Mariah Carey Reveals '90s Grunge Alter-Ego

'I wanted to break free, let loose, and express my misery'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2020 12:39 PM CDT

During the day, she was manicured pop star Mariah Carey, recording megahit 1995 album Daydream. But at night, her secret alter-ego was recording a grunge album. "Just for laughs, but it got me through some dark days," the singer tweeted Sunday. In new memoir The Meaning of Mariah Carey, Carey explains that it was a way to "let loose and express my misery" while still having fun, Rolling Stone reports. "I created an alter-ego artist and her Ziggy Stardust-like spoof band," she explains. "My character was a dark-haired brooding Goth girl who wrote and sang ridiculous tortured songs," she writes. "I was playing with the style of the breezy-grunge, punk-light white female singers who were popular at the time." The band, Chick, released its only album in 1995; a rep for Carey tells Pitchfork the singer wrote, produced, and provided background vocals for all the songs.

In her tweet, Carey thanked her friend Clarissa, "who performs the lead w/ me as a hidden layer." At the time, Carey was in a troubled marriage to Sony exec Tommy Mottola. In her memoir, she describe him as controlling and jealous, the BBC reports. She also discusses her childhood, in which she was exposed to domestic violence at a young age and encountered racism, which she describes as "like a first kiss in reverse." Carey, whose father is Black and mother is white, says a group of girls once locked her in a bedroom at a sleepover and shouted the n-word at her. "I was disorientated and terrified and I thought that maybe, if I held on and just kept crying, surely a grown-up would come and stop the assault," she writes. "But no one came." (More Mariah Carey stories.)

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