Talk:Mariah Carey

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Featured article Mariah Carey is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
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RfC: Are "African American" categories supported by sources and policy?[edit]

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The consensus is that Ms Carey inclusion in African American categories is correct. The majority opinion is that is how she is identified in reliable sources and has self identified in a video. AlbinoFerret 19:00, 16 January 2016 (UTC)

I'm curious if the community actually agrees that these categories are legitimate on this and similar articles. Some of the potential issues raised:

  • Nothing in this article's sourced content suggests that Carey actually self-identifies as African-American, only that she's said that being of mixed ethnic background caused familial tensions and some social challenges growing up.
  • Reaching from such a statement to an assumption about how Carey identifies and should be categorized (i.e. labelled by Wikipedia) may be novel analysis and interpretation.
  • This is especially risky, and countermanded, in a biography of a living person.
  • It may also even advance the controversial, anti-scientific, and politically loaded "one-drop rule" in Wikipedia's own voice.
  • Most Americans with diverse ethno-cultural backgrounds do not self-identify as, and resist pigeonholing as "an anything" in particular and singularly.
  • It's noteworthy that we have not categorized this subject as a "Venezuelan American singer-songwriter" or more generally a "Hispanic American singer-songwriter", nor as an "Irish American singer-songwriter", or anything else.
  • It may not be sufficient that some sources might want to label Carey in particular ways for their own reasons and in their own contexts.
  • Wikipedia is not a genealogy work; pigeonholing subjects with iffy micro-categorization trivia representing everyone's ancestral heritage in detail is not relevant to WP's encyclopedia mission and purpose.
  • This may raise similar concerns to categorizing someone who is in a heterosexual [or homosexual, take your pick] marriage as "bisexual" just because they said they once had a homosexual [or hetero, if you want to reverse it] encounter.
  • Singling out "Africanness" as something to especially categorize seems inappropriate dwelling, whether it's being done for positive or negative reasons.

These are general concerns, not limited to Carey's case in particular. In short, I'm skeptical we'd ever categorize someone as a "Jewish American whatever" on the basis of partial ancestry and a few sources engaging in such labelling, absent unequivocal use/acceptance of such a label by the subject, at least for a WP:BLP.
[I'm including this as a titles/style RfC as well as the other categories, since it could affect use of ethnic terms in parenthetic disambiguation.]
 — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  22:19, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Alerted here and here. And for the relevant video clips where Carey and/or her mother comment on Carey's "race"/ethnicity, see here (starting at 1:04) and here. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 22:56, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
  • She never id her self as an African American Person, UNLESSS a reliable source says that she is or a birth certificate says this then it may be included in this article other wise no. RFS member Ⓩⓟⓟⓘⓧ (talk) 20:20, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
Zppix, what are you basing "She never id her self as an African American Person" on? I've read sources over the years (including WP:Reliable ones) that state that she identifies as African American and/or with African American culture. And in the first video clip above, it is somewhat acknowledged when she states that "In the U.S., I'm black." Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 18:00, 7 December 2015 (UTC)

Two points should probabely be made, so that people are not talking past each other: 1) African Americans have a "complex genetic makeup" [1] and 2) African American is also cultural: "Although racially mixed, most blacks in the United States are physically distinguishable from whites, but they are also an ethnic group because of the distinctive culture they have developed within the general American framework." [2] Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:33, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Alanscottwalker, thanks for that. I stated similarly at my talk page. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 14:46, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Support category the RS support her being African American. If people need proof, her father is African-American[3][4][5] and I don't know how someone who has one parent that is either black (or Asian) is not also considered that. IMO Wentworth Miller should also be categorized African American. Sorry Rachel Dolezal, you don't get to choose your ethnicity. It seems like people are going based on how they look rather than the RS, which is not neutral. МандичкаYO 😜 01:46, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support adding category. If her father's ethnicity is African American, which is supported in multiple reliable sources, then that would make her African American. I think its pretty simple. Meatsgains (talk) 17:52, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support She is the daughter of a white woman and a black man; she's as black as President Obama. https://books.google.com/books?id=xcwDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA54#v=onepage&q&f=false Let's please not descend into colorism. Steeletrap (talk) 22:28, 5 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support the use of the categories (and any other reference to her status as an African American) in-so-far as they are supported by WP:Reliable sources. The standard we are meant to apply here is not original research concerning what we personally think of the social constructs which go into delineating race (be they sometimes perplexing), nor are we meant to be applying our own rational as to how they apply to individuals. Rather we are meant to only be relaying what reliable sources say about the subject--and it is unambiguous in this instance that a large number of reliable sources regard Ms. Carey as African-American. Remember, the standard is WP:Verifiability, not WP:TRUTH. Meaning no offense to SMcCandlish's clearly good-faith inquiry here, but pretty much every policy or guideline they referenced points us in the same direction here: MOS:IDENTITY tells us to utilize identity descriptors which appear in reliable sources rather than those preferred by the subject themselves; WP:NOR tells us not to utilize our own interpretation of the nature of the subject, but instead, again, the perspectives found in reliable sources; WP:BLP explicitly allows for this form of categorization (as does WP:ETHNICRACECAT); WP:NPOV once again requires us to avoid attaching our own perspectives (on race or any other matter) to the subject and rather to rely on what reliable sources say about how the subject intersects with those topics; WP:SOAPBOX tells us not to make personal ideological stands via content, but rather to apply policy indifferently to the sources and the content; WP:NOT#GENEALOGY has nothing to do with how we treat race and ethnicity on this project, it is a subsection of WP:NOT#Directory that explains that we do not host elaborate family histories beyond the notable members of a family.
In short, so long as we have sources referring to Ms. Carey as African American, it is completely consistent with every guideline mentioned here (and indeed, any policy which is on point for this topic that I know of) to allow reference to her being of African-American descent, including via categorization. Indeed, it would be unambiguously against the reading of numerous of those policies to censor those details just because some of us might find certain definitions of ethnicity to be empirically non-nonsensical. And believe me, I am amongst those who feel this way, so I understand where SMcCandlish is coming from. But on Wikipedia, I must abide by WP:V and other standards, even where they clash with my notions of fact. And under said standards, this is quite simply a WP:SNOW issue. That's not to say the project's approach to these situations can't change, but that would be a conversation that would have to take place at the relevant policy pages (WP:ETHNICRACECAT, WP:BLP) and/or in central community discussion (WP:VPP, WP:CD) in order to effect a change. The policies and community consensus as they currently stand leave little doubt as to how we should apply them to this article. (Snow let's rap 08:58, 7 December 2015 (UTC)

