May 1 (UPI) -- Pop star Mariah Carey was honored with the Icon Award during the 2019 Billboard Music Awards on Wednesday night.
Jennifer Hudson presented Carey with the award celebrating her decades as a pop artist that regularly produced Billboard hits.
"She's a trailblazing hitmaker, an instantly recognizable voice and she is truly one of a kind," said Hudson. "When I first heard her hit that fifth octave and so effortlessly deliver series and series of unbelievable runs after that -- which only Mariah is capable of -- I was truly in awe."
Carey holds the all-time record for most No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 with 79 weeks at No. 1, six No. 1 albums and was the first woman in history to debut at No. 1 on the Hot 100.
Additionally, she has won 14 Billboard Music Awards including Artist of the Decade.
She performed a medley of her hit songs including "A No No," "Always Be My Baby," "Emotions," "We Belong Together" and "Hero," before delivering a speech accepting the award.
"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," said Carey. "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 at all in this life it's that truly all things are possible with God."
Carey also addressed the "drama" and "memes" that have come along with her historic career.
"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 at anything at all in this world," she said. "But I did believe because I had to."
Carey thanked her fans who she credited for "lifting me out of the depths of hell and brought me back with their devotion and love" while offering a word of encouragement.
"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 and to anyone who's ever told me that a song I wrote saved your life, I thank you because you saved mine and I'll be eternally grateful for that," she said.