughs] As I like to say, he's the hardest-working man in show business, so that's great, but I'm like: 'Alright already, take a break, stay put.' [Said while having a mild contraction] This is one of the few times in my career that I've actually taken it easy, sort of. I am looking forward to spending quality time with the babies and Nick and that's our plan.