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Mariah Carey Writing Bio, Recalls Being ‘Intimidated’ By Aretha Franklin

Fresh off of the release of her 15th studio album, Caution, Mariah Carey has revealed that she is working on her memoirs. In doing so, she recalls being “very intimidated” by the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, during their VH1’s Divas Live duet in 1998.

During a sit down on Watch What Happens Live, Carey discussed the moment with host Andy Cohen, saying she was already taken aback by the thought of singing with one of her idols. Her anxiety increased once she realized they could only rehearse together once, almost prompting the singer to back out altogether.

Doing an impression of the “Respect” vocalist, Carey told Cohen, “She said to me, ‘Mariah, they’re playing games, and I’m not having the games. So, we won’t be rehearsing tonight.’”


“I was very intimidated and didn’t want to perform with her. Everybody else was like, ‘Let me have it’ And I’m not saying anything against anybody else, but I felt there was a thing where it was like they wanted to be able to say they took her on.

“I was like, ‘I’ll be with the background singers, okay? That’s the Queen of Soul.’”

As for the backstage drama that prevented the two divas from rehearsing more, Carey wouldn’t divulge, but revealed the story just might make it into her autobiography, teasing, “I’m working on my memoirs.”

Check out Franklin and Carey’s 1998 performance of “Chain of Fools,” below.

Carey remembered Franklin as “my inspiration, my mentor and my friend” in a poignant tribute after the legend passed of pancreatic cancer this August.

Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.