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For Rock Hall’s Consideration: Mariah Carey

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 12: Singer Mariah Carey attends MTV First: Mariah Carey's 'You're Mine (Eternal)' music video world premiere at MTV Studios on February 12, 2014 in New York City.
Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images

With 2015 just several months away, Mariah Carey is one of the 1990's artists to be eligible for induction next year. And during that decade, she was one of the biggest selling artists (with over 200 million albums sold worldwide), and even had a number one single in every year of that decade, one of which still holds the record of being the longest-running.

Carey’s prominence began in 1990 with the release of her debut album, which topped the charts and sold over fifteen million copies worldwide, followed by Emotions the following year, which sold eight million and went top 5. Around the same time, Carey first five singles including “Vision of Love”, “Someday” and “Emotions” all hit number one (making her the first artist to do so). She would top the charts again with a cover of the Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There”.

In the 1990's rolled on, Carey would issue two albums that would go on to be certified Diamond; 1993’s Music Box and 1995’s Daydream. In that period she scored more number ones including “Dreamlover”, “Hero”, “One Sweet Day” (where it would spend a record sixteen weeks), and “Always Be My Baby”. It was also during this period, that Carey began to show her musical versatility, combining R&B and hip hop influences into her pop sound, which was relevant in the remix of “Fantasy” (the second single ever to debut at number one).

As the 1990's reached its end, Carey’s blend of hip-hop, soul, and contemporary pop was complete with albums Butterfly (1997) and Rainbow (1999), as well as hits “Honey” and “Heartbreaker”. After a slow period, she bounced back in 2005 where she released the twelve million-selling The Emancipation of Mimi, along with number ones “We Belong Together” and “Don’t Forget about Us”. Two more albums followed, E=MC² (2008) and Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel (2009), and a new album is expected in 2014.

By the 2010’s, Carey’s vocal style has influenced countless pop, hip-hop, and R&B artists including Beyoncé, Pink, Mary J. Blige, and Leona Lewis. She has also been deemed as one of the most influential vocalists of her generation, having helped bring R&B and hip-hop further into the mainstream, and she continues to inspire to this day.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Mariah Carey, eligible in 2015.