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WWD Music issue 09/04/2008

Mariah Carey is a woman of extremes. There have been highs — most consistently, her five-octave voice, which pierces the whistle register — and lows, such as her much chronicled meltdown, which included a bizarre striptease on TRL in 2001. But, now, after 18 years on the charts, Carey, 38, is way up at the top of her game, where she reigns as the bestselling female recording artist of all time.

“I always knew what I wanted to do with my life,” Carey recently told WWD. “My mother was an opera singer, and I’d been singing since I started talking and writing songs since I was 13.”

This story first appeared in the September 4, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

And she’s only gotten better with time. Add this to Carey’s list of superlatives: She’s written more number-one songs — “Touch My Body” off her latest album, “E=MC2,” brought her total to 18 — than any other female producer and composer. Only the Beatles have had more number-one hits.

Of course, Carey has been known to show off assets aside from her voice — including her two fragrances with Elizabeth Arden. Her proclivity for less-is-more fashion — hemlines as high as her notes — borders on exhibitionism and just might trigger another creative outlet in design. “I love lingerie,” said Carey. “I’ve been looking at doing something with that — but that’s a whole different story.”

Carey’s first fragrance, M by Mariah Carey, was launched in September 2007 and climbed to the top of the sales charts. Her latest, Luscious Pink, is intended to show fans a more intimate look into her world and has just hit store shelves. “This scent is feminine, flirtatious and fun, and truly reflects where I am in my life now, after an incredible year,” Carey told WWD in June (just weeks after marrying rapper-actor Nick Cannon).

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