Meet Mariah Carey’s Black Dad Whom She Wishes She’d Spent More Time With

Posted On : December 13, 2015

Mariah Carey has often talked about her family situation and how difficult it was for her growing up as a biracial child. But still there are many who question whether or not Mariah is actually half Black. So we decided to lay it out on the table and let folks see Mariah’s African American side of the fam’ once and for all. Mariah’s father, Alfred Roy Carey, is of African-American and African-Venezuelen descent. Alfred’s father was an African-Venezuelan and his mother was an African American woman from Alabama.

Mariah Carey (L); her dad, Alfred Roy; and her sister, Alison (R)
Mariah Carey (L); her dad, Alfred Roy; and her sister, Alison (R)

Mariah’s dad and her mother, Patricia, were married when Mariah was young, but their marriage ultimately ended because they eventually succumbed to all of the racial backlash and mistreatment they were getting from so many people of all races during the civil rights era.

After her parents divorced when she was still a young girl, Mariah and her father began to drift apart and Mariah ultimately ended up regretting that they didn’t spend more time together before her father passed away from cancer. He passed away after Mariah became a multiplatinum selling singer, so he did get a chance to see her flourish in life.

After Patricia and Alfred divorced in 1973, Alfred started seeing their three children only on a weekly basis. After a while, those visits became less frequent and eventually Alfred and Mariah didn’t really keep in touch much at all. Mariah said this about she and her dad’s relationship after her parents’ divorced:

[We] had a good relationship for about a minute after the divorce. He’s a good person, I don’t have anything against him. It’s just very difficult growing up in a divorced family. The tension, anger, and bitterness between the parents is often put off on the children. And because I was so young when they divorced, it was a major split for me.”

Mariah and her father, Alfred Carey
Mariah and her father, Alfred Carey

Mariah said that her parents’ failed marriage and the way that it ultimately affected her, was the reason why she had such a negative outlook on marriage:
For a long time the divorce colored her attitude towards the institution of marriage.

“That made me feel very anti-marriage. I thought that I’d never marry. Everyone wishes they had the Brady Bunch family. But it’s not reality.”

Mariah Carey's paternal grandmother
Mariah Carey’s paternal grandmother

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Mariah Carey's paternal grandfather
Mariah Carey’s paternal grandfather

Although Mariah eventually realized that she had very little in common with her Pops’- he was not a lover of music, her mother was a singer though; her dad was a skilled mathematician and that is not Mariah’s forte at all- Mariah’s grateful that she was able to discover that on her own without being persuaded in any way by her Mother, whom she sauys never talked ill of their Pops, even after all of the heated arguments and drama they experienced in their marriage:

“Lucky for me, my mother never said anything negative about my father. She never discouraged me from having a good feeling about him. She always taught me to believe in myself, to love all the things I am. In that sense I’m very lucky, because I could have been a very screwed-up person.”

Mariah had a change of heart and decided to find her Dad after years of not speaking to him and well after she had sold millions of records. They reconnected, but their time together wasn’t long because Alfred was battling cancer. Here’s what Mariah said about her redeveloping a relationship with her father:

“When you grow up with one parent, you get one side of the story. I’m not saying there was a deliberate thing that happened, but that’s just the way it is. I was fortunate to find out things I never knew about my father. For one thing, I never knew he was in touch with my music and my career. He wrote me a letter: ‘It doesn’t matter whatever is happening, you’ve always been a star to me, even before anybody knew who you were.’ It meant so much to me. I never knew he was sentimental. I was grateful to be able to spend time with him before he got sick. It was unfortunate that I lost him so soon after, but I was grateful for the time I was able to spend with him.”

Mariah Carey with her Dad (R) and her nephew (L)
Mariah Carey with her Dad (R) and her nephew (L)

Mariah’s dad succumbed to cancer in 2002 on the 4th of July. As he took his last breathe, Mariah held his hand…a day she will never forget. The little girl whom Alfred wasn’t there for when she needed him to teach her about boys, life, and how to deal with being teased because of her mixed heritage, was ultimately there for him when he needed her the most. He didn’t need the lights, nor the fame in his last days, he simply needed his own flesh and blood holding his hand and helping him transition.

ILOSM fam’ this is just a reminder that no matter how long a parent has been out of their children’s lives and made some bad decisions with their parental responsibilities, it is never too late to at least try to ask for forgiveness from their child. If the remorse is sincere, the child can feel it, although they don’t necessarily have to accept it, but that’s just the price that parent has to pay. It’s better late, than never though. In Mariah’s case, the damage was already done, but she and her Pops were fortunate enough to not have waited until it was too late to allow the healing to begin.

Mariah’s 2002 album, Charmbracelet, was released 6 months after her dad’s death and she dedicated a song to her father on that album titled, “Sunflowers For Alfred Roy.”

-ILoveOldSchoolMusic, old school news with a new point of view

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