There are pop stars and then there’s Mariah Carey, one of the most decorated divas in the history of recorded music.
At the 2019 Billboard Music Awards, where Jennifer Hudson presented Carey with the icon award, the elusive chanteuse performed a medley of hits beginning with “A No No” from her most recent album, Caution, and then tracing the long arc of her career with classics from across her catalog.
She moved from “Always Be My Baby” to “Emotions” to “We Belong Together” to “Hero” — all No. 1s on the Hot 100. “Mariah Carey is, simply put, an icon,” Hudson said in her introduction, and Carey’s work ethic is a large part of that status (don’t you dare forget that she’s a producer and songwriter too.)
Carey has been on the road for the Caution tour, and tonight’s lithe performance reflected the time and care she’s put into that endeavor. Flanked by no less than ten backup dancers, Carey burst into “A No No.” During “Always Be My Baby,” Taylor Swift was clearly moved by the power of the timeless single and sang along, and if anyone else in the house wasn’t feeling the music, the choir that joined for “Hero” made sure to bring the rest of the crowd to that next level.
Watch the full performance below.