Mariah Carey “can’t help” acting up to her diva persona.
The singer, 52, made the admission to W Magazine in a phone interview published on Friday (Nov 25), which she gave while enjoying a bubble bath.
She said: “There are things people are not aware of because this whole ‘diva’ thing is always what people see first.
“Yes, I play into it. And yes, part of that is real. I can’t help it.
“Like, what do you do if you grew up with an opera singer for a mother, who went to Juilliard and made her debut at Lincoln Center?”
Mariah added her prima donna persona is both an “affectation” and “response” to her upbringing.
She said she felt “othered” as a biracial girl growing up in a mainly white neighbourhood in New York, and said her childhood was so “dysfunctional” it is “shocking” she “made it out of that at all.”
Mariah’s mum Patricia Carey, who is white, performed with the New York City Opera, while her black/Hispanic dad Alfred Roy Carey was an aeronautical engineer.
The singer told W: “People think I had this princess-style life or whatever, a kind of fairy-tale existence where I just emerged, like, ‘Here I am!’ And that is not what it is.
“But when you grow up with a messed-up life and then you’re able to have this transformation where you can make your life what you want it to be? That is joy for me. That’s why I want my kids to have everything they can have.”
Mum-of-two Mariah, who has 11-year-old twins Moroccan and Monroe, has published a children’s book about a young girl named Little Mariah called The Christmas Princess.
But the so-called ‘Queen of Christmas’ said the title was “not because I think I’m a Christmas princess or any of those things that I’ve never called myself”.
She added: “We’re talking about a little girl who rises above her circumstances and ends up helping other people through music”.