"Can't Let Go"
Live at Soul Train
At just 21 years old, Mariah Carey delivered one of the most magnetic performances of her career with her brilliantly nuanced take on "Can't Let Go" on Soul Train. The image of the audience slowly bouncing along to the jam makes this clip even more unforgettable.
"I'll Be There"
Having a voice as powerful as Mariah's on an episode of MTV Unplugged sets up great expectations, and the pop superstar certainly did not disappoint. The entire special is worth watching, but her soaring take on the Jackson 5's "I'll Be There" with Trey Lorenz became the obvious highlight, and was released as the first single from her MTV Unplugged album.
"One Sweet Day"
Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men's "One Sweet Day" remains the longest-running No. 1 single in the history of the Hot 100 chart, and its greatest live rendition came during the 1996 Grammy Awards; the harmonies are so on-point that it's hard not to get goosebumps. The gospel choir was a nice touch, but Mariah and Boyz II Men were taking us to church no matter who was backing them up.
"I Still Believe"
Billboard Music Awards
Mariah knows how to smash the ballads at awards ceremonies without any gimmickry, and when she brought "I Still Believe" to the Billboard Music Awards back in 1999, she was able to wow the crowd without any bells or whistles. With that voice and that song, Mariah stole the show at the BBMAs 16 years ago.
"We Belong Together"
MTV Movie Awards
Ten years ago, Mariah enjoyed a massive career resurgence on the strength of the No. 1 smash "We Belong Together," and classed up the 2005 MTV Movie Awards in a killer red dress and with flawless vocal execution (that final note!). Even if Mariah wasn't the only one on stage in technicolor, she would still pop out from her surroundings on the stage.