Mariah Carey plans to release her secret alt-rock album from the ‘90s

Move over, Courtney Love — and make room for Mariah Carey!

Yes, apparently the pop diva has more in common with the grunge queen than you might expect. Back in the 1990s — when Carey was ruling the charts with monster hits such as “Dreamlover,” “Fantasy” and “Honey” — the octave-leaping singer recorded a secret alt-rock album.

Now, Carey plans to release the 1995 LP, which had been buried by her label. But Mimi has unearthed her version of “Someone’s Ugly Daughter,” which originally featured her lead vocals before they were replaced by her friend Clarissa Dane in the band Chick. 

“We actually have it,” Carey revealed in a Rolling Stone podcast interview with Brian Hiatt. “I’m working on a version where there will be another artist working with me.”

Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey traded her diva pop for a grunge sound on the “lost” album “Someone’s Ugly Daughter.”

Although Carey produced, wrote and sang backup vocals on “Someone’s Ugly Daughter,” which came out the same year that she released her blockbuster “Daydream” album, her involvement was kept secret by her then-label, Columbia Records. 

“This was my outlet, and nobody knew about it,” Carey said. “I honestly wanted to put the record out back then … and let them discover that it was me, but that idea was squashed.” 

Carey described “Someone’s Ugly Daughter” as “like a girls’ Green Day group moment. And, of course, there was the Courtney Love era of Hole going on at the time. I even did the artwork — it was a dead roach and some lipstick.”

In the Rolling Stone podcast, Carey also reflected on the 25th anniversary of her “Butterfly” album, which dropped from the pop heavens on Sept. 16, 1997. She said that the LP was musical therapy for her toward the end of her marriage to her then-label head Tommy Mottola.

Mariah Carey and Tommy Mottola
Mariah Carey said that her “Butterfly” album helped her cope with the end of her marriage to Tommy Mottola.
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“To have the strength to break away from that wasn’t easy,” she said, “so I put it all into the music.”

In fact, Carey broke down the deeply personal lyrics to the “Butterfly” chorus: “If you should return to me/We truly were meant to be/So spread your wings and fly.”

“That’s what I was kind of always hoping that Tommy would say to me,” she said. “As if, you know, ‘Here’s all you have to do, and it’ll all be good.’ But really it was too late for that.”

Carey also discussed the scripted series about her life that “Precious” director Lee Daniels is planning. As for casting the actress to play her, she said, “I really care more about the acting than the person being a singer. It really does matter that the actress nails that part … It’s gonna be an interesting task also because the person being ambiguous, looking and being of mixed race, is gonna be important to me.”

Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey will take the stage at Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on Saturday.

But Carey — in true diva fashion — wants to do her own singing for the role. “I’ve done my vocals, and I can redo any of my vocals at this point,” she said.

The 53-year-old star — who will take the stage at Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on Saturday — also talked about the music that she worked on during the pandemic.  

“It’s about three or four different things,” said Carey. “One is a project that I’m almost finished with that I was doing some background vocal tweaks on. One is [new] songs that could be for the scripted series or a documentary. And then there’s a themed album. It’s something that people have been asking me to do for years, but it’s not done in the traditional sense. It’s not done yet, but I’m really excited about it. I’m working [on that album] with some very eclectic, newer artists, as well as some legendary folks.”