Markus Klinko is an award-winning international fashion/celebrity photographer and director who has worked with many of today's most iconic film, music and fashion stars.
Mariah Carey is the best-selling female artist of all time, with more than 200 million albums sold to date and 19 Billboard Hot 100 #1 singles (18 self-penned), more than any solo artist in history.
Mariah rose to fame in 1990 with her debut album "Mariah Carey". She was the first artist to have their first five singles reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100, from "Vision of Love" to "Emotions". Referred to as the "Songbird Supreme" and "Queen of Christmas", she is noted for her five-octave vocal range, melismatic singing style, songwriting and signature use of the whistle register.
Enter Markus Klinko...
"I received a phone call in the middle of the night from Mariah and her manager Benny Medina. They wanted me to shoot her album art for 'The Emancipation of Mimi' within the next 72 hours" recalls Markus.
Following a low point in the superstar's career, Mariah's team hired a photographer for the shoot, but the results were not what she or her label wanted. Mariah was determined to make a stunning return to top form with an album cover that would blow people away and met with Markus to brainstorm ideas.
The team wanted to convey her strength and power as a woman, no longer trapped by others' expectations.
The final album cover was inspired by the gold tones and movement of an image by Markus for Wolford, which Mariah loved. The team customised a look for Mariah to bring out her inner superhero. LA Reid, head of the label, came to the final post-production session. He was thrilled with the results.
"The Emancipation of Mimi" earned 10 Grammy Award nominations: eight in 2006 for the original release (the most received by Mariah in a single year) and two in 2007 for the Ultra Platinum Edition.
"The Emancipation of Mimi" was the best-selling album in the United States in 2005, with nearly five million units sold. It was the first album by a solo female artist to become the year's best-selling album since Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill in 1996. At the end of 2005, the IFPI reported that The Emancipation of Mimi had sold more than 7.7 million copies globally and was the second-best-selling album of the year after Coldplay's X&Y. The Emancipation of Mimi has since sold over 12 million copies worldwide.
Building on this epic collaboration, Mariah requested Markus for numerous other projects, including her Playboy magazine cover, tour posters and Pepsi ad campaign.