Alessia Cara Accepts Rule Breaker Award at Billboard Women in Music 2016: 'Sometimes Rules Are Meant to Be Broken'

"I never really thought that I'd get an award for being a rule breaker," Alessia Cara said as she accepted her Rule Breaker Award at Billboard's Women in Music event Friday (Dec. 9) in New York City.

Pulling out a piece of paper with her speech written on it ("I'm a proofreader, so it's OK," she joked), Cara continued, "In fact, it's crazy to think that there are rules to be broken in self-expression in the first place."

But the 20-year-old "Here" singer stressed that breaking the rules isn't about simply being rebellious.

"Sometimes questioning certain standards and breaking tradition is how we find our own truth," she told the audience. "To every woman being honored here tonight, I hope that we, as peers, can now teach girls what so many of you guys have taught me. That sometimes rules are meant to be broken."

Before accepting her award, Cara gave a passionate stripped-down performance of her hit "Scars to Your Beautiful" to further her go-against-the-grain mantra.

Cara is one of several 2016 Women in Music honorees, headlined by "Woman of the Year" recipient Madonna and "Icon" Shania Twain. Also honored this year are Halsey ("Rising Star"), Andra Day ("Powerhouse"), Maren Morris ("Breakthrough Star"), Kesha ("Trailblazer") and Meghan Trainor ("Chart Topper").

Billboard's Women in Music airs Dec. 12 at 9 p.m. ET on Lifetime.

2016 Billboard Women in Music