How Mariah Carey Saved Her Backup Singer's Life

by Raphael Chestang 7:06 PM PDT, July 20, 2015
Playing How Mariah Carey Saved Her Backup Singer's Life

One of Mariah Carey's backup singers, Deborah Cooper, opened up to ET about how the GRAMMY winner helped pay for a holistic treatment that Cooper says restored her health after being diagnosed with cancer.

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"Mariah Carey definitely saved my life," Cooper told ET. "They told me that I only had a few months to live, so when Mariah heard about it, she was like, 'Umm... Where do I send the money?'"

In the '90s, Cooper sang on some of Carey's greatest hits, including 1991's "Emotions." Years later, Cooper started to drastically lose weight, going from 160 pounds down to 90 pounds. It was then that doctors found a large tumor in her liver.

"Tests came back that I had cancer and they couldn't do anything for me and that I would need a transplant," Cooper recalled. "They sent me home to die."

Cooper decided against the transplant, opting for an alternative treatment suggested by her friend James Hester, the co-author of 21 Pounds in 21 Days. The treatment, however, was too expensive for Cooper, which was when Carey stepped in. All it took was a call from Hester to Carey's rep, filling her in on the situation and the singer immediately wired more than $25,000 so Cooper could undergo a 30-day detox at Martha's Vineyard Holistic Retreat. Cooper claims the treatment and acupuncture restored her health.

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"[Mariah] may be a bit of a diva or whatever, but she's got a heart," Cooper said. "She's warm and giving."

After completing her treatment, the two had a tearful reunion.

"I cried. She cried. It was beautiful," Cooper said. "Thank you, M.C.! Thank you!"