Superstar singer Mariah Carey is used to a whirlwind lifestyle but nothing could prepare her for the difficulties she has faced this year, from giving birth to twins, to facing a family health scare to, most recently, losing her friend and fellow singer, Whitney Houston.
“Where do I begin,” Carey said today on “Good Morning America.” “There’s so many different things that I went through.”
Describing herself as “almost incapable” still of talking about Houston’s death, Carey began there, reflecting on the “home-going” service she attended Saturday for the 48-year-old singer who was found dead Feb. 11 in the bathroom of her hotel room at the Beverly Hilton hotel.
“It was great,” she said of the nearly four-hour funeral attended by other A-list stars such as Oprah Winfrey and Kevin Costner. ”Such a class act, the way she went out and the way her family dealt with it.
“I don’t think people could ever understand our relationship,” the 41-year-old singer said of Houston, with whom she recorded the hit “When You Believe” in 1998. “There was always this supposed rivalry in the beginning and then we did the duet and became friends. I saw her towards the end. I loved her. It’s very heavy emotionally.”
Also adding to the pain was Carey’s learning of her friend’s death while her family was going through a health scare of its own, the Feb. 10 hospitalization of her husband, entertainer Nick Cannon, for blood clots in his lungs.
The hospitalization came a month after Cannon, 31, was hospitalized and treated for kidney failure while the couple were vacationing in Aspen, Colo., with their 9-month-old twins.
“We didn’t know how big a deal it was at that moment,” Carey said of Cannon’s initial hospitalization in January. “It was a gradual thing. We ended up in a couple hospitals this year already.”
The multi-employed Cannon was told by his doctors to slow down his professional commitments and announced Feb. 17 that he was stepping down as host of his daily radio morning show.
“The best thing I think was the choice that he made to leave the radio show and just focus on “America’s Got Talent” and “Up All Night,” Carey said.
“The thing is, he’s a young healthy person. It’s about changing the lifestyle … and just an awareness of what can really happen to you no matter how young or in great shape you are,” she said. “I think, like he always does, he’s going to turn something that happened into a positive thing.”
Carey chose to change her own lifestyle after she gave birth to the couple’s twins, Moroccan and Monroe, in April after a difficult pregnancy that saw her diagnosed with both gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
She became a spokeswoman for Jenny Craig and lost 30 pounds herself on the diet. She also co-directed and stars in a newly released public service announcement marking February as Heart Awareness Month.
“When you carry twins, that is a whole other thing so, physically, I went through it,” she said of her pregnancy. “I had never dealt with a physical thing like that.”
Carey, who revealed she’s working on new music and hopes to wrap up a song as soon as next week, said her pregnancy battle, combined with Cannon’s health scare, woke her up.
“It’s about getting to a place within yourself where you feel good,” she said. “I think now more than ever people need to focus on the health aspect of just life. … I’m still reaching for my goals, trying to get there.”