BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Mariah Carey was late to the BMI Urban Music Awards, where she was the guest of honor, but that didn’t stop other artists from literally singing her praises.
Fantasia Barrino and Eric Benet were among those who serenaded the star with her own hits. Benet performed "One Sweet Day" and the former "American Idol" sang "Hero" during the private ceremony at the Saban Theatre, where writers, producers and publishers of the year’s top urban hits were recognized Friday.
BMI chief Del Bryant presented Carey with the music-rights organization’s Icon Award for her outstanding songwriting that has resulted in 18 No. 1 singles and more than 200 million albums sold.
Bryant called her "an unparalleled musical superstar" and "the greatest singer in history."
He also endorsed her new position as a judge on TV’s "American Idol."
"Who knows more about musical artistry and song selection than Mariah Carey?" he asked.
Carey, 42, thanked the performers "for doing something so beautiful with the songs I wrote."
"I’m so humbled by this moment because a lot of people still don’t know I write my own songs," she said.