USA Today music writer Elysa Gardner spoke with readers in an online chat on Tuesday, where she was asked her thoughts on Mariah Carey. “I’ve interviewed Mariah several times, and I think that what people don’t get about her is that she’s really an insecure and self-critical person — or has seemed that way to me,” she responded. “She’s less a diva than a perfectionist, I think, and is very easily hurt when people talk trash about her. That can really affect someone’s longevity, if the person isn’t thick-skinned … But I think it’s beyond question that Mariah is the most influential female pop singer of the past 15 years. Listen to any female singer with chops under the age of 25 — Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, Beyonce — and you’ll hear the influence.” Read the entire chat transcript here.