Mariah Carey (born March 27, 1970 or 1969; sources vary) is an American R&B/pop singer-songwriter, record producer and actress. She made her recording debut, in 1990, under the guidance of Columbia Records executive Tommy Mottola, and became the first recording artist to have her first five singles top the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. Following her marriage to Mottola, in 1993, a series of hit records including, "Dreamlover" and "Hero" from the diamond album, Music Box established her position as Columbia Records' highest-selling act.
Following her separation from Mottola, in 1997, she introduced elements of hip hop into her album work, to much initial success, but when she left Columbia in 2001, her popularity was in decline. She signed a record $80 million deal with Virgin Records, only to be dropped from the label and bought out of her contract in the following year. This radical turn of events was due to the highly publicized physical and emotional breakdown, as well as the poor reception that was given to Glitter, her film and soundtrack project. In 2002, Carey signed a $24 million deal with Island Records, and, after a relatively unsuccessful period, she returned to the top of pop music, in 2005, with her album, The Emancipation of Mimi. The album sold over 10 million copies worldwide and it's single "We Belong Together," became her most successful solo single of her music career and was awarded Song of the Decade by Billboard