Kesha admits she’s “not used to winning stuff,” but is beyond grateful.
The “Warrior” singer was honored with the Trailblazer award at Billboard’s Women in Music Awards on Friday, delivering an emotional, honest acceptance speech to the star-studded crowd at Pier 36 in New York City.
“I didn’t really feel like standing and getting an award — I didn’t feel worthy of that,” the 29-year-old pop star revealed. “But I knew I had to drag myself out of my bed, put on my damn boots, walk up here tonight and say thank you to you guys.”
“Thank you so much. You guys are going to make me cry,” she continued. “I’m gonna try to not cry, but it’s not going to work. I want to especially thank my fans, who I love and appreciate more than you guys will ever know.”
“And to my peers, your support over the last few years has literally saved my life,” she added, holding back tears. “I’ve never really thought of myself as a trailblazer. I’m just as scared and flawed as any person I know. My message has always been to believe in yourself and love yourself just as you are. When I write those words, I do so as a reminder to myself as much as anyone else.”
Kesha was referring to her ongoing legal battle with former music producer Dr. Luke (real name: Lukasz Gottwald), whom she claims allegedly raped and drugged her over a decade ago. In a recent interview with New York Times Magazine, Kesha also claimed Dr. Luke criticized her weight in public. She says the alleged body shaming and stress of the industry led her into an eating disorder, which “almost killed” her in the process. Dr. Luke has adamantly denied all allegations, and counter-sued the singer and her mother for defamation.
“If I’m lucky enough to have a voice someone will listen to, then I should use it for good, for truth,” she said. “That is why I have recently spoken openly about some of my struggles, including my crippling anxiety and beginning recovery for an eating disorder, amongst many other things. I know I’m not alone. These are struggles millions of people around the world deal with on a daily basis.”
“The irony of it is, when I was very, very sick and getting sicker, I would hear about how much better and better I was looking, and that is a problem,” she continued. “I’ve decided I want to be part of the solution. And that’s why I decided to stand confident in my ever-changing, totally imperfect body and try to live up to and practice the self-worth and self-love that I preach in my music.”
“Finding the strength to come forward about these things, it’s not easy, but maybe by me standing here, telling my story, I can help somebody else who’s going through something tough,” she exclaimed. “I know it’s scary, but once you take the first steps to help yourself, your life will completely change in the best ways.”
Onstage, Kesha also admitted that she found it “mind blowing” to be honored after the “very public year” she had.
“Thank you so much for reminding me that what I’m doing is worth it, and thank you for caring,” she said. “This is a huge reminder that I can’t give up. I have to keep fighting for the truth and I have to keep fighting for my dreams. If I can’t give up, neither can anyone else out there with dreams.”
“Sometimes your journey will take unexpected turns, but that’s the beauty of life,” she said just moments before receiving a standing ovation. “Get up and show up for yourself and don’t let anyone stop you, and most importantly, do not let anyone else ever take your happiness. You are worth it. And thank you for reminding me, I’m worth it too.”
Over the past few years, many celebrities have offered their support to Kesha, including Lady Gaga, Lena Dunham, Lorde, Ariana Grande, Iggy Azalea, Zedd, Halsey, Jack Antonoff and Taylor Swift.
Hear more in the video below.