Can you think of another artist who’s had a year filled with more ups and downs—professionally and personally—than Ariana Grande? Because I certainly can’t. From the record-breaking success of “Thank U, Next” to her whirlwind romance with Pete Davidson, the singer has been through it. But at least she’s closing the year out on a high—with a Woman of the Year award at Billboard’s Women In Music event, which she accepted tonight (December 6).
Grande didn’t hold back her signature candor in her speech, either. After thanking her team, she went on to open up about what this honor means to her. “I find it interesting that this has been one of the best years of my career and the worst of my life,” she said as she took the stage. “I’m not saying that for sympathy. I’m just saying that because I feel like a lot of people would look at someone in my position right now, I guess…an artist that could be at her peak…and think, ‘She’s really got her shit together, you know? 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 fuck I’m doing.”
She continued, “It’s been a very conflicting one, and I just want to say that if you’re someone out there who has no idea what this next chapter is going to bring, you’re not alone in that.”
Grande may not know her next chapter yet, but she’s feeling hopeful about it. “I’m really looking forward to embracing whatever happens and whatever comes my way,” she said. “I’m really grateful for my friends and family, I love you guys so much. I’m really grateful for music.”
And true to the message of “Thank U, Next,” Grande wants to keep putting herself—not the men she dates—first. “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,” she said. “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.”
Watch her full speech, below: