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Mariah Carey accepts Billboard Icon award

While accepting the icon award, Mariah Carey explained she started making music 'out of a necessity to survive.'
Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Mariah Carey performs a medley at the Billboard Music Awards on Wednesday, May 1, 2019, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Pop star Mariah Carey has demonstrated her icon status at the Billboard Music Awards with a medley of her hits across the decades and showed off her five-octave range.

Covering hits like "Always Be My Baby," ''Emotions," ''We Belong Together," and "Hero," fans at the MGM Grand Arena waved their arms in the air and sang along with the global star, who accepted the ceremony's Icon Award.

Dabbing her eyes with tissue, she shouted out to her children in the crowd. She acknowledged both her mistakes and the memes she inspired, but said the fans carried her through the highs and lows.

She also said she doesn't consider herself an "icon." 

"I started making music out of a necessity to survive and to express myself. And I just wanted to create something so I could feel worthy of existing," Carey said.  

She accepted the award from presenter Jennifer Hudson.