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Mariah Carey's remarkable vocal range helped her gospel-influenced dance tunes reach the top of the pop charts in the early 1990s. Her hit albums included Mariah Carey (1990), Music Box (1993) and Butterfly (1997). Critics winked at Carey's 1993 marriage to Tommy Mottola, the head of Sony Music and Columbia Records (Carey's label), but her vocal abilities and babe-appeal kept her in good standing with fans and made her a favorite on MTV. (Carey and Mottola were divorced in 1998.) In 2001 Carey left Columbia to sign with EMI's Virgin Records for a reported $100 million; her first Virgin album, Glitter, the soundtrack to her semi-autobiographical 2001 movie, was widely considered a disappointment. In July of 2001 Carey was hospitalized for exhaustion, and the next month her publicists said that Carey was also receiving psychiatric treatment. The next year she split with EMI, which paid $28 million to buy out the remainder of her contract.
Carey's exact vocal range is a matter of some debate; some claim it was an astonishing seven octaves at the start of her career, while others suggest four or five octaves is more accurate... In 1998 Carey co-starred in a much-discussed VH1 special, Divas Live, along with Celine Dion, Aretha Franklin, Gloria Estefan and Shania Twain... Carey's ex-husband Tommy Mottola married Mexican pop star Thalia in December of 2000.
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