Mariah Carey may have five Grammys weighing down her shelves at home, but she doesn’t care if she never wins another one.
She shared these thoughts and more when asked about her creative process for a cover story with V magazine. “In the music business, if you care about the Grammys and submitting your stuff before a certain time frame, you want a single out in the summer, and then you want to have your record [out] before the Grammys [consideration] deadline, which has changed,” she said, explaining how her previous albums have been scheduled. “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn. I mean, I have five Grammys. That’s cute. There’s people that have been doing this half the time that have twice as many [Grammys]. I won two Grammys the first year I started, but after that, [the Grammys] are like, ‘We don’t go with the people that are selling a lot of records and are popular; we’re gonna go the opposite way.’ So I got screwed out of certain years. I wasn’t bitter about it. I was just like, okay, well, I guess I’m not standing here barefoot onstage singing and trying to go a certain way. I’m just me.”
The pop icon isn’t the only artist this year to discount the importance of the Grammys, an awards ceremony that once served as a monocultural moment and has splintered in recent memory due to its often white, male, and middle-of-the-road choices. There’s also the fact that the Recording Academy president Neil Portnow recently acknowledged this past year’s lack of representation by blaming artists instead of looking inward. “[They need] to step up because I think they would be welcome,” he said, specifically of female artists, who were scarcely nominated for this past ceremony. Like Carey, SZA—who was this year’s most-nominated female artist but took home no awards—dismissed the Grammys, saying, “Perhaps folks place too much importance on the entire situation in general. And place too much importance on the institution.”
Soon, however, Carey will have another shot at the Grammys—unless she chooses not to submit her next album—as she also revealed that she’s been hitting the studio hard, working on what she calls “regular music.” (Translation: not Christmas music, bless her heart.) “I’m kind of restarting, and I’m working with Roc Nation now, so that’s great. I had a really incredible meeting—just a musical, good meeting of the minds—with Jay Brown, Jay-Z, and Tata [Tyran Smith], who’s an incredible person,” she said. “We all just kind of threw some ideas around, so we’re starting from the musical place rather than, like, what’s the hook? It’s gotta be done that way.”
As for her thoughts on the lack of female representation in music, Carey also delivered a gem about that: “It’s something that I think a lot of people don’t give women enough credit for, unless they are known visually as someone strumming a guitar, or they’re behind a piano most of the time,” she said. “I also have that diva thing attached to me; I mean, I’m sitting here doing an interview in lingerie. But I was just like, you’re totally gonna understand that this is what I’m gonna wear! Why should I wear something uncomfortable? This is what I like.”
25 Reasons Why We’re So Obsessed With Mariah Carey’s Style
Mariah Carey attends the 33rd Annual Grammy Awards circa 1991 in New York City wearing a little black dress with rhinestone trim and long diamond earrings.
Mariah Carey attends the 19th Annual American Music Awards on January 27, 1992 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California wearing a sequin dress and shimmering tights.
Mariah Carey wears a black slit skirt paired with a black bandeau crop top out in New York City, a look she paired with simple strappy heels.
Mariah Carey was the queen of a good pair of jeans. Here, she sits in the recording studio in a worn pair of Levi’s and a button-up sweater.
Singer Mariah Carey attends the Fall 1994 Fashion Week: Calvin Klein Fashion Show on April 13, 1994 at Bryan Park in New York City in a classic ’90s “Clueless” look.
Singer Mariah Carey attends the 23rd Annual American Music Awards on January 29, 1996 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California wearing leather pants.
Singer Mariah Carey attends the “Seven Years in Tibet” Century City Premiere on October 6, 1997 at the Cineplex Odeon Century Plaza Cinemas in Century City, California.
Singer Mariah Carey attends Sean Combs’ Party to Celebrate the Grand Opening of Justin’s Bar & Restaurant on September 30, 1997 in New York City.
Mariah Carey lets her curly hair down and wears a shimmering gold dress for a night out at the Beacon Theatre in New York City in 1998.
Mariah Carey poses in a pink Chanel houndstooth two-piece with a small dog at a Chanel-hosted lunch at Lincoln Center in New York in 2000.
Karl Lagerfeld poses with Mariah Carey circa 2000. The singer wears a mesh little black dress and the two perfectly match, making us realize they’re actually quite similar.
Mariah Carey wears a sequin butterfly bustier to the ‘VH-1 Divas 2000: A Tribute To Diana Ross’ at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Mariah Carey wears a pink slip dress to receive her award at the The 6th Annual Blockbuster Awards in the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California.
Singer Mariah Carey poses for paparazzi photographers July 11, 2001 wearing a “Delicious” tank top as she leaves the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Knightsbridge, London.
Mariah Carey wears a crochet bustier crop top and a maxi denim skirt to the The 17th Annual Soul Train Music Awards in Los Angeles.
Mariah Carey attends a party to promote her new single “Loverboy” and new album “Glitter” in London wearing a bandana top, denim separates, and a “Glitter” belt.
Mariah Carey poses in a denim mini skirt, “Glitter” tank top, and sunglasses while holding a pink boom box on tour promoting her new album.
Mariah Carey steps out in a pink Juicy Couture velour jumpsuit top, which she paired with jeans, sunglasses, and a rhinestone belt to sign autographs.
Mariah Carey arrives in London wearing a “Honey B. Fly” pink top, denim separates, a diamond chain necklace, and an “Automatic princess” diamond chain belt.
Mariah Carey attended her album launch and birthday party at Tantra in London, Great Britain wearing a fur-trimmed white shawl, a white maxi dress, and lots of jewels.
Mariah Carey steps out to walk her dog in New York City wearing high heels, a yellow bandage dress, and sunglasses. Is this her version of casual?
Singer Mariah Carey throws the ceremonial first pitch before Japanese professional baseball match between Yomiuri Giants and Rakuten Golden Eagles at Tokyo Dome on May 28, 2008 in Tokyo, Japan.
Singer Mariah Carey leaves MTV Studios July 22, 2008 in New York City wearing a rainbow mini skirt and diamond belt and a blue button-up shirt.
Mariah Carey didn’t even let a broken arm get in the way of her glamour. Here she is seen leaving the Ritz-Carlton on July 12, 2013 in New York City with a bedazzled sling.
Mariah Carey didn’t even let a broken arm get in the way of her glamour. Here she is at “The Butler” New York Premiere in a studded sling.