carlos b fly wrote:
^I think Tommy had a big thing to do with her lack of respect. Initially there was probably a lot of side eye because they were married. Tommy was known as being one of the most fearsome (and therefore probably disliked) men in the business. I reckon that things like award shows were probably the one place where people could probably kick him in the balls anonymously and what better way to do it than to take it out on his wife when voting for her awards. Then of course after they separated Mariah was pretty much the go-to joke for people who they wanted to tear down throughout the 90s. I mean, it still haunted her in 2006 when she had undeniably the best choice for album of the year but they still snubbed her.
Honestly I think only now that she is becoming a legacy artist is the industry starting to acknowledge her influence. And even now tbh she still has a long way to go. Sadly I think she will be long gone before people finally pay her her dues.
In the 90's, I think she went through two public perception phases that impeded her. The first was cheesy, bubblegum AC artist. A few dashes cooler than Celine Dion and with Tommy in the mix, butting industry heads in her name. The second phase was a 'slutty', demanding and difficult diva (lets be honest, with such a radical image change, Mariah could be seen as a bit extra from 97 - 99). Maybe neither of these images were seen as credible or worthy of award allocades.
Its totally bullsh!t of course. Mariah is incredibly talented, a 360 faceted artist and in the 90's, was innovating pop music in creative ways that redefined the genre forever.
But I wonder if snobbery towards boring ballad bird and OTT sex kitten played a part.
Whatever the case, Mariah must surely be the most underrated and under awarded iconic, enduring artist in modern music. Which is criminal.
At that point she wasn't really appreciated for the role she played in defining the "hip pop" genre. I think she was perceived more as "genre jumping", to go through such an abrupt change. Even though us fans can clearly see her music taking more of an urban form gradually, the average joe just thought it was "Mariah the ballad queen trying to get more hits by renting lots of rappers to stay relevant". Time would show that the move was genuine, but people probably viewed it as being inauthentic in the late 90s and probably used that as an excuse to dismiss her.
It's interesting how Mariah had such a hard time getting accepted in the RnB world, even though she really was riding the cusp of that trend and played a big role in defining it. Yet when Whitney changed her style much later with MLIYL, she was accepted straight away. Was it just because Whitney's style and attitude fit the urban image? Or was Mariah's "light skinned" appearance a part in it?