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After a very public year, Kesha stood tall while accepting the Trailblazer Award at New York’s Pier 36 at Billboard’s Women in Music ceremony on Friday (Dec. 9).
Singer/songwriter Wrabel delivered a candlelit cover of Kesha’s “Warrior” (“It’s very cliche but you’re a warrior,” he told the honoree) before Charli XCX presented the award to the hitmaker, who tried to fight back tears during her thank-you speech.
“I want to especially thank my fans, whom I love and appreciate more than you guys will ever know,” said the pop star, dressed in a shimmery Nudie suit. “To my peers, your support over the past few years has literally saved my life.”
“It’s mind-blowing to be honored like this after a very public year I’ve had,” she continued. “I feel stuck and I feel sad and quite frankly, today, I feel bloated,” which was met with a chorus of laughs. The proponent of LGBTQ equality also delivered an uplifting message to the crowd: “This is a huge reminder I can’t give up and I have to keep fighting for my truth and keep fighting for my dreams.”
In her speech, Kesha also offered this gem: “If you keep showing up for yourself, you can move mountains. … Do not let anyone else take your happiness.”
Kesha is as one of several 2016 Women in Music honorees, headlined by “Woman of the Year” recipient Madonna and “Icon” Shania Twain. Other awards have been given out this year to Halsey (“Rising Star”), Andra Day (“Powerhouse”), Meghan Trainor (“Chart Topper”), Maren Morris (“Breakthrough Star”) and Alessia Cara (“Rule Breaker”).
Tune in to Billboard’s Women in Music special on Dec. 12 at 9 p.m. ET on Lifetime.
This story first appeared on billboard.com
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