Mariah Carey Fights Back Tears as She Sings "One Sweet Day" in Prince's Honor: "He Was an Incredible Person"

"Let's have a moment of silence for Prince," the singer says in Paris

By Zach Johnson Apr 22, 2016 2:11 PMTags

The show must go on.

Shortly after Mariah Carey learned that her friend Prince had died at age 57 Thursday, the singer took the stage at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris that night as part of her Sweet Fantasy World Tour. Fighting back tears, she said, "I didn't know if I was able to come out here and put on a show and be festive, but I said, 'I'm in Paris and that's what Prince would want me to do.' To get through it rather than just make everything bleak, we need to take this and honor this."

"He was a friend to me, too, and he talked me through some times I really, really needed somebody. He was an incredible person if you never got to meet him," Carey said. "I'm sure his music has touched every single person in here, so let's have a moment of silence for Prince." She then dedicated "One Sweet Day" to Prince. "It's a very sad day," she said just before the tribute performance, "but we remember the life of somebody who will always be treasured."

George Napolitano/FilmMagic

Carey and Prince had been friends for decades. She even covered his 1984 hit, "The Beautiful Ones," as a duet with Dru Hill for her 1997 album, Butterfly. And it was Prince who convinced her to become a judge on Fox's American Idol in 2013. "I asked someone I who respect probably more than almost anyone in the business—Prince—if he thought it was the wrong move and he said no. He thought it was the right move," she explained in an interview with Power 105.1 Breakfast Club hosts Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God. "So, if Prince likes it then I like it."

After news of the icon's death reached Carey in Paris, she tweeted a picture of herself and Prince, writing, "Genius, legend, inspiration, friend. The world will miss you. I'll never get over it."