Mariah Carey

Let's meet Mariah Carey, the backup singer. (Yes, you read correctly). Before she serenaded us with "Vision of Love" in 1990, Mariah was behind the spotlight, providing backup vocals for pop singer Brenda K. Starr. Before that, Mariah waited tables and even became a beauty school dropout. After failing to impress several music labels with her demo, Mariah finally got her big break when record executive Tommy Mottola gave it a listen. "An unbelievable energy was running though me, screaming, 'Turn the car around! That may be the best voice you've ever heard in your life,'" he wrote in his book, Hitmaker: The Man and His Music. Tommy eventually gave her a deal — and his hand in marriage.

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