What becomes an icon most? In Mariah Carey‘s case, it’s giving fans a very on-brand moment (and we all know how much she loves a “moment”) while accepting an award for being an icon.
Mimi was in peak form as the Elusive Chanteuse on Wednesday night when she took to the stage to accept her gold Icon award from Jennifer Hudson at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas. Carey, who had earlier performed a medley of her greatest hits, which included “Always be My Baby” and “We Belong Together,” has an emotional moment before accepting her award and wiped her face with a tissue that she later tossed on to the stage before giving a touching emotional speech, much to the delight of fans and viewers everywhere.
In her speech, Carey thanked her twin children before reflecting on her career’s highs and lows, even joking about the memes that have come along the way. She also graciously thanked her fans, the Lambily.
“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…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.”
Carey’s Icon award is well-deserved; with a grand total of 18 no. 1 songss on the Billboard Hot 100, the highest record for any solo artist. She’s also the reigning champion of total weeks of topping the Hot 100 at a whopping 79 weeks. The diva received her first charting single in 1990 and led the Billboard Hot 100 in every year of the decade. She is also the only artist to top the chart in every year of any decade.