The "Obsessed" singer's first album ended up going nine-times platinum in the United States alone with number-one hits like "Love Takes Time", "Someday" and "I Don't Wanna Cry."
In 2001, Carey signed the biggest recording contract in history at the time when she left Columbia Records and signed a $100 million, five-album contract with Virgin Music.
However, the label shelled out $28 million to terminate the contract early after the lackluster album Glitter. Carey later moved to Island Records, where she released The Emancipation of Mimi, but also recorded under Def Jam Records before getting signed by Epic Records in 2015.
In 2017, she began the Butterfly MC Record label as an exclusive joint venture with Epic.
Despite being so eager to record new music, the chart-topper's biggest cash cow will always be her Christmas hit, "All I Want For Christmas Is You," which she reportedly makes an estimated $2.6 million per year on.
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"The crazy thing about it is, every year it tends to increase in popularity,” she in a 2017 interview of the holiday staple. "I’m very thankful that people seem to still have an attachment to it. It makes me feel good when people tell me that it’s part of their lives."
The success of the beloved tune even surprised Carey. "Oh my gosh, no no, never, no," she said when asked if she knew the song would take off the way it did. "I feel like this is something small compared to the rest of my catalogue. This song just continues to surprise me."
Besides her songs, Carey was paid $18 million to appear on one season of American Idol in 2012 as a judge.
The mother-of-two also collected $30 million in 2015 after she signed a contract to undertake a two-year Las Vegas residency at Caesars Palace — a move that made her one of the highest-earning women in music for the year with $27 million in total earnings.
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The Economist obtained how much she makes from "All I Want For Christmas Is You" yearly.
Billboard conducted the 2017 interview with Carey.