Mariah Carey wowed the crowd at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards, taking the stage to perform a medley of her hits that included beloved songs like “Emotions” and “Always Be My Baby.” Carey was honored with the night’s esteemed Icon Award, and her moving acceptance speech was nothing short of, well, iconic – even if the chart-topping artist doesn’t consider herself an icon.
Mariah said, “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.”
Mariah also admitted that she’s felt like an “outsider” at times, and shouted out “drama” and even the “memes” that have made the rounds throughout her career. She said, “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, but 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.”
Mariah went on to celebrate her fans, concluding with, “To anyone who’s ever told me that a song I wrote helped save your life, I thank you, because you saved mine.”
Past Billboard Icon Award winners include venerated names like Cher, Celine Dion, Prince and Stevie Wonder, so Mariah is definitely in good company!
Who do you think also deserves the title of “icon”?