Also, I think Mariah living in a cage where she could pretty much do nothing but work on music and her voice, then all of a sudden being free to do what most people in their early 20s would have gotten out of their system (partying, having fun) was why we saw such a sudden change in her voice.
I really think its this. The shock to her voice from suddenly having Mariah out partying a lot, all night at times, plus drinking, being in smokey clubs, being around people doing pot (which was more than likely even if she didn't partake).......all these factors are going to have an impact. From 1996 I just don't think Mariah took as much care protecting her voice and for the sake of having a lifestyle change (some would say even life
) after Tommy, it was just something that had to happen.