Mariah Carey Talks Self-Esteem Issues, Recalls 'Being Broke' Before She Made it Big

Behind all the glitter, the attitude, the wealth and that voice, Mariah Carey is just like so many of us: she struggles with low self-esteem. 

Speaking with Page Six after her Madison Square Garden show on Saturday, Carey admitted, “I just feel like I am a regular human being and I deserve the same respect as anybody else. I have always had low self-esteem, and people do not recognize that.” She then added, “I can’t measure what type of respect I deserve -- I really can’t.”

Carey's self-esteem surely took a blow when she started 2017 in the worst possible way -- with a New Year’s lip sync debacle that became global headline material. She got the show back on track with her joint tour with Lionel Richie that promises a generous helping of pop favorites, with all the requisite kitsch and confetti.  

The pop superstar also recounted "growing up different, being biracial, having the whole thing where I did not know if I fit in," and how music helped her overcome her personal challenges.

Money isn’t a problem these days, but there was a time the pop star did it tough. “I remember it not being easy getting a record deal,” she recalled. “Making demos in the middle of the night, sleeping on the floor in the studio, being broke with no food. My go-to meal was [Newman’s Own] sauce. Me and my friend would split the pasta and sauce for, like, a week. Or it was, like, a bagel and iced tea... The guy would give it to me at the deli for free.”

The days of splitting pasta with a pal are long gone. Indeed, Carey is working on a new fragrance. “I don’t have a name,” she explains. “But it is with Elizabeth Arden. It smells like success. There is also a secret song I have been working on.”

Carey and Richie's All The Hits Tour, an "effective, relatively uncontrived dose of full-schmaltz escapism," observed Billboard, moves on to Toronto's Air Canada Centre this Thursday night