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In Mariah Carey‘s 2020 memoir, she reveals even more about how much she adores the late celebrity Marilyn Monroe. She bought the late actor’s white baby grand piano for over half a million dollars because the sex symbol was her first and favorite influence on her career. However, fans want to know if the pop icon plays the piano?

Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey | Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for AIDS Healthcare Foundation)

Mariah Carey purchased Marilyn Monroe’s grand piano in 1999

Carey’s obsession with Monroe began when a relative gave her a copy of Norman Mailer’s biography of the actor when she was 10. In her memoir, The Meaning of Mariah Carey, she wrote that her only friend was Monroe’s poster hanging in her bedroom. It helped her get through difficult times with her abusive family.

Marilyn Monroe Productions was the first female-owned production company in Hollywood,” Carey told The Guardian. “She paved the way for women in Hollywood, and every single woman owes something to her for that, whether they agree with her image or not.”

The impact that Monroe made on women in Hollywood is what inspires Carey. She had to have the white baby grand piano when it went to the estate sale in 1999.

“I have Marilyn’s white piano upstairs in my living room, and it’s from when she was a child,” she told Vogue. “It’s my prized possession. I love the glamor. There’s just something about that specific era where it was just, ya know, magical.”

Can Mariah Carey play the piano?

Carey took piano lessons when she was six-years-old. However, according to Mariah Carey by Marc Shapiro, the instrument required a degree of concentration she wasn’t ready for. Many of her songs use piano melodies; however, she prefers to collaborate with a pianist when composing. 

Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey | NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

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The singer-songwriter cannot read sheet music but incorporates instrumentation into her music. However, she always says that her voice is her most important asset. 

“My voice is my instrument; it always has been,” Shapiro quotes Carey in the biography.

So, Carey is familiar with the piano and can play melodies, but cannot read music.

Carey has a special compact she kept from Monroe’s 1961 Golden Globes

In addition to the piano, Carey purchased another unique item from Monroe’s estate sale.

“This is a compact from Marilyn Monroe,” the star told Vulture. “She had it for the Golden Globes, I believe. She had a speech in it. It seemed like a very important thing to have. If I had written a speech, and, ya know, kept it, I would want someone to keep it for me.”

The square, black lacquer compact no longer has makeup in it, but a small card. According to Christie’s auction house, it contains an acceptance speech written for Monroe’s 1961 Golden Globe for World’s Favorite Female Star.