Mariah Carey says she never called herself 'Queen of Christmas' on 'Colbert'

By Tonya Pendleton
Mariah Carey, seen here at the Billboard Music Awards in 2019, talked about holiday traditions on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert." File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Mariah Carey, seen here at the Billboard Music Awards in 2019, talked about holiday traditions on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert." File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 8 (UPI) -- In an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Mariah Carey showed her sense of humor, answering questions for the late night host's Colbert Questionert segment.

The "All I Want For Christmas is You" singer was asked about her documented love for the holiday season. The song has set records, including three acknowledgements by the Guinness Book of World Records -- highest-charting holiday song on the Billboard top 100 for a solo artist, most streamed song on Spotify for 24 hours and most weeks in the U.K. Top 10 singles chart for a holiday song.


Despite the success of "AIWFCIY" Carey set the record straight on her holiday dominance.

"I did not call myself the Queen of Christmas," she said. "They can look up every interview I've ever done, and not to get super religious, but I think if anybody would be the Queen of Christmas, that would be Mary."


But Carey told Colbert the inspiration for the song came from a genuine place.

"I just happen to really love Christmas because I had kind of a tough childhood and I always wanted Christmas to be perfect and it never was," she said. "So then, when I was able to finally provide myself with, and my friends, and now my little kids who are 11, we have the most festive Christmas ever...because its actually authentic, and it came from a place of longing to have some normalcy and peace and just like, a lovely holiday."

Though it's estimated that the song's royalties have made Carey, who is also the songwriter, more than $60 million, she said that payment rates are abysmally low with recording artists making just 1/16 of a penny when a song is streamed.

"But we're still thankful for all of it," she said.

The 52-year-old also said she had no idea that "All I Want For Christmas is You" would be so successful, given its long run to #1. It didn't top the charts until 2019, 25 years after its release.


"I don't acknowledge time," Carey said. "I was in the womb or prior to, when I wrote it because it came out in the 90s when I wasn't around. But I didn't know [then] that it would last and do what it's done for me."

Carey used her appearance to promote a new liqueur, Black Irish. When asked if she was actually Black Irish, she told Colbert her mother is Irish and her father Black and referred to her own racial identity as Black biracial.

So, when Colbert asked whether she preferred white or colored Christmas lights, she jokingly responded, "I'm going to say is that politically correct in the way you phrased that?"

During the Questionet, Carey said she has four Christmas trees, so her answer on whether she prefers angels or stars as tree toppers was "Both." She said her go-to Christmas songs are classics of the genre: Nat King Cole's "The Christmas Song" and Donny Hathaway's "This Christmas."

But her most revealing answer was when Colbert asked whether she prefers an aisle or window seat on a plane. Carey's answer was, "Bed." Though it's unclear whether Carey owns her own jet, her penchant for private air travel is well known.


Moments from Mariah Carey's career

Mariah Carey won Top Pop Artist at the Billboard Music Awards on December 3, 1991. Earlier that year, her album self-titled album topped the Billboard charts. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

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