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Mariah Carey’s BBMA speech about feeling like an “outsider” is incredibly powerful

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Hollie Richardson
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Mariah Carey BBMA speech

Mariah Carey delivered a strong, touching and very funny speech at the BBMAs 2019. 

Females floored the Billboard Music Awards 2019, with Cardi B taking home six gongs, Taylor Swift’s memorable performance of her new single ME!, and Mariah Carey delivering a powerful speech for her Icon award.

After being handed the aptly-named award by Jennifer Hudson, Carey then wiped away tears before defiantly throwing away her tissue to make her empowering, emotional and very funny speech.

“Icon? I really don’t think of myself in that way,” she started. “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. 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 could succeed in 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. They’ve lifted me out of the depths of hell and brought me back 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. And to 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.

Mariah Carey sings at BBMA 2019
BBMA Mariah carey performance and speech

“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 for that. I love you. Thank you so much.”

Proving her iconic status, Carey then performed a medley of some of her biggest hits including Always Be My Baby, Emotions, We Belong Together and Hero.

Unsurprisingly, the speech has gone viral on social media, with many fans picking up on Taylor Swift being close to tears as she applauded Carey before singing along to her hits as she performed them.

An iconic night indeed.

Images: Getty

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…

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