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“I can’t measure what type of respect I deserve -- I really can’t.”

By Hayden Wright

Mariah Carey and Lionel Richie are touring the country on their All the Hits Tour, and The New York Post caught up with Carey after a Madison Square Garden show to discuss self esteem, her humble beginnings and future business endeavors. Carey admitted that “growing up different, being biracial, having the whole thing where I did not know if I fit in” caused her to underestimate herself—an issue she still struggles with today.

Related: Watch Mariah Carey’s Daughter Sing ‘Always Be My Baby’

“I just feel like I am a regular human being and I deserve the same respect as anybody else. I have always had low self-esteem, and people do not recognize that,” she said. “I can’t measure what type of respect I deserve — I really can’t.”

Nevertheless, Carey’s come a long way since the pre-fame days. Mariah recalled how challenging it was to stay afloat financially before her first record deal was inked.

“I remember it not being easy getting a record deal,” she said. “Making demos in the middle of the night, sleeping on the floor in the studio, being broke with no food. My go-to meal was [Newman’s Own] sauce. Me and my friend would split the pasta and sauce for, like, a week. Or it was, like, a bagel and iced tea… The guy would give it to me at the deli for free.”

Today, opportunities and project are in no short supply: Mariah teased new music as well as a signature fragrance that’s on the way.

“I don’t have a name,” she explains. “But it is with Elizabeth Arden. It smells like success. There is also a secret song I have been working on.”

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