Patricia Carey | Mariah Carey Wiki | Fandom
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I have had diva moments, and then people can't handle it. I guess it's a little intense, because I come from a true diva," she said. My mother is an opera singer. And that's a real diva, you know -- Juilliard diva.

Mariah talking to Paper Magazine about her mother.

This article is a silver class article. It is written to a good standard.

Patricia Carey (née Hickey; February 15, 1937) is an Irish-American retired opera singer & freelance vocal coach. Before retiring, she had worked with the New York City Opera.[1] She is the mother of Mariah Carey, Morgan Carey and Alison Carey. She is also the grandmother of Monroe and Moroccan Cannon.


Patricia Carey was born on February 15, 1937 in Virgin, Utah and grew up in Springfield Illinois.[2] Her mother was Irish Catholic woman and her father passed away while her mom was pregnant with her. She was known as the "dark one" of three children because her hair was not blonde and eyes were a mixture of brown and green unlike her siblings who had blue eyes. Patricia would experience racism in her earlier life. In Mariah's memoir, she shares a story about Patricia being publicly shamed for sharing her mat with a Black boy during naptime. Patricia would subsequently become active in the civil rights movement although her life and relationship with a Black man later on resulted in turmoil within the Carey family.

According to Mariah's memoir, Patricia's love for music derived from listening to a classical music station on the radio where she heard an "aria." She described this sound as being the "most beautiful sound she had ever heard." She then decided to move to New York City where she won a scholarship to the prestigious "Julliard School for Music." She would go on to sing with The New York City Opera, making her debut at Lincoln Center.

In 1977, Patricia recorded the album "To Start Again" which featured 13 tracks.[3]

Marriage to Alfred Carey[]

In the late fifties she met Alfred Carey and on February 20, 1960 they got married in Brooklyn, New York City.[4] The couple endured much racism through the course of their marriage , including being shot at their home and their pets being poisoned. [5] Additionally, Carey was also reportedly "disowned" by her mother Elizabeth Hickey for her relationship with Alfred. [2][5]An article by states that Patricia was banned from bringing her black husband home for family gatherings and instead she would pretend that she was single. She also wouldn't go back to her hometown for many years. In Mariah's memoir she stated that "It was an abomination. It was a complete humiliation. My mother's marriage to my father was beyond betrayal to her mother; it was a high crime against her white heritage, punishable by excommunication." Throughout the course of their marriage the couple moved several times after concerns following the opposition of their union by neighbors and the unusualness of being a mixed couple.[5] In 1970, their daughter Mariah Carey was born. That same year, the couple would move to a more prosperous neighborhood in New York. After the move, The family, sadly, continued to be the target of rampant racial intolerance, and the ongoing problems it caused in the relationship between Alfred and Patricia proved insurmountable, causing their separation and divorce, which occurred when Mariah was three in 1973.[5][6]


Mariah and Patricia collaborated on a holiday classic song called "O Come All Ye Faithful" for her Merry Christmas II You holiday album in 2010. Mariah has reportedly stated that she had discussed doing a duet with her mom and wanted to make sure it happened on the Christmas album.[1] "She's the one who really got me into being so festive at Christmas," Carey said. Mariah and Patricia performed the song live during a Christmas special which aired on December 13, 2010 on ABC[7]The special special was filmed at the Los Angeles's Orpheum Theater.


  • Patricia was 23 when she married Alfred.
  • Patricia went to The Julliard in New York City
  • According to Mariah, There were no physical evidence of Patricia's and Alfred's "romance" except for three children ("Morgan, Mariah, Allison).
  • According to "The Oprah Conversation" Mariah does not refer to Patricia as "Mom" anymore. She refers to her as "Patricia."
  • Patricia is a former mezzo-soprano with the New York City Opera and a freelance vocal coach[1]
  • Patricia was 25 when she gave birth to Alison.
  • Patricia was 28 when she gave birth to Morgan.
  • Patricia was 33 when she gave birth to Mariah.
  • Patrica appeared with Mariah on Oprah Winfrey show in 1999.
  • Patricia was 36 when she & Alfred got divorced.
  • Mariah was 3 when her parents got divorced.
  • Patricia has worked with Beverly Sills.[6]