Mariah Carey: The road to ‘Idol’
After hearing Mariah Carey’s demo, Sony Music executive Tommy Mottola, left, helped launch Carey's career. The two went on to marry. Rumor has it that at their wedding, it took six women to carry the monstrous train of Carey's gown. The couple would split in 1998.
MORE: ‘Mariah’ Climbs the Chart (Richard Haro/ For the Times, Jon Levy / AFP)
Mariah Carey embraced her hip-hop side when she collaborated with rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard on the remix of “Fantasy” off her fifth studio album, "Daydream,” in 1995. The album featured more R&B influences and went multi-platinum. (Bruce Gilbert / For The Times, Jonathan Mannion)
Carey’s hospitalization in 2001 shocked fans, after what her publicist described as “an emotional and physical breakdown.” The singer checked into the hospital for psychiatric care. (Kevork Djansezian / Associated Press)
After the controversy surrounding her health and low-charting albums, Carey returned to prominence in 2005 with her album “The Emancipation of Mimi.” The album’s second song, “We Belong Together,” is the second-longest-running No. 1 song in U.S. chart history, just behind her 1996 duet with Boyz II Men, “One Sweet Day.” MORE: ‘Emancipation’ achieved, if not rewarded (Stan Honda / AFP / Getty Images)
Carey and “America’s Got Talent” host Nick Cannon met when shooting the video for her single “Bye, Bye” off her 2008 album " E=MC².” The two married six weeks later. (Michael Buckner, Michael Loccisano / Getty Images)
After the exits of judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, “American Idol” announced Carey would come on as a judge for the show’s 12th season. The one-year contract was for $18 million.
MORE: Mariah Carey is just what ‘American Idol’ needed: A real singer | Brad Paisley as ‘American Idol’ judge? | PHOTOS: ‘American Idol’ judges through the years (Lionel Cironneau / Associated Press)