Madonna, Ke­sha get emo­tional when ac­cept­ing Bill­board hon­ors

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

The an­nual Bill­board Women In Mu­sic event fea­tured emo­tional and heart­felt speeches about the up­hill bat­tles women face in the mu­sic in­dus­try, in­clud­ing per­sonal sto­ries from top hon­oree Madonna and pop singer Ke­sha.

The Ma­te­rial Girl, named woman of the year Fri­day, was pas­sion­ate as she spoke onstage in New York about be­ing raped at knife­point, bat­tling crit­ics, and be­ing called words like "whore," "witch" and "Satan" through­out her ca­reer. "I re­mem­ber feel­ing par­a­lyzed. It took me a while to pull my­self to­gether and get on with my cre­ative life - to get on with my life. I took com­fort in the po­etry of Maya An­gelou, and the writ­ings of James Bald­win, and in the mu­sic of Nina Si­mone. I re­mem­ber wish­ing that I had a fe­male peer that I could look to for sup­port," 58-year-old Madonna said at Pier 36, where the au­di­ence in­cluded fel­low hon­oree Sha­nia Twain, Nick Jonas, An­der­son Cooper and dozens of mu­sic in­dus­try ex­ec­u­tives.

'I'm so con­tro­ver­sial'

"Peo­ple say that I'm so con­tro­ver­sial, but I think the most con­tro­ver­sial thing I have ever done is to stick around," Madonna said at an­other point. "Michael is gone. Tu­pac is gone. Prince is gone. Whit­ney is gone. Amy Wine­house is gone. David Bowie is gone. But I'm still stand­ing,"

Cooper in­tro­duced Madonna, his friend, with touch­ing words. "For me as a gay teenager grow­ing up, her mu­sic wasn't just a sound­track to my life, her mu­sic and her out­spo­ken­ness, her will­ing­ness to stand up, her courage - it showed me as a teenager a way for­ward, a path­way," he said.

The event also paid trib­ute to plat­inum-sell­ing singer Ke­sha - who is cur­rently in a le­gal bat­tle with her for­mer men­tor and pro­ducer Dr. Luke - with its trail­blazer award. "It's mind-blow­ing to be hon­ored like this af­ter the very pub­lic year I've had. I feel stuck, and I feel sad. And quite frankly to­day I feel bloated," she said, as the crowd laughed. "I didn't re­ally feel like stand­ing up and get­ting an award - I didn't feel wor­thy of that. But I knew I had to drag my­self out of my bed, put on my boots and walk up here (to­day) and say thank you to you guys." The au­di­ence ap­plauded loudly. Then Ke­sha added in a se­ri­ous tone: "Most im­por­tantly, do not let any­one else ever take your hap­pi­ness. You are worth it, and thank you for re­mind­ing me that I'm worth it, too."

Twain was given the icon award, while other hon­orees in­cluded coun­try singer Maren Mor­ris and pop singers Halsey, Alessia Cara and Meghan Trainor, who didn't at­tend the event be­cause she is on vo­cal rest. Fifth Har­mony sang in honor of the "All About That Bass" per­former.

"It's an honor - that's the only thing that comes to mind," said Grammy-nom­i­nated R&B singer An­dra Day, who earned the pow­er­house award. "It's hum­bling. It's ful­fill­ing. I'm ex­pe­ri­enc­ing so much grat­i­tude at the same time be­cause these women are part of the rea­son that I'm even able to be here."

The an­nual Bill­board lun­cheon also hon­ored 100 fe­male mu­sic ex­ec­u­tives, in­clud­ing iTunes and Ap­ple Mu­sic's head of global con­sumer mar­ket­ing, Bo­zoma Saint John, who was ranked No.1. Be­fore she spoke, she re­ceived warm words from Lady Gaga via video.

Madonna's suc­cess­ful year in­cluded her top-gross­ing Rebel Heart Tour, which sold more than one mil­lion tick­ets. "To the doubters, the naysay­ers, to ev­ery­one who gave me hell and said I could not, that I would not, that I must not, your re­sis­tance made me stronger, made me push harder, made me the fighter that I am to­day, made me the woman that I am to­day. So thank you," she said. — AP

Ke­sha at­tends the 11th an­nual Bill­board Women in Mu­sic hon­ors at Pier 36 on Fri­day, Dec. 9, 2016, in New York.

Nick Jonas at­tends the 11th an­nual Bill­board Women in Mu­sic hon­ors at Pier 36 on Fri­day, Dec. 9, 2016, in New York.

Sha­nia Twain at­tends the 11th an­nual Bill­board Women in Mu­sic hon­ors at Pier 36 on Fri­day, Dec. 9, 2016, in New York.

Charli XCX at­tends the 11th an­nual Bill­board Women in Mu­sic hon­ors at Pier 36 on Fri­day, Dec. 9, 2016, in New York.

— AP pho­tos

Madonna at­tends the 11th an­nual Bill­board Women in Mu­sic hon­ors at Pier 36 on Fri­day, Dec. 9, 2016, in New York.

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