Uploaded on Jan 31, 2011
Mariah Carey possesses a five-octave vocal range, and was ranked first in a 2003 MTV and Blender magazine countdown of the 22 Greatest Voices in Music, as voted by fans and readers in an online poll.
Sasha Frere-Jones of The New Yorker adds her timbre possesses various colors, saying, "Carey's sound changes with nearly every line, mutating from a steely tone to a vibrating growl and then to a humid, breathy coo."Her wide vocal range allows Carey to take melodies from alto bottom notes to coloratura soprano upper register, and, according to music critic Jim Faber of New York Daily News, she can "cover all the octaves between those voice types], and [possesses] the agility to move between ... with swiftness and aplomb." Carey also possesses what she calls "whisper register". In an interview with the singer, Ron Givens of Entertainment Weekly described it this way, "first, a rippling, soulful ooh comes rolling effortlessly from her throat: alto. Then, after a quick breath, she goes for the stratosphere, with a sound that nearly changes the barometric pressure in the room. In one brief swoop, she seems to squeal and roar at the same time: whisper register."
Voice experts praise Carey's vocal technique, like Stephen Holden who said, "she can deliver very accurate staccatos as well as tricky melismas, and she possesses a beautiful and solid trill in upper register". Jeanette Lo Vetri states, "Carey is really a great technician. The staccatos are pin point, executed with amazing speed and control, the legato is a marvel of smoothness, she is the supreme mistress of melismas, she always keeps a neutral larynx position— except sometimes in her lower register— and she glides effortlessly from bottom to top and vice versa." Malcolm Walker adds her vocal lines are "very well led, especially in piano register."
Mariah on her voice: "I have nodules on my vocal cords. My mother says I've had them since I was a kid. That's why I have the high register and the belting register and I can still be husky. The only thing that really affects my voice is sleep. Sometimes if I'm exhausted, I can't hit the really high notes." "My doctors showed me my vocal cords and why I can hit those high notes. It's a certain part of the cord that not many people use—the very top. My natural voice is low. I have a raspy voice. I'm really more of an alto. But my airy voice can be high if I'm rested. [...] When I was little, I'd talk in this really high whisper, and my mom would be like, "You're being ridiculous." I thought if I can talk like that I can sing like that. So I started [she goes higher and higher and higher] just messing around with it. I'd practice and practice, and she'd be like, "You're gonna hurt yourself." I'd tell her, It doesn't hurt/ If I were to try and belt two octaves lower than that, that would be a strain."
G#2, A2, Bb2, B2, C3, C#3, D3, Eb3, E3,F3,F#3,G3
Mid/Upper Chest/Belting Register:
Bb4,C5, C#5, D5, Eb5, E5, F5, F#5, G5, G#5
Head Voice Register:
A5, Bb5, B5, C6, C#6, D6
Eb6, E6, F6, F#6, G6, G#6, A6, Bb6, B6, C7, C#7, D7, Eb7, E7, F7, F#7, G#7