1. Mottola was once a recording artist himself, signed to Epic Records at just 18. He went by the name T.D. Valentine back then, and had mild success with a 1960s song called "Love Trap." It's not half-bad, but it's hard to imagine he'd have the longevity of some of the artists he helped launch.
2. Mottola's therapist was utterly opposed to his relationship to Mariah, and even warned him about it. "The therapist kept trying to make me see Mariah as someone who'd been through a difficult childhood. All I could see was what Mariah was about to become," writes Mottola. The therapist even went to so far as to say, "Tom, you're in denial." But, as Mottola notes, "Smashing through the word no was a big reason for my success…I thought 'Life is short. F* it. This is what I feel. This is what I'm going to do'…I went off with Mariah without thinking about the possible consequences or repercussions…How the hell this happened to the razor-sharp Bronx street kid who would've grabbed a buddy in the same situation by the lapels and then slapped him silly – I'll never know." We'll never know either, but we're thankful that at least some great, timeless music came out of that union.
3. Mariah Carey wasn't a fan of the song "Hero" initially in 1993. She, according to Mottola, always wanted to go in a more hip-hop direction, but he would insist that she didn't have to limit herself to one genre and could instead conquer all audiences. But his instinct was right with "Hero," as with Mariah's now-classic Christmas album, which she also apparently resisted at first, finding it corny. "The only good part of this story for me is a magazine article not long ago in which Mariah told a writer how she thought I was crazy for asking her to do the album and how she initially resisted, but that in retrospect it's become one of her favorites and that she was really happy I made it happen," writes Mottola.
4. Celine Dion initially did not want to sing the Titanic theme song "My Heart Will Go On" in 1997 either, and Mottola, as well as Celine's husband/manager Rene Angelil had to talk her into it, says Mottola. The demo she recorded of that song – which was meant to be a rough cut to send to James Cameron and the folks behind the movie – ended up being what we hear in the movie and have heard countless times. And she did it all in one take – no fixes! It went on to generate a billion dollars in business, win an Oscar, and four Grammys.
5. Thalia and Mottola did long distance for the first part of their relationship – and apparently this was the key to their lasting love. After having been reluctantly set up on a blind date by Gloria and Emilio Estefan in New York at the tail end of 1998, Thalia and Mottola hit it off right away, but she was still in Mexico City shooting Rosalinda, and he was based in NY. "Sometimes we'd fall asleep at the end of our eighteen-hour days while talking to each other," writes Mottola. "We took photos during our workdays and mailed them back and forth as if we were high school pen pals. The distance, and the language barrier, only intensified our feelings." In another section of the book, dedicated to other people's perspectives of Mottola, Thalia writes of her husband: "Tommy and I met at a great point in our lives. Tommy was already successful. I was already successful. So we came together as equals."