Mariah Carey Talks About Being Labeled a 'Diva' and How Much of It Is Real

Carey also talks about her unique relationship with time: "I don't know her."

Mariah Carey has been labeled a lot of things across her career. Things like the voice of a generation, the Queen of Christmas (though not copyrighted), and even a diva.

In a new interview with W Magazine, the elusive chanteuse shared her thoughts on that last label, which some see as having a negative connotation, and others see as a badge of honor. After all, VH1 wasn’t trying to insult anyone with its “VH1 Divas” celebration.

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Carey acknowledged that this “diva” aspect of her persona is “always what people see first.” She even admitted, “Yes, I play into it.” At the same time, she said that some of it is one hundred percent real.

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“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?” said Carey. “There’s just a certain amount that is going to emerge.”

It’s a combination of an “affectation,” an instinctive “response” that she can’t help, and “sometimes it’s purposely done.”

The iconic singer doesn’t see it as a negative thing, either, as she recently told Paper Magazine. After admitting that she has diva moments, “and then people can’t handle it,” Carey admitted that she can get “a little intense.”

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Again, she said it’s because of the influence of her mother. In fact, when people start throwing that word around about her, Carey can’t help but think, “Honey, you don’t know what a diva is, you didn’t grow up with my mom.”

“I mean it as a compliment,” Carey laughed. “I wouldn’t be the person I am without experiencing that.” She said that her own “diva” moments are her channeling her mother. And they’re never meant to be disrespectful.

Elsewhere in the interview, Carey also talked about her elusive relationship with time, which she says doesn’t really exist. “I don’t acknowledge time,” Carey said. “I don’t know her.”

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The interview had previously explained that Carey said any topic was up for discussion, except for her age. She kept that unique perspective on time throughout, like when she said “we’re celebrating 25 minutes of” her 1997 album “Butterfly.”

When asked about that, Carey replied, “Yes, darling, each year is a minute, okay?” She then added with a laugh, “I told you, I don’t acknowledge time!”

She may not acknowledge the passage of time, but Carey certainly acknowledges the time of year, with “All I Want for Christmas Is You” making its annual trek up the charts. Carey recently lost a legal bid to trademark “Queen of Christmas,” per TMZ, but she’s become the symbol of the season regardless.

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