Words like icon and legend and diva become insubstantial when casually deployed. Just because your dog reached five-digit followers on Instagram does not make it iconic. Thankfully, Mariah Carey still hovers above us as a reminder of what it means to be a queen. (Don’t bother asking—she doesn’t know your French bulldog.)
Nearly three decades into one of the most successful careers in music history, Carey continues to find new avenues to explore as a star. Later this year, E! will premiere her first foray into reality TV, the eight-episode docuseries Mariah’s World. Viewers in 153 countries, across 24 languages, will have unprecedented access to the life of the woman whose estimated $27 million in revenue put her in the No. 9 spot on Forbes’ top-earning women in music list. Keeping with her seemingly newfound interest in pulling back the layers, she spoke with Complex contributor Elena Bergeron over dinner in Malibu for the cover of the August/September 2016 issue.
Carey spoke about her decision to pursue reality television, her power moves in the music industry, her relationship with the late Prince, and much more. As described by Bergeron and photographed by Micaela Rossato, Carey registers as both tangible and distant. As ever, she’s in control. The rest of us are just under the privilege of her spell. Read the full cover story by clicking below, and make sure to buy Complex’s August/September issue now!