Maria Carey is still in her honeymoon phase. Married since April to 27-year old rapper Nick Cannon, the singer is clearly enjoying the prime of her life — not to mention her career.

“Most people would think, ‘Okay, please! This doesn’t happen in real life!’” she tells the August issue of Elle Magazine. “When I was in an unhappy place in my life, I always wanted to be kidnapped. I just wanted a way out, but I didn’t have one.”

Carey is talking of her past, which suffice to say is glittering with more good than bad. But the few bad times she suffered were pretty big, splayed out in the media for the world to see.

Her marriage to music mogul Tommy Mottola at 23 was an elaborate affair that began with a $10 million mansion in Bedford CT, and ended in an unhappy divorce. Then there was her controversial public breakdown in 2001 that ended with the singer checking herself into a hospital for "extreme exhaustion."

Ten years after her split from Mottola, Carey met current husband Nick, who she says literally came to her rescue.

“He sort of kidnapped me and took me on a helicopter ride," she says. "Then he re-proposed.”

ElleAug08cover

Cannon’s first proposal took place on Carey’s roof in Manhattan a couple of evenings prior and involved the hiding of a 17-carat diamond ring inside a candy ring pop.

“They’ve been calling me Cinderella since I first started out, so, of course, being Cinderella…” she laughs, adding, "“We really kept the whole relationship aspect of it quiet,” Carey says. “Therefore, we didn’t really ‘date,’ you know what I mean? Because that would have been not quiet or private. I think we didn’t want to give people a chance to be like, ‘What are you doing? What are you talking about? This is so quick…are you sure?’”

The couple clandestinely both got their first tattoos before tying the knot — hers is a butterfly on the small of her back with “Mrs. Cannon” written down the center; his, a shoulder-spanning rendering of her name — to signify their love.

Talent and fame often come with a price, but for someone who has been a tabloid target for so long, Carey displays an admirable ability to not take herself too seriously—as witnessed in the video for her record-breaking single “Touch My Body,” in which a tech support dork from “Compu Nerd” (played by 30 Rock‘s hilariously geeky Jack McBrayer) comes to her mansion to fix her computer and lives out his fantasy with Mariah.

To get ready to promote her album, Mariah enlisted the talent of her French trainer, Patricia whose favorite word during workouts is, naturally, encore.

“She’s about the size of my arm — that’s her body,” Carey tells Elle, “But it’s all muscle. It’s not like she’s emaciated. She’s happy with me. She lets me eat meals now."

Sound off in the comments below!

Join the conversation