Mariah Carey received a toast worthy of a queen at the Billboard Music Awards on Wednesday night. Taking home an award for “Icon,” she also sang a medley of some of her biggest hits including “Always Be My Baby,” “Emotions,” “We Belong Together” and “Hero.”
Jennifer Hudson did the honors of introducing Carey, who then delivered a funny and earnest speech that didn’t shy away from mentions of “drama,” career “ups and downs” and “a few memes.”
Read Carey’s speech in its entirely below:
“Icon? I really don’t think of myself in that way. I started making music out of a necessity — to survive and to express myself. I just wanted to create something so I could feel worthy of existing. And if I’ve learned anything, anything at all in this life, it’s that truly all things are possible with God.
Without getting into all the drama, all the ups and downs of my career — We’ve all seen them; we all make mistakes; there’s been a few memes — I guess I’ve always felt like an outsider: someone who doesn’t quite belong anywhere. And I still feel like that lost, interracial child who had a lot of nerve to believe I can succeed at anything at all in this world. But, and this is the truth, I did believe because I had to. 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. They’ve lifted me out of the depths of hell and brought me out with their devotion and love.
I want to thank all the people who’ve been with me on this journey through the highs and lows, through the struggles –through your struggles and mine. To anybody who doesn’t allow themselves to be broken, and keeps getting up, and keeps holding on, and keeps standing tall, and keeps on believing, and keeps rising, 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, and I’ll be eternally grateful.”
— Billboard Music Awards (@BBMAs) May 2, 2019
— Billboard Music Awards (@BBMAs) May 1, 2019