Mariah Carey received a Global Impact Award from the Recording Academy’s Black Music Collective on the night of Thursday, Feb. 1. This came nearly two decades after the singer received her last Grammy.
"Is this a real Grammy? I haven’t seen one in soooooo long," she joked in her acceptance speech, which was transcribed by The Hollywood Reporter.
"It’s weird. I don’t know," Carey said. "We’ll figure out what this is later."
Mariah Carey holds the record for most No. 1 hits from a solo artist and has received 34 Grammy nominations over the course of her career, winning five.
Her last victories came in 2006 when Carey took home three trophies. Her album Emancipation of Mimi won best contemporary R&B album while her big single "We Belong Together" won best R&B song and best female R&B vocal performance.
Carey's Feb. 1 speech got a bit more serious later on.
"When I first started in the music business, I was often told to conform to certain expectations. I was not encouraged to focus on my love for Black music," she said.
"It took countless arguments, endless tantrums – I’ll call them tantrums – and mostly unwavering determination but, eventually, I was able to reveal my authentic self, as they say, and create music that came from my heart. In doing so, I discovered a newfound sense of freedom and fulfillment."
The pop star said the award is about more than just her.
"I accept this award on behalf of every person who has ever felt silenced or marginalized, who has ever been told their voice doesn’t matter. Your truth matters," Carey said. "We will continue to pave the way together for a future where authenticity is celebrated, diversity is embraced, and music has the power to change the world."
"I love you and that’s going to be forever," said Wonder, who also serenaded Carey with a piano ballad.
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"Since my dad took me to Madison Square Garden to see the Jackson 5, my head exploded, and after that show, my life was never the same," the rocker said. "I was so into their music that I fantasized that I was their long-lost brother and turned the Jackson 5 into the Jackson 6. And in my school notebook, instead of writing my name, I wrote Lenny Jackson."
The honor came after Kravitz made headlines last year when he complained about the lack of recognition he receives from Black-centric ceremonies like the BET Awards. He theorized that this is because rock music is viewed as a white genre even though it was pioneered by Black artists.
"My black musical heritage means a lot to me, and I owe my success to my supporters who have taken this journey with me over the span of my career," Kravitz said in a Dec. 4 social media post.
"My comment was meant to express a concern about ensuring that black artists are being recognized for their work in what is now being called 'non-traditional' black music, which it is not," he added. "Rock and roll is the music we were instrumental in creating and is a part of our history. We must retain our heritage and celebrate that together."