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AUTHOR: Madeline Roth, mtv.com
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HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 30: Honoree Selena Gomez Accepts the Woman of the Year Award onstage at Billboard Women In Music 2017 at The Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center on November 30, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Billboard)

After a transformative year, Selena Gomez was honored as Billboard’s Woman of the Year at its annual Women in Music ceremony.

At the event last night (November 30), the 25-year-old delivered an emotional acceptance speech and dedicated her award to Francia Raisa, her best friend who donated a kidney this year to save her life.

“To be honest, I think Francia should be getting this award,” Gomez said through tears. “She saved my life… I feel incredibly lucky.”

The singer continued by thanking her team and her family, who have stuck by her side after a topsy-turvy year during which she released four Top 40 hits and dealt with painful complications from lupus. Now that she’s on the mend, she wants fans to know that she’s thankful for her platform and for her fellow female trailblazers in music.

“I’ve never felt more proud to be a woman in the industry than I do today, and that’s because I actually feel comfortable with every single woman that has encouraged me,” she declared. “But how crucial it is that the voices that are being heard for the first time is so great, and I’m so grateful for all the older women who have lifted all of us up, because I couldn’t be here without any of you. So thank you for all of you who have inspired so many girls who don’t feel like they have a voice.”

After thanking Raisa, Gomez added, “I don’t know how I’ll ever repay it, but maybe I’ll make an epic album next year.”

Fingers crossed she does exactly that!

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