Mariah Carey Reveals Battling Self Esteem Issues Since Childhood

"I have always had low self-esteem, and people do not recognize that," singer said. "I can't measure what type of respect I deserve – I really can't"

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Mariah Carey Reveals Battling Self Esteem Issues Since Childhood

Mariah Carey said in a revealing new interview that she grapples with self-confidence issues – and often feels the outside world won't allow her to be a "regular human being." "I deserve the same respect as anybody else," the singer told Page Six Saturday before a concert at New York City's Madison Square Garden. "I have always had low self-esteem, and people do not recognize that ... I can't measure what type of respect I deserve – I really can't.”

The vocalist is currently touring with Lionel Richie for the co-headlining "All the Hits" trek. But the glamour of her stage show masks insecurities, which she traced back to her childhood. "Growing up different, being biracial, having the whole thing where I did not know if I fit in . . . That is why music became such a big part of my life, because it helped me overcome those issues," she said. "Sometimes it is hard to let your guard down."

Carey also reflected on the humble beginnings of her music career – when she struggled to get a record deal. "Making demos in the middle of the night, sleeping on the floor in the studio, being broke with no food," she recalled. "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."

Carey and Richie's joint tour will conclude September 5th in Seattle. The singer – who recently issued a single, "I Don't," with rapper YG – will executive produce an upcoming fictional drama series for Starz based on her life. The currently untitled show will follow an aspiring 16-year-old singer navigating the music industry and finding breakout success in the early Nineties.