Read her full speech below:
“This is weird. I’m not a public speaker by any means. I’m a singer and so this might be a little awkward. When I got the Rulebreaker award, I thought it was so awesome because for the first time in my life, and in my career, I felt like I’ve grown to know who I am as a person and an artist, so being a rule breaker, it’s not intentional and that’s what’s awesome about it. When you’re yourself, people see it. I never fit into any mold, I never fit in anyways, in school. I’m excited to show other women, and men by the way, it’s not just about women — it is here, but it’s not just about women — I’m excited to show people that you can be yourself and people will appreciate it no matter what. Before I go on stage with my band, every single night on tour — even TV performances — we huddle together and I say a prayer. By the way, thank you God; this is awesome. We say a prayer together and basically, the entire purpose of going onstage is we pray that it inspires somebody. Whether it’s 10 people, everybody or just one person that needs to hear an inspirational message to get them through whatever it is they’re going through at your concert, because we all have a story. Ups and downs, many ups and downs, we can get through it no matter what it is.
“Also, another thing that reminded me of the Rulebreaker award is when I was in the first grade, this boy named Antonio Wallace, he came up to me and he said ‘girls suck!’ and I was all hyped up on Spice World and stuff, so I punched him in the face and I said ‘girl power!’ Needless to say, kinda always been a rule breaker ,even since the first grade.
“I would go on and list every single person, but I’m gonna shout out to two people right here. My best friend Marissa, who’s in the audience, always believed in me, has been the best friend I’ve ever had in my life. And Phil McIntyre, you’re the best manager in the audience. I’m alive because of him. A lot of managers enable their artists when they’re going through stuff, but he’s the first person in my life that said, ‘I will not be your manager unless you get help for your issues.’ That’s a real standup guy right there, and everyone should know that. So there’s many more thank yous — love you, but I’m not gonna say it, ’cause I’ll forget somebody. Thank you!”