- Mariah Carey isn't one to shy away from the "diva" label that has followed her throughout her incredibly successful music career.
- The icon is known to call out fellow artists like Madonna and Jennifer Lopez (her now infamous line "I don't know her" was in response to a reporter asking about the fellow New Yorker) and has specific lighting preferences that she's enforced on radio shows and her 2006 reality TV show, "Mariah's World."
- We've compiled 20 times Mimi held true to her diva status.
- Visit INSIDER's homepage for more stories.
Mariah Carey is an icon.
The 49-year-old (or 50, depending on who you ask) pop star has never shied away from her diva reputation. In a 2017 interview with Paper magazine, the singer explained that being a diva runs in her blood.
"I have had diva moments, and then people can't handle it," she said.
That kind of fearlessness is what makes her Mariah.
And whether she's bringing her own lighting crew to a radio show or making up words on the Home Shopping Network, there's never a dull moment with the superstar singer.
Here are 20 of her wildest moments.
When she subtly dissed Madonna.
Carey proved she was the queen of reactions back in 1995 when she was asked about Madonna saying she'd "rather kill myself" than sing pop songs like Carey.
The singer responded: "I really haven't paid attention to Madonna since I was in, like, seventh or eighth grade when she used to be popular, so I didn't hear that."
When she made a surprise appearance on "Total Request Live."
Strutting out in a large T-shirt with "loverboy" written on it, singing into a microphone, and pushing an ice cream cart, Carey surprised guests and host Carson Daly during a taping of "TRL" in 2001. She then preceded to take the shirt off, told Daly he was her "therapy session," and spoke about random things.
Daly repeatedly said he didn't know what she was doing there and then told the camera directly, "Mariah Carey's lost her mind." She checked herself into a hospital a few days later, citing "extreme exhaustion."
When she got into her full tub while wearing a towel on "Cribs."
On a 2002 episode of MTV's "Cribs," Carey showed off her massive and stunning New York apartment, complete with fish tank and a full room serving as a closet. But the best moment was the bathroom tour, where she put on a towel and climbed into a full bathtub.
When she reportedly demanded six de-humidifiers to protect her voice and an extra suite to use as a wardrobe on a trip to London.
According to a 2005 article in The Independent, Carey also "demanded that a record shop lavatory be redecorated for an hour-long signing ceremony and smashed a tea set to stop anyone else using it."
When she denied knowing Jennifer Lopez.
Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen/YouTube
Sometime during the early 2000s, Carey was doing an interview with a foreign TV station where they asked her opinion on other artists. When they mentioned Jennifer Lopez, Carey responded with her now infamous phrase, "I don't know her."
Andy Cohen brought this quote up again in 2016, and Carey still maintained that she didn't know her.
When she called out a backup singer during a live performance.
During a 2008 performance of her single "Touch My Body" on ABC's "Good Morning America," Carey turned around mid-performance and chided a backup singer she believed was singing her part.
Carey sang, in tune, "Stop singing my part now, baby."
When she drunkenly made an acceptance speech.
Carey was named breakthrough actress at the 2010 Palm Springs International Film Festival for her role in Lee Daniels' "Precious," but her speech left quite the impression. She starts off with a mention that she's a little intoxicated before going on her spiel.
When she made up words on the Home Shopping Network.
Home Shopping Network
Carey hit up HSN in July 2011 following the birth of her twins and went on a series of interesting tangents during her two-hour tangent. Gawker compiled a short collection of her wackiest moments, which included waving off imaginary butterflies, directing the crew to take the camera off of her even though it wasn't on her, and making up words like "camouflagian."
When she played a live version of her song "Fantasy" while giving birth to her twins in 2011.
Her ex-husband, Nick Cannon, went on "The Gayle King Show" in 2011 and gave the details.
"My wife wanted to make sure that when the babies came out, that they came out not only to a Mariah Carey song, but a live performance from Mariah Carey — her Madison Square performance of 'Fantasy' — so they came out to a round of applause," he said.
When she wore a gown on the NYC subway.
She shared the photo on her Instagram in 2014 and captioned it, "Glimpses of our joyride on the 1 train."
Her feud with Nicki Minaj.
Carey and Minaj joined "American Idol" as judges on season 12, but the two famously didn't get along. It all started during the auditions and continued throughout. In an interview with Barbara Walters, Carey was asked if she was the "b----" Minaj sang about in a song. Carey gave a sassy response.
"Don't know. I didn't know she sang. I thought she rapped. Or whatever," she said.
When she took her own lighting crew to an interview.
Breakfast Club Power 105.1 FM/YouTube
In 2014, Carey went on Power 105.1's The Breakfast Club and sent her own lighting crew ahead of her to get the room ready. And that was all just for a radio show.
When she told US Weekly she swims in formal wear.
Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images
In 2015, the "We Belong Together" singer gave US Weekly 25 things they didn't know about her. On the list, she revealed she likes to swim in "evening gowns and heels."
When she refused to take off her sunglasses because of her fluorescent lighting rule, which she explained on one of the episodes of her reality TV show, "Mariah's World."
"I'm wearing these glasses because we're in fluorescent lighting, and I have a rule which states that I will not be seen in fluorescent lighting without sunglasses — I know it's very '90s," she said on the 2016 show.
When her New Year's Eve performance became a disaster.
What was supposed to be a performance ringing in the New Year turned into Carey talking more than singing. Vocals were heard in the background, but Carey herself just spoke to the audience and walked around saying she couldn't hear. Her manager cited problems with her in-ear devices not working.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Carey put the blame on "everybody."
"This was out of my control, and had everything not been such a total chaotic mess, then I would have been able to make something happen," she said. "Even the dancers should have stopped dancing and helped me off the f---ing stage. I'm sorry. It was a mess, and I blame everybody, and I blame myself for not leaving after rehearsal."
When she wouldn't sing her own song in a movie cameo.
Mike Blake / Reuters
Carey was supposed to make a cameo in the Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler comedy "The House," but the scene was never shot due to her diva behavior. Ferrell went on "Watch What Happens Live" and told host Andy Cohen what happened. He confirmed that Carey showed up four hours late and didn't want to sing the planned song. He called the whole experience a "s--- storm."
When she barely danced during a Vegas performance.
Bennett Raglin/Getty Images
Carey went viral in July when a video of her barely moving at a Las Vegas concert hit the web. The short clip featured Carey bopping slowly to her song "Honey" and looking less than enthusiastic about being on stage.
When she wore stilettos to go bowling.
Maury Phillips/Getty Images
Breaking bowling rules by not putting on bowling shoes, the singer wore heels while at the alley with her twins, Monroe and Moroccan.
Carey awed fans when she did the perfect squat while signing autographs.
Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for AIDS Healthcare Foundation
During a December 2017 concert, Carey got down to sign autographs but blew fans' minds as it looked like she was sitting in a chair. She wasn't, and the perfect squat went viral.
When Carey shaded the Grammys.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Mimi may have five Grammy Awards, but she doesn't really care. In an interview with V Magazine, the singer said musicians shouldn't worry about Grammy deadlines and just focus on making music for themselves.
"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn," she said. "I mean, I have five Grammys. That's cute ... I won two Grammys the first year I started, but after that, [the Grammys] are like, 'We don't go with the people that are selling a lot of records and are popular; we're gonna go the opposite way.' So I got screwed out of certain years. I wasn't bitter about it. I was just like, 'OK, well, I guess I'm not standing here barefoot onstage singing and trying to go a certain way. I'm just me.'"