When TheGrio Awards was held last year in November, it came with a bit of a surprise for fans and legendary singer Mariah Carey. First, the 54-year-old music sensation was given the esteemed Music Icon Award.
But that was not the highlight of the day. The highlight of the night was an unforgettable tribute from Coco Jones and other stars to a living legend: Mariah Carey. Yeah, not many entertainers get tributes when alive, which makes it even more stunning for the recipient.
But what makes honoring someone as iconic as Carey even more special? Well, it’s bringing in a bunch of other icons. That’s precisely what went down when Coco Jones and a host of other celebrities took the stage.
Jennifer Hudson, Boyz II Men, and Carey’s godmother, Patti LaBelle, celebrated the remarkable career of this darling of the music industry. And she was nothing but speechless.
The Star-Studded Tribute: From Coco Jones to Boyz II Men
Hudson kicked things off by taking on Carey’s debut single, “Vision Of Love.” As she mentioned on her show, she became a soulful gospel hymn, giving it her mesmerizing twist.
Then came Patricia Louise Holt, also known as Patti LaBelle. During her tribute, we saw her fondly referring to Carey as her “baby,” serenading the audience with the 1990 ballad, “Love Takes Time.” The American R&B singer, also known as the “Godmother of Soul,” left Carey herself captivated by her rendition. She made the song feel entirely fresh and heartfelt.
Then came the highlight of the tribute. It was a collaboration between Coco Jones and guess who, the one and only Boys 2 Men!
They treated the audience to a nostalgic trip back to 1995. It was the performance of the historic chart-topper, “One Sweet Day.” While opinions were mixed about Jones’ rendition, Carey herself couldn’t help but praise the tribute, calling it “incredible” and emphasizing the weight her opinion holds.
Mariah’s Reflections and Eddie Murphy Encounter
Following the tribute, Carey followed up with a heartfelt acceptance speech. She shared a story of how she met with Eddie Murphy when she started in the music scene.
She had bumped into the actor at an airport store, where he recognized her and struck up a conversation. She was beyond surprised!
In her own words, she came across Eddie Murphy, one of her favorite acts and when she looked up, he asked her, an “unknown girl” with no song to her name at the time, “Hey, aren’t you Mariah Carey?”
Carey went on social media after the event, saying thanks to the tribute givers. “Thank you so much, Byron Allen and the Grio awards for this amazing honor ❤️,” Carey penned on Facebook . “And thank you for your beautiful tribute,” she said, referring to Coco Jones, Patti Labelle, Boyz II Men, and Jennifer Hudson’s renditions.