Mariah Carey thinks her first marriage was a bid to “control” her

The 49-year-old singer wed Sony Music boss Tommy Mottola – who is 20 years her senior – shortly after she released her self-titled debut album in 1991 and she believes their union was part of a bid to take away her freedom.

She said: “You might want to picture a child bride.

“There was a conscious effort to keep me as this all-American, whatever that means, girl. It was very controlled. There was no ­freedom for me as a human being. It was almost like being a prisoner.”

After splitting from Tommy – who later branded their relationship “wrong and inappropriate” – eight years later, Mariah went on to marry Nick Cannon, the father of her eight-year-old twins Moroccan and Monroe, and later got engaged to billionaire James Packer before moving on to her current romance with dancer Bryan Tanaka.

But the ‘Hero’ hitmaker admitted she is a “prude”, even though she’s dated a “variety pack” of men.

She told America’s Cosmopolitan magazine: “I haven’t had that many, but there has been a variety pack. I’ve only been with five people in my life, so I’m kind of a prude, honestly, compared to most others in the field.”

In 2016, Mariah caused a stir with a disastrous New Year’s Eve performance which saw her earpiece malfunction and her refuse to sing along with a backing track, but she can’t understand why people thought it was such a big deal.

She said: “If people think that’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to me, then first of all, they haven’t studied my career well enough.

“After what I’ve been through, who really gives a s**t if my monitor broke, fell off, came out of my ears because the stupid robe was too loose? These things happen and it’s over.

“My true fans stick with me, and the rest of the people will get over it.”