Mariah Carey fans have always known the singer was an icon, but now her status is official!
After performing a supernostalgic medley of some of her greatest hits, the 49-year-old artist was honored with the Billboard Music Awards' Icon Award, previously bestowed to musicians like Janet Jackson (2018), Cher (2017), and Celine Dion (2016). The artist formerly known as Mimi — who has earned 15 Billboard Awards of her own — tearfully accepted the award from Jennifer Hudson, who, like most of the crowd, was still in awe over Carey's performance. The singer also took a moment to shout out her twins, telling us it's their birthday and asking the crowd to say happy birthday to the two of them. She went on to make a passionate speech, noting that whatever mistakes she might have made in the past, her music has always been her saving grace.
"Icon? I really don't think of myself that way," the artist said, thanking Billboard for the honor. "I started making music out of a necessity to survive and express myself. I just wanted to create something so I could feel worthy of existing. If I've learned anything at all in this life, it's that truly all things are possible with God."
"I guess I've always felt like an outsider, someone who didn't belong anywhere," she added. "The truth is I've dedicated my life to my music — my saving grace — and to my fans, who are unlike any other entity that I've ever known . . . To anybody who doesn't allow themselves to be broken and keeps getting up and keeps holding on and keeping standing tall. I celebrate you tonight. And to anyone who's ever told me that a song I wrote helped save your life, I thank you, because you saved mine."
Whew! Where is that tissue she flung? We're definitely going to need it. Watch the rest of her powerful and moving speech in the video above.