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Mariah Carey is one of the most successful singers of all time, but it wasn't always that way.

In an exclusive sneak peek at Sunday's premiere of Mariah's World, the "Obsessed" songstress opens up about her humble beginnings while sailing the Italian seas on a yacht with her nephew Shawn.

"I think me and Shawn have a great relationship because we both understand what it's like to literally come from nothing," Carey says. "We did not grow up this way, people have to understand this."

Mariah Carey, Mariah's World

E!

"This is not normal back in the day," Shawn laughs.

"I've always had this love affair with music, ever since I can remember. When I was like four years old, my mother encouraged me to sing," Mimi explains. "I started doing demos when I was like 12 years old, I was a backup singer. I moved to Manhattan alone as a teenage girl. It was an exciting time for me, even though I had nothing."

The E! star continues, "I lived like on a mattress on the floor. I was writing my songs and being a horrible waitress. My demo tape ended up at Sony and they signed it away."

And the rest is history!

In a second sneak peek clip from the premiere, Mariah serenades us while songwriting at a piano with her musical director Big Jim Wright.

Check out the second clip to hear Mariah's signature powerhouse pipes!