Mariah Carey Was ‘Drugged, Devastated, and Alone’ on 9/11

Mariah Carey has been a fixture in entertainment for over three decades now. The Grammy-winning singer has delivered hit after hit over the years and countless lovable moments and Mariah-isms. But her life hasn’t always been one filled with great moments.

Mariah Carey is honored with Hand and Footprint Ceremony at TCL Chinese Theatre on November 1, 2017 in Hollywood, California | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic
Mariah Carey is honored with Hand and Footprint Ceremony at TCL Chinese Theatre on November 1, 2017 in Hollywood, California | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Mariah Carey’s career in 2001

In her 2020 memoir The Meaning of Mariah Carey, the “Emotions” singer revealed untold stories from her traumatic childhood and throughout her career. At one point, she recounted the moment when she realized that all that glitters isn’t gold.

In the summer of 2001, Carey’s record label was in a tizzy because her single “Loverboy” missed out on reaching the number 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart when it debuted at number 2. The song was from the soundtrack of her movie Glitter, which didn’t succeed commercially at the box office.

Carey was being worked into the ground by her label, even going so far as to only get two hours of sleep over a six-day period. Finally, when her own family came looking for her to get back to work (so she could continue earning them money), Carey snapped at them and her mother called the police.

Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey at the 2019 BBMAs at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada | Todd Williamson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Mariah Carey watched the 9/11 attacks from a rehab facility

Carey’s brother Morgan recommended she jet off to Los Angeles to relax at a spa and get herself back on her feet. She agreed to go where he told her to. Little did she know that she was being taken to a “hard-core detox and rehab center.”

She recalled being given “giant horse pills the color of Pepto-Bismol” that made her mind much more hazy mentally, making her “sluggish, puffy, and compliant.”

“I was in a fog much of the time,” she recalled.

She then remembered one morning when an attendant called her into the common room of the facility, which was filled with other patients. They were all glued to the TV watching the Twin Towers go down in smoke.

“The effects of the drugs I’d been kept on were no match for the shock I was experiencing,” she admitted. “I was stone-cold alert as I watched my majestic skyline disintegrate. My home city was burning and collapsing, and I was thousands of miles away, locked inside a dismal detox — drugged, devastated, and alone.”

Mariah Carey attends Variety's 2019 Power of Women: Los Angeles presented by Lifetime at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on October 11, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California | Amy Sussman/FilmMagic
Mariah Carey attends Variety’s 2019 Power of Women: Los Angeles presented by Lifetime at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on October 11, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California | Amy Sussman/FilmMagic

RELATED: Mariah Carey Was Almost Placed in a Conservatorship Years Before Britney Spears

9/11 was an especially difficult day for Mariah Carey

Carey was released from the facility that same day. What she didn’t realize in the blur of everything was that September 11, 2001 was also the day that the Glitter soundtrack was slated for release. The movie was released in theaters ten days later.

“The box-office sales for Glitter were dismal, in large part because the country was still reeling from the 9/11 attacks,” Carey admitted. “The tragedy was still fresh, and no one was ready for the lightweight distraction that was Glitter.” She acknowledged that the movie “was not made for serious cinemagoers and art-gallery hoppers; it was an imperfect, fun, PG flick.”