"Someone said I never paid any dues," Carey once recounted. "My whole life was struggling, because we were poor. We were alone, we had nothing. I’ve been paying my dues all my life." Indeed, before she became the over-the-top diva we know and love, Mimi lived on the wrong side of the tracks in Long Island with a mom who held down several jobs. Money got even tighter when the aspiring singer moved to New York City, where she worked several part-time jobs and simultaneously went to beauty school.
(Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company)