Her father is a Latino Venezuelan, not an african american. Carey also has a white mother. For this same dumb argument, she should also be included in White Americans article--Vvven (talk) 23:30, 20 December 2015 (UTC)

This is not the place to discuss Ms. Carey's presence in another article. That discussion should proceed in the relevant article. However, I can tell you that your thorough conviction and assertion that your reading of the facts is the only true one is not likely to be very compelling here--no matter how passionately you feel about the matter--unless you can provide sources that explicitly state that Ms. Carey is not African American, such that outweigh those which say she is of this ancestry. Please see WP:Verifiability, WP:No original research, and WP:Verifiability not truth. On this project we do not apply our views as to the facts, nor do we apply our own internal logic to first-order information in order to deduce new facts, no matter how straight-forward we believe those assumptions to be. If you find enough sources saying Ms. Carey is not an African American, you will have a case for removing her from that article. If you find enough sources saying she is a White American, you can add her to that article--it's as simple as that. We are not here to debate the byzantine and often controversial nature of race descriptors in the English language; once again, on Wikipedia we report what reliable sources say on a subject, not what we have to say about it. Snow let's rap 05:59, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

Note: Vvven is coming from this discussion; also see this comment. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 00:11, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

this comment was wrong, I recognize, but this in this page is not. the way of how to say it does not invalidate the reason --Vvven (talk) 00:23, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

  • Support — Carey: "In this country [U.S.], I'm black." In video clip mentioned above, with nothing she says there in any way deviating from commonly accepted understandings. Unequivocal.--Carwil (talk) 16:33, 22 December 2015 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Adding Jay Z to associated acts?[edit]

Should it be necessary to add Jay Z to Carey's associated acts list? Mariah and Carter first worked each other in 1999 with her No. 1 hit single "Heartbreaker". That same year, they also collaborated on "Things That U Do" from Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter (1999). It appeared eminent that both Mariah Carey and Jay Z were pretty good friends when they also performed live her Homecoming Special.[1]

Carter and Mariah Carey reunited in 2002 to record "You Got Me" for her 2002 effort Charmbracelet after they both coincidentally released their last records Glitter and The Blueprint on September 11, 2001. As Mariah Carey left Virgin Records America after a $100+ million deal that went nowhere, she signed with Def Jam Recordings in 2002, a label that a past peer coincidentally is also signed to.

L.A. Reid whom was temporarily the CEO of the label was struggling, needed advice from Mariah for what he had to do for Def Jam's success:


“Coming into the label [Def Jam] and really sort of reading the tea leaves, I knew that I needed help. You know, I got the advice from Mariah Carey. I asked her, ’What should I do?’ She said, ’Hire Jigga!'

He continued, “She said, ’You know there’s only one person?’ I was like ’Who?’ She said, ’Jay Z.'”.[2]


Thanks to Mariah Carey's advice, L.A. Reid temporarily stepped down as CEO of Def Jam and hired Jay Z in 2004, whom founded success with the acts of Kanye West and Rihanna. In 2008, Carey and Jay Z once again collaborated on a remix of "Bye Bye" that was a moderate hit.

I believe that Jay should definitely be included in Mariah Carey's associated acts list, because of their huge friendship.troublednbored (talk) 20:22, 15 January 2016 (UTC)

While their work might be enough to include him, friendship is not in itself a valid reason for inclusion. Snuggums (talk / edits) 20:27, 15 January 2016 (UTC)
Meanwhile, should we add him or not? troublednbored (talk) 22:05, 15 January 2016 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 27 January 2016[edit]

Born March 27, 1970 (age 45) Huntington, New York, US

86.11.106.72 (talk) 12:34, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNnyGcVk0Oo -> Mariah Carey's mother Patricia clearly states Mariah Carey was born in 1970.

There have been umpteen discussions on this and unless we can produce something from Carey herself, no it won't be added. —IB [ Poke ] 17:10, 27 January 2016 (UTC)