On Thursday, Billboard hosted its Women In Music event in New York City, and the biggest takeaway is that Ariana Grande was on hand to accept her award for Woman Of The Year. It’s been a supremely up and down year for the pop star: Her album Sweetener was one of 2018’s biggest, and “Thank U, Next” is a smash single. On the flip side, her personal life was filled with obstacles, whether it was the death of Mac Miller or the dissolution of her relationship with Pete Davidson. Grande reflected that during her speech, during which she was visibly emotional and said that while 2018 was fantastic on a professional level, it was still a challenging year:
“I want to say that I find it interesting that this has been one of the best years in my career and one of, like, the worst years in my life. […] A lot of people would look at someone in my position right now […] and think, ‘She’s really got her s**t together.’ I do, but as far as my personal life goes, I really have no idea what the f**k I am doing. So yeah, it’s been a very conflicting one. I just want to say if you’re someone out there who has no idea what this next chapter is going to bring, you’re not alone in that.”
She also praised Billboard for hosting the annual event, saying, “I want to thank you guys also for putting on this event every year, because it acknowledges how male-dominated this industry is and gives women a moment to be together and fight for more equality. […] 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.”
Lastly, Grande also performed “Thank U, Next,” so watch Grande’s acceptance speech and her performance above.