Mariah Carey

Carey in 2009

Place of Birth: Huntington, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: March 27, 1970

*Cuban/African-Cuban, African-American (father)
*Irish (mother)

Mariah Carey is an American singer, actress, and television personality. She is the daughter of Patricia (Hickey), an opera singer and vocal coach, and Alfred Roy Carey.

Mariah’s paternal grandfather was a Cuban immigrant, with African-Cuban ancestry (he was almost certainly not from Venezuela, as some sources state). Mariah’s paternal grandmother was African-American. Mariah’s mother, who is caucasian, is of Irish heritage. Mariah stated in an interview that her mother is a third generation Irish-American.

Her name is from the song “They Call the Wind Maria,” of the 1951 musical Paint Your Wagon.

Mariah’s biracial family was the target of racial slurs and hostility while Mariah was growing up. Her parents divorced when she was three, and she was raised by her mother.

Mariah has two children with her former husband, actor and television personality Nick Cannon.

Mariah’s paternal grandfather, Roberto Nuñez (later Robert Carey), was the son of Alfred and Margaret. Roberto is sometimes described as being from a family from Venezuela. Mariah stated in an interview with Latina Magazine, “we don’t know if he was Venezuelan and white or Venezuelan and black… We’re confused,” and also, seemingly speaking about Roberto Nuñez’s father, stated, “apparently he had red hair and freckles, but he could’ve been black or white. We just don’t know.” Mariah stated in the same interview that Roberto’s mother was named Margarita Nuñez, and that Robeto took the surname Carey after his own biological father (according to Mariah, Roberto’s parents were not married).

The marriage record of Mariah’s paternal grandparents lists Mariah’s grandfather as having been born in Cuba. The 1930 United States Census also lists Roberto Nuñez (then Robert Carey) as having been born in Cuba, to Cuban parents, and as having moved to the United States in 1907. The family may have covered up their background, as some other Cubans did, due to anti-Cuban sentiment in the U.S. The 1930 United States Census lists Roberto’s race as “Negro” (Black).

A picture of her grandfather can be seen here (near the bottom of the page).

Mariah’s paternal grandmother was Addie Cole (the daughter of Will Cole and Emma McQueen/McQuean). Addie was born in North Carolina, to a North Carolina-born father and an Alabama-born mother. Addie and her parents were African-American.

Mariah’s maternal grandfather was John Wesley Hickey (the son of John Hickey and Mary Mowen). Mariah’s grandfather John was born in Illinois, and was of Irish ancestry.

Mariah’s maternal grandmother was Ann Elizabeth Egan (the daughter of Charles Thomas Egan and Anna Elizabeth Blanchfield). Mariah’s grandmother Ann was born in Illinois. Charles was born in Illinois, to Irish-born parents. Mariah’s great-grandmother Anna was the daughter of James S. Blanchfield, whose own parents were Irish, from Dublin, and of Mary A. Ryan, an Irish immigrant.


Carey in 2008, by David Shankbone under CC license

Sources: Interview with Mariah Carey, Latina Magazine, 2003 –

Genealogies of Mariah Carey –

Mariah’s father on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Marriage record of Mariah’s paternal grandparents, Roberto Nuñez (later Robert Carey) and Addie Cole –

Information about Mariah’s paternal grandparents, Roberto Nuñez (later Robert Carey) and Addie Cole –

Mariah’s maternal grandfather, John Wesley Hickey, on the 1930 U.S. Census –


Curious about ethnicity

720 Responses

  1. CocoPuffs says:

    she is half black, her fathers mother is black from Alabama. Her fathers father is Venezuelan descent. Her mother is Irish American. when she says in this country she is black, she is just explaining the social construct. she really is trying not to offend anyone, people should not assume she wants to be less black in fact in interviews she and her friends like Jermain Dupri said she considers herself first and foremost a black woman. People are always fighting over her because of her light complexion, but the reality is her father was an African American as she has said many times. He lived as one and was treated as one. LOL

  2. Fuzzybear says:

    To color?

    Again I will apologize in advance if I come off harsh.First mariah isn’t claiming more black,if anything she wants to claim less.Now I agree black people will accept you faster than anyone.It because we know we come in more than one color,that we are diverse as a group.Now it’s true that back in the day are ancestors were force to be together,but that has nothing to do with now.A lot of the times when as you say mixs bloods have problems,it’s because they grew up in white areas,and not in the black community where they would see they aren’t alone.There are thousands of kids like them running around.Your right they think black is ugly and stupid etc.However here an example of how fast they change.There was this famous writer,can’t remember his name.He dogged black people calling them everything we can think of,until he fell in love with this black woman;then all his ideas change.Like they say hate is taught

  3. color? says:

    i think the reason why moset mixed peole like mariah and alicia keys sometimes claim mroe black is becuase they grew up around black people who accepted the fact they were mixed , white people some of them dont like mixed people
    its very hard being mixebecause one of your race will accept you the other art of your race will not accpet you.
    and they claim black people are ugly if black people are ugly why do we have so many mixed famous black people hahah silly people

  4. Fuzzybear says:

    Actually I don’t know why I’m arguing,I really don’t care what her background is

  5. ethnic says:

    Adriana I hope he finds out more ethnicities.

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