The singer was in Paris as part of her My Sweet Fantasy tour

By Maria Mercedes Lara and Peter Mikelbank
Updated April 22, 2016 02:05 PM

Mariah Carey chose to honor Prince‘s memory not with a cover, but with an emotional and heartfelt rendition of one of her most popular songs.

Carey took a moment during her show in Paris on Thursday night to reflect on the late singer’s death, noting that the iconic performer would have wanted fans and friends to celebrate his life rather than make “everything bleak.”

“We were waiting to come and see you guys for so long and I really wanted to do this show,” Carey told the sold-out crowd at Accor Hotels Arena. “I didn’t know if I was able to go through the show tonight because I’m not sure that everybody heard the news yet. We lost one of our greatest, one of the most incredible geniuses we’ve ever had in music and pop music.”

“He was just one-of-a-kind and just so amazing and I don’t know if I was going to be able to come out here, put on a show and be festive, but I said I’m in Paris and that what Prince want me to do,” she continued. “To go through with it, and rather than just make everything bleak, we need to take time and honor him because he was a friend to me too and he talked me through some times when I really needed somebody.”

“We want to do a song for him tonight, we want to do do it for you guys and just for anybody who s ever need to make it through a moment,” she said. “So, it’s a very sad day, but we’ll remember the life of somebody that always be treasured. This is from the Daydream album, this is called ‘One Sweet Day.’ ”

Carey then launched into an emotional rendition of the 1995 song.

Earlier in the day, Carey – who is currently on the European leg of her Sweet Fantasy World Tour – reacted to the news of Prince’s unexpected death, writing on Twitter, “Genius, legend, inspiration, friend. The world will miss you. I’ll never get over it.”

Prince was found unresponsive inside an elevator at his Paisley Park compound on Thursday. he was 57.

Carey and Prince have a strong connection. The singer covered his 1984 song “The Beautiful Ones” for 1997’s Butterfly. She also credited Prince with helping her decide if she should join the judges panel on American Idol.

“I asked someone I who respect probably more than almost anyone in the business – Prince – if he thought [joining Idol] was the wrong move and he said no, he thought it was the right move,” she told Power 105.1 Breakfast Club in 2014 (via RumorFix). “So if Prince likes it then I like it.”

Carey joins a chorus of stars who paid tribute to the legendary musician through song. Also on Thursday, Jennifer Hudson and the cast of Broadway’s The Color Purple sang an emotional version of his hit “Purple Rain.” The cast of Hamilton also paid tribute to Prince by singing “Let’s Go Crazy.”