A Look Back at Luis Miguel and Mariah Carey’s Three-Year Relationship

Lead Photo: Art by Alan López for Remezcla
Art by Alan López for Remezcla
Read more

With Luis Miguel’s life story now airing simultaneously on Telemundo (in the United States) and Netflix (in Latin America), there’s renewed interest in decades-old gossip. And while we’ve personally seen plenty of headlines talking about the love triangle that also featured Alejandro González Iñárritu and Luismi’s relationship with his father, we haven’t seen too much of yet is his past relationship with the inimitable and iconic Mariah Carey – likely because the show hasn’t caught up to this time in his life.

The two superstar singers dated between 1999 and 2001, and they were a paparazzi magnet. However, Luismi is fiercely private and rarely grants interviews, so the information that exists out there about the former boos is limited. We went on a deep dive to learn more about their relationship. Below, check out 10 things we gleaned about the former couple.


They met in Aspen in 1998.

Mariah and Luismi both found themselves in Aspen at the close of 1998. In his book, titled Mariah Carey, Marc Shapiro writes that their meeting happened because those closest to them were scheming.

“As 1998 began to wind down, Mariah felt at ease, so much so that she decided to take the month of December off to spend some quiet vacation time on the slopes of Aspen, Colorado,” Shapiro wrote. “Aspen had long ago become the getaway choice for the superstars of the entertainment industry, and since celebrity sightings are considered part of the scenery, the stars are pretty much left alone. Mariah wanted to be ignored for a while. this was the kind of get-away-from-it-all Christmas she was yearning for. The real estate agent who rented Mariah her Aspen retreat was a big fan. What Mariah was unaware of was that her agent had a friend who had, coincidentally, rented a house to Latino singing sensation Luis Miguel, and that they had decided to moonlight as matchmakers. Mariah’s agent told her that Luis was in town and wanted to meet her. Miguel’s agent told Luis that Mariah was interested in meeting him.”


Luismi said they were a good combination.

When a reporter said that she thought Luismi and Mariah should sing together because they matched up well, he said that they were a good combination. But he also added that it wasn’t his style to mix business and pleasure.


They reportedly did work on a duet.

Yeah, we know what he said, but a 1999 article on the New York Daily News reported the couple tried collaborating and couldn’t make it work. Near the end of their first year together, Mariah released Rainbow, her seventh studio album. The song “After Tonight” was originally supposed to be a duet, but after recording the song together, Luis was so upset with the final product that he “took a scissors to a tape of it and sent the pieces back to producer David Foster.”


Because of their jobs, Luis Miguel and Mariah Carey could understand each other.

In an interview circa ~2000, Mariah explained that because they were both singers, they had a deep understanding of what each other dealt with, even as tabloids printed information that could tear them apart.

“The public and the media, whatever, will attack a relationship and make it into, you know, drive people crazy,” she said. “And it really takes someone really secure to be able to handle that kind of thing. So I’m really actually very happy in a relationship right now with someone who’s an entertainer, very big, Latin superstar. His name is Luis Miguel, and he’s great… He’s so secure with himself, with what he does, and you know even to the point where people are like, ‘Do an English album.’ He’s not doing an album in English, because he doesn’t need to. He’s not a follower. He doesn’t have to follow the trend of that right now. And he’s great because he understands this craziness of my life, because he’s got the same thing. There’s very few people who you can be like, ‘OK, well, I’m about to go on stage right now and sing in front of 50,000 people, so I’ll call you back when I’m done.'”


She was seemingly impressed that he didn't try to crossover into the mainstream Anglo market.

In an interview with Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee, she once again talked about Luis Miguel’s refusal to crossover into the mainstream Anglo market. “He has a lot of integrity, because even though there’s this big Latin craze, he hasn’t sung in English, and he’s still the biggest Latin star,” she said. “He’s keeping it real.”


She supposedly wanted to learn Spanish for him.

Mariah Carey, who is of part Venezuelan heritage, doesn’t speak Spanish. Her former publicist said, “Mariah wants to understand Luis’ language, as well as his culture. They’re together a lot in Acapulco, and that’s why she wants to learn Spanish.” She also at the time said that they enjoyed singing together, “but for now it’s only when they’re alone, in private.”


They were all about that yacht life.

Given their busy schedules, it’s likely they didn’t get to spend as much time together as they wanted, but when they did, yachts were involved.


Luismi was reportedly bothered by the Mariah Carey-Eric Benét rumors.

View this post on Instagram

#Glittermariah #mariahcarey

A post shared by rafael xavier (@soulxavier) on

While filming Glitter in Toronto, there were rumors that she and co-star Eric Benét (who was dating Halle Berry at the time) were more than friends. Marc Shapiro wrote, “There wasn’t a word of truth in it, but it was par for the course. It was to be expected, and Mariah and Eric were used to it. So they simply laughed it off. But the rumors persisted, becoming more outlandish and vicious. Stories began to circulate that Halle Berry had come to the set and had angrily confronted Mariah. It was also reported that Luis Miguel, who was coming to the Toronto site every chance he could to be with his love, was upset by the reports and that the alleged dalliance with Benét was putting a serious crimp in their relationship. Mariah felt she finally had to address the rumors.”


He reportedly broke up with her.

Rumor has it that Luismi ended the relationship because Mariah wanted to have children, but he did not. Polo Martínez, Luis’ former manager, later called Mariah the Mexican singer’s greatest love.


There were rumors of a reunion in 2003.

Art by Alan López for Remezcla

In 2003, they were supposedly spotted in Aspen. As Mariah shuffled between Red Mountain – where her rented house was located – to the neighboring mountain, where Luismi’s house was, people speculated that they were back on. But other sources say this never went down.