'Hitmaker' Tommy Mottola recalls marriage to Mariah Carey
The music biz memoir has become one of the hottest trends over the past couple of years — and the boys in the (record label) boardroom are not getting left behind. Today, Grand Central is publishing Tommy Mottola’s autobiography, Hitmaker: The Man and his Music, which he co-penned with Cal Fussman. Formerly the Chairman CEO of Sony Music, Mottola developed an amazing array of talent, including Celine Dion, Gloria Estefan, Shakira, and Mariah Carey. Mottola thought Carey was so amazing that in 1993 he married her, despite being both more than two decades older and the songbird’s technical boss.
Carey has previously described Mottola as an extremely controlling figure and in 1998, eight months after her divorce from the record executive, told Barbara Walters that their marriage had been at times “oppressive.” So what does Mottola have to say about his union with the future American Idol judge? Let’s find out…
1. Tommy’s therapist did not approve of him hooking up with Mariah.
When Mottola informed his therapist that he was falling in love with Carey the record exec’s headshrinker told him, “Forget it! It’s not going to work!” Mottola, of course, rejected that advice. “I thought: Life is short,” he writes. “F— it.”
2. She wasn’t the only one who thought their relationship was doomed.
Mottola and Carey married at New York’s Saint Thomas Episcopal Church in June, 1993, despite the music biz chief being warned off from doing so by his friends. “So many people understood beforehand that it just wasn’t right,” writes Mottola, “and tried to tell me time after time as best they could.”
3. The 1996 Grammys destroyed their relationship.
By February 1996, Carey was one of the biggest stars in the world and was nominated for six Grammy awards at that month’s ceremony. But the star went home empty-handed, a shut-out which Mottola in part blames for the pair’s ultimate break-up. “You could hear the crack between us cracking open a little wider on a night that I was hoping would allow us to look back on all the good times that had brought us this far,” he writes. “Fat chance of that.” At that evening’s Sony Grammy party Mottola asked that the replay of the ceremony on the monitors be replaced with music videos to avoid “incensing” his wife. “You can’t make this stuff up,” ruminates Mottola. “But I really did feel terrible for her.”
4. Mariah referred to their home as “Sing Sing.”
Mottola built a “castle” in Bedford, New York, for the couple, complete with a recording studio, a beauty salon, and “an indoor swimming pool covered by a cloud-painted ceiling for her to swim in.” Was the singer happy? Not according to Mottola. “Sometimes, when in her circle of friends, she would laugh and call the house in Bedford…Sing Sing,” recalls the exec. “As if the mansion had become had become a prison, and she’s been forced to sing…sing…sing…sing…in the recording studio that she herself designed and built with everything she wanted in it.”
5. Their marriage did not have a fairy tale ending.
Mottola and Carey did, of course, ultimately separate and divorce. And their house in Bedford? “In the end, the fairy tale ended like no other fairy tale before it,” recalls Mottola. “Years after it was sold, the home literally caught fire and burned to the ground.”