Oct 15 2007

Forbes Magazine: MariahÂ’s Big Break

< > Search all you want, there is no magic formula for fame and fortune.

The truth is, big breaks don't just happen; people make them happen--through hard work, networking, courage, passion and even pain. And as much as modern culture has glorified the notion of the "big break" (American Idol, anyone?), lasting success has less to do with singular, transcendent moments than it does with incremental progress and unflagging grit.

Talent and tenacity notwithstanding, having the right friends helps, too--as pop star Mariah Carey can attest. While working as a backup singer for Puerto Rican performer Brenda Starr in 1988, Carey met Columbia Records executive Tommy Mottola at a party. As a favor, Starr gave Carey's demo tape to Mattola. After a listen, he bolted back to the party to track Carey down and sign her on. Good move for everyone: Carey's first five singles hit the Billboard Hot 100!

Forbes.com
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