The Truth About Mariah Carey's Relationship With Jennifer Lopez

Mariah Carey is a bona fide megastar in pop music. Since hitting the airwaves in the early 1990s, the singer has been officially crowned the Female Artist of the Millennium and a World Legend (and unofficially the Queen of Christmas music), per Entertainment Tonight. But she's also earned a reputation of being a diva. According to In Touch Weekly, Carey has been rumored to tell off backup vocalists, demand personal red carpets, and only wear high heels — even while at home.

But some of the singer's biggest diva moments have come out of her feuds with other celebrities. In 2016, Carey appeared to rub singer-actor Demi Lovato the wrong way, with Lovato calling Carey "unnecessarily rude." The "Always Be My Baby" singer was also caught in a beef with fellow "American Idol" judge Nicki Minaj back in 2013, though she later claimed the feud was "fake" (via IBTimes). 

There's one feud that has spanned the majority of Carey's career, though — her feud with Jennifer Lopez.

They don't know each other – or do they?

Fans were first alerted to a rift between Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez when Carey took a seemingly passive-aggressive jab at Lopez during an interview in the early 2000s. In a clip from the interview, Carey first praises fellow singer Beyoncé, who she calls a "great writer" and "great singer." But when asked about Jennifer Lopez immediately after, Carey replies with a simple "I don't know her," despite the fact that Lopez was already a household name.

Years later, Carey tried to clear the air during a 2016 episode of "Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen," explaining that she's only briefly greeted Lopez and that they don't truly know each other personally. However, she changed her posture in a 2018 interview with Pitchfork. When the infamous "I don't know her" comment was brought up, Carey retorted, "I really was trying to say something nice or say nothing at all. I really was."

As for Lopez, she told Wendy Williams that she's met the multi-octave singer "many times" and that Carey is "forgetful" for saying she doesn't know her. She gave more details in an interview with Andy Cohen, explaining that she has no hard feelings towards Carey, though she did acknowledge that the singer has made "not the greatest" comments about her. Still, she insisted that she's a fan of Carey's and would love to form a friendship.

Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez's feud began over 20 years ago

There's clearly some tension between Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez, and the root of their rivalry dates as far back as 2001. That year, Carey released the film "Glitter" along with a soundtrack of the same name, and Lopez released her album "J.Lo." While Lopez was becoming an MTV and radio mainstay, Carey's "Glitter" failed to impress both critics and fans, according to Entertainment Tonight.

There were a few reasons why "Glitter" may have flopped, including Carey's erratic behavior that year, as well as the unfortunate timing of its release (the soundtrack was released on September 11, 2001, and the film was released soon after, per E! News). But Carey blamed her ex-husband for the failure, with Lopez caught in the middle.

In an excerpt from her memoir "The Meaning of Mariah Carey" (via Hollywood Life), the singer alleges that her former spouse and Sony Music executive, Tommy Mottola, used Lopez to sabotage "Glitter" and get revenge after their divorce. Carey wrote, "After hearing my new song, using the same sample I used, Sony rushed to make a single for another female entertainer on their label (whom I don't know)." The entertainer who Carey "doesn't know" was Lopez, and the single was the Puerto Rican singer's hit "I'm Real." Carey was also set to collaborate with rapper Ja Rule, but she claims that her ex ultimately paired him with Lopez instead, leaving her scrambling.

Mariah Carey criticized Jennifer Lopez's singing voice

Though Tommy Mottola may have orchestrated Mariah Carey's early 2000s downfall, Carey seemingly considered Jennifer Lopez to be her biggest enemy. In several interviews, she publicly criticized the Bronx native's singing capabilities. In a Talk Magazine article, Carey, who said she slept only three hours a night, responded to Lopez's claim of sleeping eight hours by saying, "If I had the luxury of not actually having to sing my own songs ... I'd do that too."

When questioned about her rivalry with Lopez in a 2002 Larry King interview, Carey replied, "I don't think she has anything to do with me. My whole thing is singing [and] writing songs ... Singing is, first and foremost, it's a God-given talent that I'm grateful for. Her thing is something different."

The super vocalist continued to shade Lopez even after her "Glitter" defeat was a thing of the past. In 2005, when asked on a radio show if she would sing a duet with Lopez, Carey seemed to doubt it would sound good.

Knowing their history and Carey's numerous backhanded comments directed at Lopez, it's safe to say these two are unlikely to become friends any time soon.