SZA Explained Why She Didn’t Write A Speech To Accept The ‘Billboard’ Woman Of The Year Award

SZA had an off day between her February 28 show at Boston’s TD Garden and tonight’s (March 2) show at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center on her headlining SOS Tour. Well, SZA has had the No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 for 10 nonconsecutive weeks since SOS arrived in December, so her off day was spent at Billboard‘s Women In Music 2023 event in Los Angeles last night.

Unsurprisingly, SZA was there to accept Woman Of The Year. The “Kill Bill” mastermind began by thanking her inner circle, including her parents (who were in attendance), before launching into her improvised speech.

Here it is in full:

“A couple days ago, MeLisa was like, ‘You should probably’ — I was about to go on stage. Every day before I go on stage — I’m on tour right now, but today’s my day off on tour. But [MeLisa] was like, ‘You should take time to write your speech.’ And I’m like, ‘OK,’ and then [I heard], ’10 seconds to stage!’ And I’m like, ‘OK.’ So, I didn’t write anything, but that’s also not who I am. I’m a very off-the-dome kind of person.

I guess what I wanted to say is there’s so many women in this room right now that I respect so deeply. This could have been any of us in the room, whether it’s Lana Del Rey or Olivia Rodrigo or Chlöe or Doechii, who’s a f*cking star. Or Latto. Or even Coi [Leray], my very own Jersey baby.

I think, sometimes, there’s a misconception that everybody always feels like that girl. Like, ‘Oh, I know I’m that b*tch, and I have a lot of confidence.’ And I feel like, it’s OK to not be that person all the time. I used to feel like I didn’t belong because I don’t always feel like that, but I realized that the key is to stay open and available for whatever the universe or God wants to do with your life.

And it’s like, even when you don’t know who you are or you may not see — I don’t know why I’m 10 weeks on [the Billboard 200]! I’m grateful, but I really just want my life to be more than music. To be more than an artist. I wanna serve others. I want to serve people. I want to be open and available to whatever God wants for me. And saying yes to everything that’s scary, to everything that feels like it’s not for you or where you don’t belong is really the only way that we walk through those doors.

So, I just encourage everybody to continue to be inspired and just stay available. You don’t have to be confident. You don’t have to even know that you are the one or anything like that. You just have to say yes to the possibility, and I’m grateful. And thank y’all for saying yes to me. I hope everybody has a blessed night. Thank you very much.”

Meanwhile, before the speech, Lizzo came through with a pre-taped message:

Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.