Mariah Carey in 2013 (Photo : Getty Images)

It’s been almost two weeks now that I’ve been listening to MC’s music almost continuously during my commutes to/from work and on the weekend whenever I can wrestle the controls of the radio/music player from my boyfriend in his car. Thankfully, he understands. When I asked him about what his thoughts were on the numerous comments about her losing her voice, being displaced by new up-and-comers, etc., he said “there’s Mariah Carey and then there’s everybody else.” (Isn’t he awesome?)

And there you have it: why I love Mariah Carey. I love her because she is Mariah Carey.

Mariah singing #Beautiful at Good Morning America, May 2013

A friend recently responded with surprise when I told her that I’m a MC-fan. When I asked her why, she said that she expected me to like more real, meaningful artists rather than someone who seems sugary and fluffy. As I thought of it, I realized that I couldn’t blame my friend for thinking that way. No doubt that MC, with all her glamour, pink, lavender and butterflies, could be perceived as fanciful and dense upon a cursory inspection. However, for those who really listen to her music and have followed her career, they would know that she is anything but.

In a world of manufactured hedonism, it’s tempting to dismiss Mariah’s dazzling smile and positive lyrics as more of the same. However, if you stop and listen to her sing, you cannot deny the talent and sincerity in a voice that can blow away skeptics like dry dust from a windowsill. Mariah is definitely the real deal. Sure she may have slipped a bit here and there, but give the woman a break. Who can be perfect all the time? Even if you’ve baked the same cake over 100 times, there are bound to be a few bombs. On the whole, one cannot deny that Mariah has an ability that goes beyond what most people can even imagine.

Most importantly is the fact that she has definitely worked hard for her success. She did not come from a privileged background. She had to hustle to support herself and her family. She was even a waitress for a spell. While she was lucky enough to be discovered relatively early, it was not like that was it and the road was clear. She had to constantly fight to prove herself – against skeptics about her talent, against her record company about her artistic integrity, against the media about her sanity, etc. Many of the trials could have broken down a lesser person, but Mariah strove valiantly and you cannot help but cheer for her every time she pulls through. Mariah may have often portrayed a princess but she has fought like a hero.

Mariah as a guy in Obsessed, 2009

As for her sugariness, I have to admit that that is also one of the reasons why I love her. Why can’t “intellectual types” like pretty things? Mariah is the ultimate girl’s girl. She wears a princess dress and walks with a unicorn! I have always wondered why the advancement of women’s rights requires us to don on pants and deny our femininity. It is so contradictory.

My recent Mariah-thon was sparked after my boyfriend and were having a discussion about artists with a sense of humour. Mariah’s Touch My Body inevitably came up and from there, Obsessed, as well as others. To what extent she contributed to the ideas behind those songs and videos is irrelevant. The fact that she agreed to participate in them says a lot about the woman. It’s nice that she’s willing to make fun of herself and the situations she finds herself in. It’s a lot better than the distasteful shock-tactics that some other performers have gone for in recent times.

While of course, I don’t know Mariah personally, she has expressed such intense and universally-relatable feelings of joy, heartbreak, struggle and faith through her music, that it’s easy to imagine an angel singing with her voice.

So, for the record, I love Mariah Carey because she is an amazing artist and true inspiration.

I envy the lucky fans that will get to see her in Las Vegas this summer. Sing on, Mariah!