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Mariah Carey Opens Up About Bipolar Disorder

Mariah Carey Opens Up About Bipolar Disorder

People magazine declined to explain how the interview had come about, saying only that Ms. Carey had trusted Mr. Cagle to tell her story. A publicist for Ms. Carey did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ms. Carey was a teenager in the late 1980s when she was recruited by Tommy Mottola, the president of what was then CBS Records, to become a pop star. Her fame was swift with the backing of the label, and that placed enormous pressure on her from the beginning.

She spent long hours in the studio recording her debut, “Mariah Carey,” and was nominated for four Grammys in 1991. She won two that year, including the award for best new artist. Her third album, 1993’s “Music Box,” was also an enormous commercial success. By 2000, Billboard had crowned her the artist of the decade.

But the money behind Ms. Carey’s rise led to suspicion. Industry observers questioned the singer’s initial unwillingness to tour and asked whether her voice was less impressive than it sounded on record. The scrutiny increased in 1997, when Ms. Carey and Mr. Mottola parted ways, and she began to experiment with her style.

In the summer of 2001, after a drawn-out feud with her label, and the release of a new single, Ms. Carey was hospitalized for exhaustion. Soon after, her film project “Glitter” was released and widely panned by critics.

The latter half of her career has been characterized by inconsistent performances, and a string of high-profile relationships that have been obsessively covered by the tabloids.

She retained her hitmaking abilities (the blockbuster songs “We Belong Together” and “Touch My Body” were released during this period). For many critics, Ms. Carey’s music had become less of a focus than her public persona and live performances. In 2017, she was widely ridiculed for her failed lip-syncing performance on ABC’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest” in Times Square.

Ms. Carey’s disclosure of her diagnosis follows admissions of mental health problems by other celebrities. Last year, Chrissy Teigen wrote an essay about her experience with postpartum depression for Glamour magazine and Selena Gomez told Vogue about her struggles with anxiety and depression.

But Ms. Carey started her career during a different era and her interview with Mr. Cagle breaks new ground. She told People that she had decided to speak partly on behalf of others who might be suffering.

“I’m hopeful we can get to a place where the stigma is lifted from people going through anything alone,” she said. “It can be incredibly isolating. It does not have to define you and I refuse to allow it to define me or control me.”

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