Mariah Carey has insisted she is no diva compared to her mother.

The We Belong Together star has become famous for her diva behaviour and outlandish demands over the years. But when asked during an interview with Paper magazine if she has ever had a diva moment, Mariah replied, "I've never had a diva moment... No."

However, she then backtracked and conceded that some people may perceive her actions as diva-like, but her behaviour is nothing compared to her opera singer mother Patricia.

"Actually, I have had diva moments, and then people can't handle it," she said. "I guess it's a little intense, because I come from a true diva: My mother is an opera singer. And that's a real diva, you know - Juilliard (performing arts school) diva.

"And so other people that are like, 'I'm a diva,' it's like, 'Honey, you don't know what a diva is, you didn't grow up with my mom.' And I mean it as a compliment, or I wouldn't be the person I am without experiencing that."

The singer says when she sometimes speaks in a diva voice and says phrases like "dahling" she is almost channelling her mother.

"It's like I inadvertently do it, and I don't do it to be disrespectful, I just do it and it just happens and it's like, (in diva voice) 'I don't even know why.'"

When the reporter suggested maybe Mariah can't fight her diva antics because it's in her blood, Mariah replied, "I can't fight it, no."

The mother-of-two went topless for the cover photo, with her long hair covering her breasts. She also wore long black gloves, black pants and fishnet tights and a jewelled body chain. In the accompanying photoshoot, Mariah wore a variety of outfits including a diamond-encrusted mermaid-style shell bra and white gown with voluminous tulle skirt.

The special issue Paper magazine celebrates stars with Las Vegas residencies and also features covers with Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin, and the Backstreet Boys.