01/08/2013 AT 6:30 PM ET
“I actually say nice things about Mariah all the time,” Minaj told reporters, while promoting American Idol at the Television Critics Association’s winter tour in Pasadena, Calif.
“She is one who really has shaped a generation of singers. … They aspire to be a Mariah Carey in terms of their talent and career and to be given a chance to sing in front of her,” Minaj added.
Carey also had fond career words for Minaj, recalling a collaboration they shared when “the first got into the music business.
“We actually [worked on] one of my favorite videos and songs,” Carey said. “And I did know and feel that she was going to go very far.”
But when it came to talking about where things currently stand on a personal level for the two stars, Carey played a bit coy.
“The whole thing is convoluted,” she said. “It’s a distraction from the show. It’s a distraction to the contestants. It should be about the contestants.”
Carey, who added that “time heals all wounds,” went on to tell Minaj that their dramatic saga “was sort of one-sided” – a claim Minaj denied on the spot.
But remaining upbeat, Carey replied with, “At least we can agree on my shoes.”