Mariah Carey has a catalogue of hits that would make most artists blush, but is she the first person one thinks of when they think of gay icons? Apparently, Ms. Carey is all set to get a GLAAD Media Award. Billboard has the news.
“GLAAD announced Thursday (April 21) it will honor Mariah Carey at the 27th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York. Director Lee Daniels will present Carey with her award at the Waldorf Astoria New York on May 14.”
The article adds that Carey is getting the award for being a media figure who has consistently used her platform to support and advance LGBT equality and acceptance. Previous honorees of the award have been Janet Jackson and Cher, artists who actually risked their careers to embrace the LGBT community in the 1990s. This was during the decade Mariah Carey sang about butterflies, rainbows, and unicorns but wouldn’t be caught dead saying the word “gay” when society needed to hear it the most.
It would be ignorant to say that Mariah Carey never cared about the gay community, but she was pretty much controlled by Sony Records and her ex-husband Tommy Mottola in the 1990s. Mariah Carey was at her peak in the 1990s, and any support of gay rights could have torpedoed her career. However, Janet Jackson was also at the peak of her career in the 1990s, and her support of the LGBT community helped, instead of hurt, her career.
Before Christina Aguilera’s amazing LGBT-themed song “Beautiful” came out in 2003 and before Lady Gaga’s well-intentioned but misguided “Born This Way” came out in 2011, Janet Jackson hit No. 1 in late 1997 with “Together Again,” a song she wrote about some of her gay friends who died of AIDS. She also recorded “Free Xone,” a song about discrimination and homophobia, for the album The Velvet Rope in 1997.
It’s important to note that Mariah Carey embraced gay love in the video for “I Wanna Know What Love Is” in 2009. One has to give her a thumbs up, but, at least at this point, Mariah wasn’t risking anything. Gay rights were increasing, gay marriage was becoming more accepted, and Mariah’s career, at that point, was taking a huge dive.
Once again, all of this isn’t aimed to bash Mariah personally, but one has to wonder what has become of GLAAD. Their decision to award Mariah Carey, rather than others who have done more for LGBT rights, feels like a PR-influenced event. It isn’t uncommon for a certain celebrity to get an award or honor out of nowhere based on PR campaigning. Does anybody remember Gwyneth Paltrow being named “World’s Most Beautiful Woman” in 2013 by People despite being the most disliked celebrity in the world? Who can forget Lady Gaga being named “Woman of the Year” by Billboard in 2015 out of all years?
Twitter has been questioning Mariah Carey’s latest honor as well.
Do you think Mariah Carey deserves a GLAAD Award? Let us know in the comments section.
[Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]