Worst to Best: Every Mariah Carey Album Ranked
Mariah Carey, her name says it all. For 25 years, the diva has wowed us with her music, songwriting and ability to blend genres with ease. After the release of 1990’s “Vision of Love,” off her self-titled debut album, it was apparent that the New York native was something special. She was the complete package: beautiful, relatable and possessed the voice of an angel.
The voice. Her famous five-octave vocal range (that probably came from her opera singer mother) had power. She effortlessly soared from high registers to seductive low notes and her signature use of the so-called whistle register put her in a special class of singers. It’s no wonder that she’s been referred to as the “songbird supreme” by the Guinness World Records.
Her songs have surpassed pop music and stand the test of time. 1995’s bittersweet “One Sweet Day” with Boyz II Men and her torch song, 1993’s “Hero,” are still played at countless proms, karaoke nights and in car stereos. Some would argue that Mimi single-handedly changed Christmas with her festive “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” The holiday will never be the same.
But Mariah can do more than belt out power ballads. She’s always had a keen ear for pop and an interest in hip-hop. From 1995’s “Fantasy” (Remix) with Ol’ Dirty Bastard to “Heartbreaker” with Jay Z, Mariah experimented with hip-hop before it became trendy. She’s set the bar for singers that have followed and successful vocalists like Christina Aguilera and Ariana Grande have clearly taken a page from MC’s songbook.
After years of success, unfortunately she suffered a very public meltdown in 2001– she pointed to exhaustion and overworking as its cause — and Glitter, both the film and the album, proved to be commercial misses. Some counted MC out but her die-hard fans, the Lambily, never gave up hope. With 2005’s The Emancipation of Mimi , Mariah bounced back, better than ever. Her song “We Belong Together” became her most successful single of the 2000s and was named “Song of the Decade” by Billboard. Now that’s how you come back, dahhling.
A jaw-dropping 14 studio albums (not to mention compilation and remix albums) are in her catalog and she’s sold more than 200 million records worldwide, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time. She’s also been honored as the best-selling female artist of the millennium. Then there are her 18 No. 1 singles — just two behind The Beatles — which is more than any other solo artist.
She’s not a singer. She’s an icon. Here are Mariah Carey’s albums ranked, worst to best.