Mariah Carey owns her master recordings, including her 86 singles and 15 albums.
In promotion of her upcoming TV series adaptation of her 2020 memoir, “The Meaning of Mariah Carey,” the singer told USA Today that she is prepared, boasting she has the master rights to all of her songs.
“I’m here to do anything we need to do. I own all my old masters,” Carey said. “I don’t think it’s about ‘cast the girl who sings the Mariah Carey style,’ whatever that is. It’s about casting a great actress with a somewhat similar look and just making sure the acting is there. Because we have the music – they can sing along to it.”
A master recording is the official original recording of a song, sound, or particular performance. Often called “masters,” it is the source from which all the later copies are made.
Owning the master recording means artists like Carey own the copyright to the original sound recordings of their music. By owning her masters, Carey could license third parties to use the master for TV, film, commercial advertising or even for sampling in other songs by other artists.
Carey is also a songwriter who has written or co-written most of her many hit songs–and she has also retained the publishing rights to those songs, Paper reported in 2018.
When an artist owns their publishing, they control all the rights to their music and how it is used to generate income from the use of the music.
Carey is the first artist to have her first five singles reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and she is also a five-time Grammy winner.
With hit songs like “Always Be My Baby,” “Dreamlover,” “We Belong Together,” and “All I Want For Christmas Is You” under her possession, Carey has been able to grow her wealth to $340 million.
She has also written a children’s book titled “The Christmas Princess (The Adventures of Little Mariah)” which was just published. It is about, as Carey described it, “mixed-race Pippi Longstocking.”
She is now adapting her memoir for the small screen with the help of director-producer Lee Daniels. Daniels and Carey have worked together on the film “Precious,” in which Carey co-starred.