Mariah Carey Addresses Media-Created Rivalry With Whitney Houston

Mariah Carey Addresses Media-Created Rivalry With Whitney Houston

The pop icon always blasts the industry for pitting women against each other.

Published October 9, 2019

Written by Angela Wilson

Mariah Carey is speaking out about how catty the entertainment business can be, specifically noting her imaginary rivalry with the legendary, Whitney Houston, as an example of how the industry creates drama between women.

In a new interview with Variety, where Carey is being honored in the Power of Women Issue, the pop superstar wasn’t shy about expressing her feelings when asked what’s plaguing the industry, the most. 

“One of the things is the pitting of women, against each other. There was the situation where, when I started, everyone was like, 'Oh, her and Whitney [Houston], let’s put them against each other and blah, blah, blah,” said the five-time Grammy Award winner. “We didn’t [even] know each other! And she was one of the greatest of all time.”

The “Shake It Off,” singer described her 1998 duet with Houston, “When You Believe.”

“We had the best time working together. It was female camaraderie. We both got it,” the 49-year-old said. “We were like, ‘She doesn’t hate me, we’re actually having this great time together and laughing and this is more fun than I have working alone, ever.’ So, I think camaraderie with women that you respect is a huge deal.”

The duo’s, “When You Believe” from the Prince of Egypt soundtrack won an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1999. 

As a sign of harmony, the vocal powerhouses wore similar “one-of-a-kind” brown dresses to the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards to demonstrate solidarity in a comedic stand-off. The rumored rivals both ripped their matching wraps off their dresses, complimenting each other and hugging one another before presenting. 

Carey, the mother of two,reflected on another relationship with another female musician, Missy Elliott

"I remember one of the sessions was with Missy Elliott. We just had the best time working together and writing together," she remembered.

The pair worked on Carey’s 1998 album, Butterfly

The New York native said how important it is to have an abundance of female support in the music industry. 

“My perspective on this exact moment that we're having with female empowerment is really interesting because I was a very young girl when I got signed to my first record deal and I was surrounded by super, super uber-powerful people—mainly men, like predominantly men,” Carey recalled. “That's what I fell into and I didn't have a powerful woman by my side to say, 'No, you're not paying for all this. You're not doing that. They're trying to take advantage of you here. They're doing that.'"

Currently, the veteran crooner graces the cover of Variety and will be honored at their 2019 Power of Women Luncheon in Los Angeles on October 11, at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons.  

In addition to Carey, Chaka Khan, Jennifer Aniston, Akwafina, Oscar-winner, Brie Larson, and Chairman of Disney Studios, Dana Walden will be honored.

Photo: Matthew Simmons/Getty Images For dcp and Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images


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