Ariana Grande reflected on her career highs—and her relationship lows—as she accepted the Woman of the Year award at the 2018 Billboard Women In Music ceremony. The 25-year-old pop superstar, who wore a poofy lavender dress and matching thigh-high boots to the event, was presented with the prestigious award by music legend Patti La Belle.
In her speech, Grande got emotional as she reflected on her tumultuous year, which included major career highs and personal tragedies such as the death of her former boyfriend Mac Miller and her whirlwind engagement and breakup with Pete Davidson.
“Thank you so much for coming to my Quinceañera, I appreciate it,” Grande said as she began her acceptance speech, per Billboard.
The “Thank U, Next” singer prefaced her spiel by admitting that she felt “completely undeserving” of the Woman of the Year title. The singer thanked her team then went on to explain that while it looks like she has it “all,” career-wise, her personal life is far from okay.
“I find it interesting that this has been one of the best years of my career and the worst of my life. I’m not saying that for sympathy. A lot of people would look at someone in my position right now as an artist that could be at her peak and think, ‘She’s really got her sh-t together, she’s really on it. She’s got it all.’ And I do, but as far as my personal life goes, I really have no idea what the f–k I’m doing.”
Grande added that 2018 has been “a very conflicting” year for her, telling fans, “If you’re someone out there who has no idea what this next chapter is going to bring, you’re not alone in that.”
Ariana Grande fought back tears as she spoke, saying she didn’t want to be “‘annoying” and start to cry. Grande concluded her speech by vowing to focus on self-love in the coming year.
“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. 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.”
While 2018 saw Grande releasing some of her best music to date, it also marked the end of her two-year relationship with rapper Mac Miller. In May, Grande jumped into a serious relationship with comedian Pete Davidson, but when Miller was found dead after an accidental drug overdose in September, the singer ended her engagement to the Saturday Night Live star.
In an interview with Billboard, Grande revealed that her relationship song “Thank U, Next,” which became her first No. 1 on the Hot 100, was her greatest professional achievement of 2018.
“I wrote it with my friends while we were just tipsy in the studio and I was going through a pretty rough period and writing this album with them, with so many people I love, has really been a huge helping factor in my healing process and just feeling better,” Grande said.
You can see Ariana Grande’s full speech at the Billboard Women in Music Awards below.