Today In MTV History: Mariah Carey’s ‘TRL’ Meltdown

Mariah Carey

It’s time for a trip down memory lane. Once upon a time, in a far off kingdom called New York City, lived a popular little show called “Total Request Live” or simply “TRL.” It drew hoards of teens to Times Square, where they could stand in the street, block traffic and scream at some of the biggest stars in music. Do you remember? Man, those were the days…

Well, ten years ago today one of the biggest stars of all dropped by for what would become one of the most talked about appearances in the show’s 10-year history. The star: Mariah Carey. And girlfriend brought ice cream!

The pop star arrived unannounced and proceeded to strip off her shirt and pass out cool treats. According to Carey, “If you don’t have ice cream in your life, sometimes you just might go a little bit crazy.” (You can say that again, sister!) Host Carson Daly’s response: “That’s a metaphor for a lot more, I’m sure.”

The whole thing was pretty strange, to say the least, and left Daly clearly flustered. Check it out after the jump.

The appearance only added fuel to the “Is Mariah OK?” fire that started burning in the lead-up to the release of her failed film “Glitter.” As it runs out, she wasn’t. Soon after, on July 25, 2001, she checked into a New York hospital for what was described as an “emotional and physical breakdown” brought on by exhaustion. “I'd be doing interviews all day long, getting two hours of sleep a night, if that,” Carey explained to USA Today in 2002. “I was burning the candle at both ends and in the middle, and it caught up with me.”

Of course, Carey addressed her problems and came back stronger than ever. Her 2005 album The Emancipation of Mimi became one of her biggest hits ever. It was the top-selling album of 2005, moving over 12 million copies worldwide, and won three Grammy Awards. She went on to marry Nick Cannon and gave birth to twins Monroe and Moroccan Scott in late April.

Were you watching “TRL” when Mariah showed up to surprise Carson? If so, let us know in the comments.