Honestly, if I can be serious, and I don't really like to be, this is an incredible honor. I'm feeling really grateful. I'm feeling grateful that I've been able to participate in this game for as long as I have. I'm feeling grateful that I've been able to tell my stories. I don't know that my mom and dad are that grateful, or Carey, but it's been good for me. I'm grateful if I've kept one girl from felling different or ugly or unempowered.
Two years ago I said to my manger and friend and mentor Roger Davies, "What if this doesn't work? What if I have nothing to say? It's over for me. I'm a mom now." And he shook his head and laughed and ruffled his hair and he looked slightly worried. And he did what he always does – he talked me onto the ledge and convinced me to jump. And that is what we've been doing together for 12 years, jumping. And that man knows to how to pack a parachute. I believe that you're a very very lucky person if you are given some of Roger's time, dedication, loyalty, expertise or friendship. He's the best manager that's ever done it and he would have to be because he deals with a lot of estrogen. Lots.
Here's what I wish. I wish that girls embraced their power and their worth and their value in their youth, and not sell it or barter it for anything and have to buy it back later in life. I wish for my daughter to grow up in a world where wonderful publications like Billboard celebrate them for their originality, their individuality their willingness to be true to themselves, and the courage to be scary and emotional to get shit done. I wish for women to stop apologizing for those very things that make us women.
And I wish for everyone that has ever helped me to know how much gratitude I genuinely feel their part in this story. Barry and Jenny Marshall, Michael Koppel, Bill, Jen and Brad. My road dogs, all of you that I pound the pavement with year after year, I love you so much. You share so much of your souls on that stage and I get to stand there and wave and take all the credit. Dane, I would be getting the crazy person of the year award if it weren't for you. Billy Mann, my heart, my writing partner, all of my writing partners who I trust my whole self with you. I never regret it, I never wake up with a moral hangover. Thank you because that's so rare. My family - Mom, Dad, Grace and Howard I'm so glad you could be here to see me do something good and legal which doesn't require bail or tears. Well, there's the tears. My awesome record company - Peter, Tom, Mika congratulations, Joe Riccitelli, you've been fighting for me for years, sometimes alone. Radio for giving me chance after chance after chance.
PHOTOS: Women In Music 2013 Highlights
My husband Carey, whom I love with my whole being. My wish is that I get to write a really nice song about you one day. Which is gonna suck because I'm not good at that but I'm still gonna try. I know this will come as a shock to some of you, but being married to me can not be an easy task. Carey Hart loves me and allows me to be my own person. The space to stand on my own but also the yummiest lap to crawl into and complain. And together we have created this beautiful, brilliant little girl who is my greatest teacher. And like all of you women who have chosen to have children and still work in this man-heavy business, I feel you. I know this is not easy. Boys go off to war and women wait. But we go off to war, too. In fact, we do more and more and we have to deal with shit you guys don't wanna know about like Spanx and body awareness and being pitted against each other, constantly in competition. I know for sure that none of the women in this room don't wait. We are all here because we do.
I wish for my parents to be proud of me and to be proud of themselves. I wish to be remembered for my humor and my passion and above all my ability to go from angel to asshole in 3.5 seconds, but always for something I truly believe in. And I wish for you all to know that after all the craziness and chapters still left unwritten, don't worry, I will be one crazy-ass grandma. I want you to picture this — I will have blue highlights, I will have fuck-me heels, a really nice glass of wine that I made in my hand and I will tell anyone that will listen to how a smartass from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, told everyone she was gonna be a star and then Billboard fucking magazine made me their Woman of the Year.