Short Takes : Mariah Carey Doing OK at 21

Three years ago, singer Mariah Carey was sleeping on the floor of a shared apartment. Now, with five Grammy nominations, she has moved into a one-bedroom Manhattan apartment.

At age 21, she seems to have hit it big early in life, but Carey told People magazine in its Jan. 28 issue that it took years of work to become successful.

“Some people don’t find out what they want to be until they’re 35. I knew when I was 4,” she said.

The daughter of a onetime singer with the New York City Opera, Carey pursued a music career while she worked for 10 months as a waitress.

Her break came when she was a backup vocalist for singer Brenda K. Starr, who helped her to get a record contract.


“Most singers would have said, ‘Stay in the background and don’t sing too loud,’ ” she said.