Mariah Carey

Carey in 2009

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

Date of Birth: March 27, 1970

*father – Cuban/African-Cuban, African-American
*mother – Irish

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 white, is of Irish heritage. Mariah stated in an interview that her mother is a third generation Irish-American. A picture of Mariah with her father can be seen here. A picture of Mariah with her mother can be seen here.

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 Edward 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.

03/24/2018 – Mariah Carey – Nickelodeon’s 2018 Kids’ Choice Awards – Arrivals – The Forum – Inglewood, CA, USA – Photo Credit: David Gabber /

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 Edward Carey) and Addie Cole –

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

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


Curious about ethnicity

757 Responses

  1. c says:

    So In addition to my original comment down below regarding Mariah’s paternal grandfather:

    The woman who was interviewed on the Venezuelan tv chat show (Aura Nuñez – Mendez) is first cousins with Alfred Roy, Mariah’s father. Her father Hector Nuñez is brothers with Alfred Roy’s father Roberto Nuñez. Clearly something happened as Roberto appears to have lost contact with all of his family once he moved to the US.

    The interview used to be available on YouTube but it got taken down. Aura nuñez looked like a light brown complected black woman with straight/wavy hair. They showed a photo of her grandmother margarita Nunez who had a very tri-racial look to her whereas Mariah’s grandfather appears to look more so Spanish with wavy hair.

    • follers says:

      I haven’t seen this interview and I don’t know what’s stated in it, or if it has been verified, but Carey’s grandfather is listed as being Cuban in every document. It would be a strange thing to serially lie about without exception, in the U.S. What would the reason be?

      • c says:

        A great question.

        Mariah on numerous occasions throughout her career pre and post reconnecting with her father that her grandfather possessed Venezuelan heritage. She even states in an interview I’ll link you to that she thought Robert Carey was Cuban for a while as Mariah’s father Alfred wasn’t raised by his father. Alfred likely looked at the same documents that have been posted on this site that state Robert Carey was born in Cuba.

        When Mariah was 6 she was introduced to her paternal grandfather Robert for the first time. It can be assumed that her father hadn’t seen him since his childhood. He had remarried a woman called Ruby and they had 2-3 daughters together who all likely informed Alfred that Robert was Venezuelan, not Cuban.

        I guess it comes down to the fact that Robert was clearly the type of personality who wanted to reinvent himself. There’s every possibility that Robert migrated from Venezuela to Cuba before moving to the States and therefore decided he’d state that he was Cuban instead of Venezuelan? Anti Venezuelan sentiment in the US is another possibility but am not too sure about that one.

        All admittedly sound like silly ideas but then again Robert Carey strikes me as someone who seemed a tad immature/dishonest… He abandoned his ex wife Addie and left her to raise their son Alfred Roy alone by herself whilst he remarried and had more children.

    • Multiethnicchick says:

      Black women don’t have naturally straight. Just call the woman brown and mixed Jesus

  2. c says:

    There appears to be a lot of confusion regarding her paternal grandfather’s origins. Im guessing this will all be touched upon in her upcoming memoirs. That being said I’ll try to give it my best shot.

    Her paternal grandfather was born somewhere in Zulia state, Venezuela…definitely not Cuba. Mariah has even been quoted to state that for a while she thought she was part Cuban for a while, see the following link:

    He either must’ve lied to the census taker or perhaps whoever took down the information might’ve misheard.

    My understanding is that her paternal grandfather was born as Roberto Nuñez but when he migrated to the US he changed his name to Robert Carey. His mother was called Margarita Nuñez and his father was called ? Carey who by the sound things was a light skinned black American man with red hair and freckles. I’m not sure what an American would’ve been doing in Venezuela in the late 1800’s.

    In the late 90s a relative of Mariah’s grandfather was interviewed on Venezuelan television. Her name was Aura Nuñez-Mendez. Her paternal grandmother was Margarita Nuñez and explained how she’d been told by her grandfather that His eldest son had left for the US a long time ago and changed his name to
    Robert Carey. Their son Roberto/Robert was the eldest of 6 children. You can read about it here: (scroll down)

    I found a family tree online that matches up with certain facts provided from the Venezuelan tv interview:

    Margarita Nuñez and her husband had 6 children and their names are as followed:


    You will read that Roberto’s brother Hector Nuñez has a daughter called Aura Nuñez whose married to a man called Alexander Mendez. This is most likely the same Aura who was interviewed on the Venezuelan tv show. It’s the exact same name and she even has a granddaughter listed on the tree who was also seen on the Venezuelan tv show.

    It’s all quite interesting as the facts from the interview match up with the family tree I found.

    In conclusion, Mariah appears to have strong roots in Venezuela. So I’m not sure why she states that her father was only slightly Venezuelan. I guess it’ll all be discussed in her new memoirs.

  3. livsol7 says:

    I honestly dont believe she has that much black in her. Even if her father was half Afro-whatever, half black, I doubt all grandparents were full black. Probably significant admixture of white and some native. Explains her mostly white looks and even her kids came out very light skinned with curls similar to hers even though they have a black father. She’s probably no more than 30% black. She also didnt want to get tested on george lopez show, probably becuase she was afraid it would out her.

  4. History Guy says:

    I’m sure she is at least 1/3 African. You cant really tell by looking at people.

    • Multiethnicchick says:

      At most 1/3. Her father looks like he has significant admixture. The problem is that racist Americans keep claiming mixed race people as black so only people who look mostly white are counted as mixed

  5. dlxzvs says:

    correction “caucasian” should be changed to or european or white

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