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Carey opens up about new docuseries 'Mariah's World'

| Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, 5:45 p.m.

Though it won't be easy, fans may capture a glimpse of the real Mariah Carey when her docuseries, “Mariah's World,” premieres on E! and Bravo on Dec. 4.

Uneasy with personal questions, Carey admits that she's come a long way since she was a 3-year-old singing for her mom who later became her vocal coach.

“I'm like the same person that I was when I was a kid,” she says. “I know the realities of having to, like, watch what you do and try to look a certain way and whatever. But I'm just the same person because I grew up with nothing.

“I didn't have money. I had a very difficult childhood. I moved around a lot. I had some things that were amazing and great and encouraging and then some things that were really difficult and sad and hard and hurtful. So I think that's always a part of me. And I think that goes into making music or doing any kind of creative activity.”

The eight-parter, which will air subsequent shows Sundays on E!, is NOT a reality show, she insists. “I don't know how to explain that there's just things that happen, where you just go with it because it's not scripted. Somebody asked me something about scripted or whatever. It's not scripted. Like, I don't know what these other (reality) shows are because I don't watch them. So all I can say is that I know what I did. But I don't know what somebody else did. Like, it's not about getting my nails done or pedicures all day long.”

Jeff Olde, E!'s head of programming, promises fans, “We are going to take viewers beyond the flash bulbs, beyond the fame, and into the private, jet-set life of one of the most celebrated pop divas of all time, singer, songwriter, and mega producer Mariah Carey.”

The show will dog her Manolo Blahniks as she hustles off on her international tour. “I haven't been on tour in Europe in at least, like, 10 years — when I was 10 — and so I figured, ‘Let's go, for real,'” she says.

“I was, like, ‘Let's just show the behind-the-scenes, what it really takes to do a tour, what it really takes for all these people to get together and work together and become a family, and mainly watch how the music evolves; watch the process, and watch how the different personalities interact.”

And she promises more than that. “It's also my life, and I figured if I don't document this right now, I'm not sure when I'm going to go on tour again. I'm not sure what I'm going to do. So the reason why we call it more a ‘docuseries' is because it feels like a documentary . There's no way I was, like, ‘Ooh, let's do some kind of reality thing.' I don't even watch reality. I don't even know what reality is, literally, in the terms of real or not real.”

Carey has been skewered in the spotlight ever since her debut album, “Mariah Carey” hit the charts in 1990.

Her personal life hasn't made her any more inconspicuous. Amid battles with her record company, marriage to recording company CEO Tommy Mottola for four years, and later nuptials with performer Nick Cannon, she seemed to always be under the lens of the paparazzi.

She and Cannon, with whom she has fraternal twins, divorced after eight years and she's recently suffered a well publicized breakup with her fiancé, Australian billionaire James Packer.

Even on the job Carey can't seem to avoid notoriety. When she served as one of the judges on “American Idol,” she and fellow judge Nicki Minaj exchanged toxic barbs. About that Carey shakes her head and says, “It was the most abusive experience.”

Will her children, Monroe and Moroccan, be part of the series? “Here's the thing,” she says, “They could have their own show because that's how funny they are. Like it's not because they are my kids, but I just have to figure out—mutually figure it out with Nick and whatever how much we really want them in the show.

“Because the truth is they jump on the stage when they can. They are an integral part of my life. It's the kids, and it's the show. We were in South Africa, and we got onstage, and my babies were, like, dancing around, singing. Rocky is, like, ‘South Africa.' Rocky is my son. And Ms. Monroe (her daughter), I was, like, ‘Pose like mommy.' And suddenly, she's (posing). But they are 5. They just turned 5. So I want it to be, we'll see. I think it should be sparingly used, unfortunately. But they should have their own show. If I were an agent and I discovered them, I'd be, like, ‘These kids need to be on TV.'”

Her phenomenal ascent in the music world — with 220 million records sold worldwide —is not an accident, she says. “I think it's about collaborating with people that you really feel a musical connection with, trying to just be true to what you want to do. There's so many trends, and if you follow them, they die, because that's what a trend is, something that goes away. But if you want to remain a classic or try to be a classic, maybe you dabble in, like, some part of a trend, but I think you have to keep the through-line as yourself.”

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