Cyndi Lauper Presents Billie Eilish With Woman of Year Award at 2019 Billboard Women in Music

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“When I first heard Billie sing, I kinda stopped breathing for a sec," the singer said of the 17-year-old, who later said in her speech that young women eager and starting to build a career need to be taken care of.

Billie Eilish accepted her Billboard 2019 Woman of the Year honor Thursday night. The superstar ended the evening — which also included an empowering speech from Billboard’s Woman of the Decade Taylor Swift, and performances from honorees Megan Thee Stallion and Rosalía — with a brief and humble acceptance speech.

Eilish was introduced by Cyndi Lauper, who said: “When I first heard Billie sing, I kinda stopped breathing for a sec. It was so emotional and so deep — it stopped me. Even when you had that black shit coming down your face.”

Lauper also called out Eilish’s recent Saturday Night Live performance, saying, “that was it for me. I think you’re magical — and this is just the beginning. It’s a long journey.”

Following a brief video highlighting Eilish’s many accomplishments (which she called “so embarrassing”), the teen sensation came on stage. “It’s really weird to be woman of the year at 17,” she said. “Ariana Grande got the award that I’m getting right now a year ago, and two weeks ago I realized that’s the award I’m getting — and that really freaked me out.”

She wrapped her own speech by quoting Taylor’s that opened the night — in which Swift said how we have to take care of the young women eager and starting to build a career — saying with open arms: “You took care of me."

This story first appeared on Billboard.com.