Happy 50th(?) Birthday Mariah Carey

Today is Mariah Carey’s birthday. Happy birthday, Mariah Carey! How old is she now? Well, that’s where things get tricky.

Mariah Carey was born on 3/27. This much we know. But was she born in 1969 or 1970? That, we truly do not know. Online fan forums have debated the topic for years. Even Wikipedia, arbiter of all modern knowledge, has no idea.

There’s evidence supporting both possibilities, much of it uncovered by Yahoo! in a deep but inconclusive investigation from a few years back. Let’s dive in.

When Carey’s self-titled debut album came out in June 1990, The New York Times reported that she was 20 years old. In 1999, Mariah Carey’s own mother told Oprah that the Elusive Chanteuse was born in 1970. The copies of the birth certificates for her twin children Monroe and Moroccan posted by TMZ’s TooFab list her birthday as 1970. Multiple biographies also say that she was born in 1970.

But in January 1991, People and The Los Angeles Times reported that Carey was 21, supporting the 1969 hypothesis. The LA Times literally headlined their article “Mariah Carey Doing OK At 21.” And she graduated from high school in 1987, which means that if she was born in 1970, she would’ve graduated early at 17. Even the Library Of Congress’s Copyright Catalog seems to think she was born in 1969.

There’s stuff floating around on the internet that supposedly proves she was born in 1969. There’s an image of her passport that lists her birth year as 1969, and there’s a statement from a People spokesperson saying that they confirmed through her driver’s license and high school administrators that she was born in 1969. Neither, however, can be verified as authentic.

What does Mariah herself say? “First of all don’t round up. If you’re going to round, round down,” she told The Observer in a 2014 interview. “I don’t count years but I definitely rebuke them — I have anniversaries, not birthdays because I celebrate life, darling … Darling, I’m eternally 12 years old.”

So: Happy 12th life anniversary, darling!

Tags: Mariah Carey