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Hayley Kiyoko Named 'Rising Star' at Billboard Women in Music Event

Hayley Kiyoko Named 'Rising Star' at Billboard Women in Music Event

Hayley Kiyoko Named 'Rising Star' at Billboard Women in Music Event

Her acceptance speech literally could not have been more adorable.

rachelkiley

Billboard’s 13th annual Women in Music event took place Thursday night and wow, with so many queens in attendance, there were too many amazing moments to recount them all.

But one of the best parts of the night came when Hayley Kiyoko was presented with the Rising Star award.

“I’m going to be crying this whole time, because this is my first time getting an award on the stage,” the 'Curious' singer choked out, before insisting that she’s “trying to be professional.”

“My mom told me that you’re only a rising star once, and then after that, you’re old news,” Kiyoko continued, wiping away tears. “So I’m really gonna sink in this moment because this is it for me, you’ll never see me again.”

She also super casually slipped in getting the chance to flirt with Ariana Grande earlier in the night, giving the camera an opportunity to cut to the pop icon who seemed appropriately flattered by the mention.

Now there's a "thank u" that doesn't need a "next!"

Some other highlights of the evening:

Janelle Monáe used her moment on the red carpet to dole out some thoughtful advice for young and struggling LGBTQ people, before going on to win the Trailblazer award and speak about some of her own struggles.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt's Titus Burgess gave a heartfelt performance of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time." The ‘80s icon was then honored with, well, the Icon of the Year award.

And Ariana herself was given the highest honor of the night, and deemed Woman of the Year. But Ariana, who’s dealt with both the death of her ex (and his fans' misdirected rage) and that whirlwind engagement and subsequent break-up with Pete Davidson, wanted to make something clear:

“This has been one of the best years of my career and the worst of my life. I’m not saying that for sympathy. I’m just saying that because I think a lot of people would look at someone in my position right now… and think, ‘She’s really got her shit together, she’s really on it, she’s got it all.’ And I do. But as far as my personal life, I really have no idea what the fuck I’m doing.”

“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,” Grande said, echoing the sentiment expressed in her hit 'thank u, next,' which she performed earlier in the night. “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.”

Other honors went to SZA for Rulebreaker, Kacey Musgraves for Innovator, and Danielle Aguirre, Jacqueline Charlesworth, Susan Genco, and Dina LaPolt for Executives of the Year. 

It was a night wholly dedicated to celebrating women — their impact, their support of each other, their struggles, their legacies — and every woman who got up on that stage and spoke showed us without any question why they deserved to be there. We could certainly use more nights like that.

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Rachel Kiley

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.