Mariah Carey says she was a “lost, interracial child” during ICON Award acceptance speech

The singer performed a medley of her hits and thanked fans for their ongoing support.

Mariah carey
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for dcp)

The 2019 Billboard Music Awards took over Sin City on Wednesday night and the belle of the ball was Mariah Carey who was honored with the coveted ICON Award.

The singer who maintains the record for most weeks spent atop the Hot 100 chart delivered a five-song set of some of her most famous hits and had the crowd dancing in the aisles.

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She served up a nice mix of old and new jams including “A No No”; “Always Be My Baby”;“Emotions”;“We Belong Together” and “Hero” backed by dancers, an orchestra, and gospel singers to help her hit all those high notes.

After Jennifer Hudson presented her with the night’s biggest honor, she delivered a heartfelt acceptance speech and revealed that she doesn’t feel like an icon.

“I’m so nervous! Seriously, thank you Billboard for letting me grow up on the charts with you and for this incredible honor. Icon? I really don’t think of myself in that way,” she said.

“I just wanted to create something so I could feel worthy of existing,” she said. “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,” she joked.

“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 could succeed at anything at all in this world… 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. They’ve lifted me out of the depth of hell and brought me back with their devotion and love,” she continued.

“Anybody who doesn’t allow themselves to be broken and keeps getting up and keeps holding on and keeps standing tall, 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.”

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Carey joins a long list of superstars who have received the award including Janet Jackson, Neil Diamond, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Jennifer Lopez, Celine Dion, and Cher among others.