It’s the most wonderful time of the year – especially if you’re Mariah Carey.
She’s the undisputed Queen of Christmas who sensationally “defrosts” every Christmas and her song All I Want For Christmas Is You climbs its way up the charts each year - as do her royalties.
And while the Christmas holidays are most definitely her season, Carey’s career spans decades, winning many awards and accolades along the way.
As well as being the only artist to date to ever have their first five singles reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100, Carey has been dubbed one of the best-selling music artists in the world, holding five Grammy Awards, 10 American Music Awards, 16 Billboard Music Awards, and 12 Guinness World Records.
Elsewhere, she has multiple high-paying endorsement deals and a luxurious real estate property. So, with all of that in mind, how much is the star worth?
Here is a breakdown of Mariah Carey’s net worth:
While artists don’t earn as much from royalties as they once did, Carey still sees a huge amount of her annual income from them. The Wall Street Journal reported she receives approximately 20 per cent of all royalties generated from her entire catalogue - as well as receiving multi-million dollar advances for her albums.
As for any streaming revenue, USA Today reports Spotify pays artists approximately US$0.0033 (NZ$0.0054) per stream, so since the star has 46.5 monthly listeners, if they all listen to one song that’s approximately US$153,450 of income for the star per month. Apple Music, Amazon Music and other platforms also pay artists per stream however it’s unclear exactly how much Carey will be making from them.
It’s all play money compared to the royalties she earns from her best-selling and perhaps most well-known single though. Following the success of her 1994 album Merry Christmas, Carey re-released the album in 2010 with a few changes - including a new version of her best selling single, All I Want For Christmas Is You.
The new version of the song features a collaboration with Justin Bieber but reports claim Carey still makes a majority of her royalties from the original song.
The Economist reported last year the singer grossed US$2.5 million in annual recording royalties, earning money every single time the song is played or sold, but The New York Post insists the figure is closer to US$3 million each year, and that’s just the tip of the snowflake. It’s reported she also makes as much as US$830,000 in publishing royalties before fees for the use of the music.
The Economist also reported that as of 2017, the song had generated over US$60 million through royalties since its release.
While it’s not known exactly how much Carey earned in her early years of fame, she did complete three tours between 1996 and 2000 which likely saw millions of dollars of revenue.
In 2005, Carey returned to the charts after a wellness break with her tenth album, The Emancipation of Mimi. Its success was undeniable and she sold nearly 8 million copies worldwide, earned ten Grammy Award nominations and resulted in the star’s first headlining tour in three years which grossed US$27.9 million.
As for any recent tours, that star has made the most of the silly season, capitalising on her Christmas icon status and has been touring during the holiday season since 2014. Billboard reported these tours have grossed over US$16.5 million with last year seeing the gross earnings rise to over $26.4 million.
In 2015, she also signed a US$30 million deal for a two-year residency at Caesar’s Palace before returning in 2019 for a five-show residency as part of her Hallmark Channel holiday tour.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, the superstar splits her time between her rental home on Beverly Hills and a triplex apartment in New York City’s Tribeca neighbourhood, however, she also owns a home in the Bahamas and recently sold her impressive 4.2-acre property in Atlanta, Georgia for US$4.3 million.
Book deals, endorsements and TV
Carey’s most impressive form of income is undoubtedly her royalties, however the mother of two has her fingers in many Christmas mince pies and also generates impressive amounts of coin from her extracurricular activities.
In 2015, Mariah released a children’s book with Doubleday Books for Young Readers at Penguin Random House, titled All I Want for Christmas Is You. Followed by her 2020 memoir written with Michaela Angela that quickly became a nonfiction best seller.
In November 2022, Carey again added to her author status with her debut children’s novel, The Christmas Princess. And that’s not all. The star has multiple endorsement deals with Intel Centrino (computers), Angel Champagne (which goes for US$290,000 per bottle), Pepsi, McDonald’s and her own perfume range.
As for her television income, she’s a multi-talented queen and put her singing skills to great use in 2013 signing on to be a judge on American Idol. According to People magazine, she earned a whopping US$18 million for one season.
In 2016, she also had an eight-episode reality series, Mariah’s World, with E! however her income from that project has not been disclosed.
Carey has been divorced twice now. She was first divorced in 1998 from Tommy Mottala, however, their settlement has been kept private so it’s unclear how much she was ordered to pay him and vice versa.
She went on to marry Nick Cannon in 2006 however the pair separated in 2014 and officially divorced in 2016. People magazine reported at the time her yearly income was US$6.3 million while Cannon made US$2.7 million. The former couple had a relatively easy separation and neither paid the other out.
There was a catch though and the pair received joint custody of their two children Monroe and Moroccan Scott, whom they welcomed in 2011 - with Carey being the primary caregiver. According to TMZ, Cannon was then ordered to pay US$5000 a month into a trust fund for the twins.
After putting all of that together, it’s no surprise the singer’s net worth is sitting very holly and jolly at US$350 million according to the celebrity wealth website, Celebrity Net Worth.
Lillie Rohan is an Auckland-based reporter covering lifestyle and entertainment stories who joined the Herald in 2020. She specialises in all things relationships and dating, great Taylor Swift ticket wars and TV shows you simply cannot miss out on.