We’ve already established that Mariah Carey is the queen of the remix. However, she’s also a pro at delivering flawless shade. While many divas have hurled an insult at one of their peers, there’s something about the way MiMi does it. She doesn’t raise her voice, and she normally delivers her biting words with a blank stare and delicate hair flip. It’s perfect. Thankfully, the Internet has breadcrumbs of all the shade MiMi has thrown at fellow artists over the years. Let’s take a look at the highlights that prove Ms. Carey is the definitive goddess of shade.
When Madonna said she’d rather kill herself than be Carey in the early ’90s, the “Infifnity” singer responded with this comment: “I really haven’t paid attention to Madonna since I was like in seventh or eighth grade when she used to be popular.” Used to be popular. The subtle shade!
In the early ’00s, Carey did an international interview where she was asked her thoughts on both Beyoncé and Lopez. While she spent a solid 10 seconds gushing over Queen Bey, all she said about J.Lo was, “I don’t know her.” Then, in an interview with Larry King around the same time, Carey served some backhanded compliment realness by saying, “I don’t think she has anything to do with me. My whole thing is singing. Writing songs…I’ve been doing this my whole life. Singing is first and foremost. It’s a God-given talent that I’m grateful for. Her thing is something different.” Reading between the lines, it sounds like MC was suggesting J.Lo isn’t talented. But she’s so sneaky about it!
UPDATE: She still doesn’t know her.
In an interview around 2008, Carey started describing a nameless “really cool” person who doesn’t talk about his or her personal life while doing press. When the journalist guessed that it was Christina Aguilera, Carey turned away and said in a disgusted voice, “No…but anyway…” Leave it to Carey to tell us exactly how she feels about someone without saying a damn thing.
During an appearance on Watch What Happens Live, Andy Cohen asked Carey to say three nice things about Eminem (whom she’d feuded with frequently in the past). Her response? “They come in a package that you can carry wherever you go…[Applause muffles her answer]…And they’re tasty. Peanut and you can have the regular kind.” Right after she said this, she gave a smile and hair toss that will bring you to your knees.
When Grande exploded onto the music scene in late 2013, her comparisons to Carey seemed never-ending. While the “Love Me Harder” singer was flattered, MiMi certainly was not — especially at accusations Grande is the “young” Mariah. “I’m still young,” she told The Breakfast Club when asked about the subject. And after one of the DJs told Carey Jay-Z says he doesn’t like being compared to anybody because it’s insulting, the singer replied, “[Jay-Z] says a lot of things I agree with.” Again, with a subtle smile that says more than words. No flaws detected.
Ahhh, the rivalry to end all rivalries. Minaj and Carey’s biting comments toward one another while serving on the American Idol judging panel were tabloid fodder for months. But if we had to declare a winner, it’d be Lady MiMi. When critiquing a contestant who sang a popular Rihanna song, Carey said (after Minaj interrupted her), “Back to the Billboard Hot 100 song, which you just performed. Which is difficult, to get. Not everybody has that to their credit.” (Minaj has yet to score a No.1 Billboard Hot 100 song, despite releasing several successful hits.) Fellow judge Keith Urban detected the shade and started cracking up. Honestly, we still die at this, too.
And the Nicki insults continue. When Barbara Walters asked Carey if she is the “bitch” Minaj sings about in her song “Hell Yeah,” Carey said in a flat-toned voice, “I didn’t know she sang. I thought she rapped…or whatever.” We have goosebumps. Actual goosebumps.
Oh! And AGAIN.
This one takes the cake. After a way-too-eager reporter suggested to Carey that she and Minaj were coordinating outfits on AI, MiMi gave the harshest stank face in existence. Not even a second later, she threw on a smile, touched the journalist’s shirt and said, “This is so pretty.” WE LITERALLY CAN’T SEE ANYTHING.