"It’s a very sad day," she said.
Following the performance, Carey opened up about her relationship with the iconic singer.
“He was a friend to me too, and he talked me through some times I really, really needed somebody," she told the audience. "And he was an incredible person if you didn’t ever get to meet him, and I’m sure his music has touched every single person in here, so let’s have a moment of silence for Prince if we could please.”
After the show, ET interviewed Carey who continued sharing heartfelt memories.
“I’ve loved Prince since I first heard him, and then later in life I got to know him and he helped me through so many moments where I needed somebody to guide me through. He was just a genius, just a true genius. He was just that guy that there will never be anybody else like him, and it’s such a loss that he’s gone now…I’ll never get over it.”
Carey added she “didn’t think [she] was gonna be able to do the show,” but felt singing “One Sweet Day” as a tribute was the most “appropriate” way to honor him considering he wasn't a fan of others covering his songs.
“One thing about him that was kinda cool and funny and made me laugh was that he didn’t like when people did his songs. He didn’t like cover songs,” Carey said. “He liked other people to do their songs… Otherwise I would have done something of his just to do it, but I know that wasn’t his thing.”