Mariah Carey recently accepted one of the music industry's highest honors and the legendary singer-songwriter tells ET what it means to be deemed a BMI Icon as well as dish on her forthcoming album.
Related: Mariah Carey Signs on as 'Idol' Judge
"When someone comes up to me and says, 'You changed my life with this song,' and I know that I wrote that song from my own experience, there's nothing that comes close to that," beamed the five-time Grammy winner who, before collecting the songwriting honor at the BMI Urban Awards, hit the red carpet in a risque, form-fitting dress.
The event featured tributes of Carey's various hits performed by Jermaine Dupri, Eric Benet and American Idol alum Fantasia (to name a few). Carey is now part of an illustrious list of past honorees that includes The Jacksons, George Clinton, James Brown, Isaac Hayes, Little Richard, Al Green, The Bee Gees, Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton.
Watch: Mariah Carey's First Post-Baby Performance
"This is a huge and very important deal for me," she said. "I'm a songwriter first and foremost. That's how I view myself and a lot of people don't realize that I write my own material and I always have and that it's been one of the most important things to me."
In addition to prepping for her first season of judging American Idol, the new mom says she's hard at work writing material for her upcoming album and one track in particular has her beaming with pride.
Video: Nick Cannon on Mariah Carey's 'Idol' Gig
"I dont want to go into too much detail but I'm living for this new ballad that I just wrote," revealed Carey. "I'm working on it every day… something different. The babies are inspiring many moments of different types of songs and stuff."