Ariana Grande capped off a whirlwind 2018 by accepting Billboard‘s Woman of the Year award at Thursday’s Women in Music event. The 25-year-old singer, who was just nominated for two Grammys, was visibly emotional onstage as she reflected on her “interesting” and “conflicting” year.
“I’m very grateful,” Grande told the crowd, after saying she felt “completely undeserving” of the honor.
“This is really special. I want to say that I find it interesting that this has been one of the best years of my career and the worst of my life,” she admitted. “I’m not saying that for sympathy, I’m just saying that because I think a lot of people would look at someone in my position right now, I guess … and think, ‘She’s really got her s*** together,’ You know? Like, ‘She’s really on it. She’s got it all.’”
“I do,” Grande continued, “but as far as my personal life goes, I really have no idea what the f*** I’m doing, so yeah, it’s been a very conflicting one.”
“I just want to say that if you’re someone out there who has no idea what this next chapter’s gonna bring, you’re not alone in that,” Grande added, getting choked up. “Ew, I’m not gonna cry, that’s really stupid … I’m really looking forward to embracing whatever happens and whatever comes my way. I’m really grateful for my friends and family. I’m really grateful for music.”
The “Thank U, Next” singer concluded with an inspiring message.
“I look forward to hopefully learning to give some of the love and forgiveness that I’ve given away so frivolously and easily to men in the past to myself hopefully this year,” she declared to huge applause from the audience. “I have everything I’ve ever dreamt of having, and as of late I’ve discovered that it’s the things I’ve always had and the people I’ve always had that still make me the happiest, so thank you so much.”
It’s been a trying year for Grande indeed.
The singer broke up with Mac Miller in the spring before embarking on a whirlwind romance with Pete Davidson. In September, Miller was found dead in his home from an accidental overdose, and the pain took a toll on Grande — and her relationship. She called off her engagement to the Saturday Night Live comedian in October.
Meanwhile, Grande’s smash single “Thank U, Next” earned the singer her first Billboard Hot 100 No. 1. She was the first woman to debut at the top of the charts in three years. Her music video, which dropped last week, became a viral sensation and easily smashed YouTube’s all-time record for most views in the first 24 hours of release. It has more than 135 million views and counting.
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