Mariah’s Lasting Impact: Side-by-Side with Ariana Grande

Mariah Carey’s lasting impact on the new generation of female pop stars…

Especially Ariana Grande


They call the music Mariah. TIME Magazine named Mariah Carey the Ultimate Pop Star of All Time. The feature fails to explain why. If you’ve ever played 7 degrees of Kevin Bacon, this is sort of like that. If you really look at the major female pop stars of music today, who are known for bold femininity, big voices, and hit singles, you will see a little bit of Mariah in everyone. These career comparisons are being made solely to highlight the indelible impact of Mariah Carey’s stardom, scope and longevity. Without her, we may not have the types of artists we have today, many of whom model themselves after Mariah in some way, shape or form. Whether they like to admit it or not, they grew up on Mariah’s music. After much negative reviews and harsh criticism from the media lately, it’s time we really take a look at how much Mariah has influenced a generation of women. 

Often Imitated, Never Duplicated

The music industry has been gung-ho about finding the next Mariah for obvious reasons: Mariah Carey is gold! No doubt Mariah Carey has paved “The Way” for pop starlet Ariana Grande. From the sound and style of her music, her appearance and stage mannerisms, she (or her PR team) channels Mariah constantly. The vocal range and musical arrangements are very reflective of Mariah – right down to the whispers, bells and whistles. The constant comparisons in the media and internet make it quite clear who she is being molded after.


While it’s exciting to think “Another MARIAH!” – if you know music and understand that Mariah is very responsible for her mega-success because of her ambition, song-writing, and actual musical talent – not to mention the physical aspect of her image and persona. Mariah didn’t start out her career being modeled after someone else – Mariah Carey went from being discovered and then pioneered herself into a living legend; her abilities still remain untouched, which is why she is now an icon.  Ariana can belt ballads, but she does not have the skills or depth of the 19 year old Mariah nor today’s Mariah.

Honey (1996)
Break Free (20140

Ariana recently addressed the comparisons:

“Mariah has been a huge influence on me since I was a little girl. I’ve even done a cover of one of her songs. I don’t think there are any negatives to being compared to one of the greatest vocalists of all time. It’s honestly a great honor.”

Take a look:

Ariana’s hit single “Problem” pairing with Iggy Azalea stylistically reminds of Mariah’s singles with female-rapper Da Brat (Heartbreaker RemixLoverboy)

Up next: Mariah Carey vs. Taylor Swift


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