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Mariah Carey learns truth about her heritage

Mariah Carey, meet Maria Nunez.

That's the name the pop singer would have gone by if her Venezuelan grandfather hadn't changed his last name when he moved to the United States.

"I recently went to Venezuela because my father's now trying to trace his roots," Carey says in the August issue of Latina magazine.

"All this was a new layer of understanding for me because we didn't know anything before. I thought I was part Cuban for a while because my father didn't deal with that side."

The 31-year-old's mother is Irish, and her father is black and Venezuelan, but she doesn't feel an affinity with one cultural group more than others.

"I identify with all things that I am, and I feel like that should be OK," she said.

Carey was less forthcoming about her relationship with singer Luis Miguel.

"The thing is, career-wise, no matter who you're with, I think the best idea is to always say as little as possible," she said.