(UPDATE: 9/2/22 AT 5:12 P.M. ET): Mariah Carey has explained what she meant when she called Meghan Markle a “diva” during Meghan’s Archetypes podcast on Aug. 30. “Really enjoyed talking to Duchess and Diva Meghan Markle about ‘The Duality of Diva’,” the “Queen of Christmas” tweeted on Sept. 2. “Yes! I called her a diva, in the most fabulous, gorgeous, and empowering meaning of the word!!!”
(ORIGINAL STORY): Mariah Carey playfully accused Meghan Markle of having “diva moments,” when she appeared as a guest on Meghan’s Archetypes podcast on Tuesday, August 30. After the Duchess of Sussex, 40, said that she didn’t “connect to” being a diva, the Daydream singer, 53, responded by saying that she saw some diva qualities in Meghan. “You give us diva moments sometimes, Meghan!” Mariah responded.
While Meghan got defensive, Mariah tried to explain what she meant. “It’s the visual. A lot of it’s the visual,” the singer said. “Let’s pretend that you weren’t so beautiful and didn’t have the whole thing and didn’t often have gorgeous ensembles. You wouldn’t get maybe as much diva-styling.”
After the interview, Meghan said that the moment disrupted an interview that she would’ve otherwise thought went “swimmingly.” She opened up about how she felt after hearing Mariah say that she had diva moments. “It stopped me in my tracks, when she called me a diva. You couldn’t see me obviously, but I started to sweat a little bit. I started squirming in my chair in this private revolt,” she said. “My mind genuinely was just spinning with what nonsense she must have read or clicked on to make her say that. I just kept thinking in that moment, ‘Was my girl crush coming to a quick demise? Does she actually not see me?'”
Even though the moment caught Meghan by surprise, she said that Mariah’s explanation helped to comfort her. “When she said diva, she was talking about the way that I dress, the posture, the clothing, the quote-unquote ‘fabulousness’ as she sees it. She meant diva as a compliment, but I heard it as a dig,” Meghan explained. “She meant it as chic, as aspirational.”
Aside from the accusations, Meghan and Mariah also dissected what the term means to her. The former Suits actress asked the singer whether she considered being called a diva a “compliment or criticism,” and Mariah responded that she thinks of it as “both.” She explained the duality of it being both a good and bad thing. “People take it as a compliment now—some people, and then some people take it as, ‘Oh she’s such a diva,'” she said on the podcast.
Mariah explained that she understood the origins of the word diva, which can be found in the realm of opera, because her mother was an opera singer. “I know the origin of the word, but then I know as I was growing up like I said, my mom was going, talking about a friend or something: ‘So-and-so is very much the diva.’ I didn’t know if that was bad [or] good—that’s how she spoke,” she said. “It’s very much the grandeur of it all is what I envisioned.”
Even though she initially saw the term as an endearing show of “glamor,” she explained that the term has shifted to have a potentially negative connotation. “As things evolved the past whatever—20 years, I don’t know numbers—it became like: a diva for me, they mean, you’re a successful woman usually,” she explained. “It’s not okay for you to be a boss. It’s not okay for you to be a strong woman. You should be diminutive.”
Meghan also asked Mariah about if she played into being labeled a diva, occasionally as a “defense mechanism,” and the singer agreed, but she also revealed that occasionally she does so “for laughs,” before the two spoke about Mariah’s iconic appearance on MTV Cribs. Towards the end of the chat, she said that part of the reason she’s been labeled a diva was her fashion sense and her “glamorous” outfits. “The diva thing evolved and it continues to evolve, and I play with it. It’s for laughs,” she said. “I’m wearing this because I like how it looks. I don’t care.”
As the “We Belong Together” singer spoke about how the term has changed, she explained that the word “diva” has become a much more casual term in more recent years. “It’s so overused now. Like, ‘she’s the cupcake diva!’ I think they use it as a throwaway adjective,” she said.
Meghan’s podcast focuses on “archetypes” that often get assigned to different women, as the title would suggest, and she speaks to famous women who have often been assigned different labels by the public. Aside from speaking about being called a “diva,” Mariah also opened up about her upbringing and her early career in the interview. Part of why she understood the duality of being called a diva, she attributed to her mom. “I grew up with a real diva,” she joked.