Pop superstar Taylor Swift was awarded the Woman of The Decade Award at Billboard‘s 2019 Women In Music event on Thursday.
Swift’s acceptance speech, which was equal parts moving and empowering, addressed the extreme discrimination that women inside the music industry are often subject to.
“So what does it mean to be the woman of this decade? Well, it means I’ve seen a lot,” she opened.
“Some people will always have slight reservations about you. Whether you deserve to be there, whether your male producer or co-writer is the reason for your success, or whether it was a savvy record label,” she shared. “It wasn’t.”
“I’m so sick of running/As fast as I can/Wondering if/I’d get there quicker/If I was a man” she belts out in the chorus of the song “The Man” that was featured on her most recent album, Lover.
“We shouldn’t let obstacles like criticism slow down the creative forces that drive us,” she continued, adding that although she has allowed the negative voices of her critics to take control of her music in the past, she has more recently been “focusing less on doing what they say I can’t do and more on doing whatever the hell I want.”
She also praised a long list of female artists who have been killing it despite all kinds of backlash, including Lizzo, Billie Eilish, H.E.R., Maggie Rogers, Dua Lipa and Camila Cabello, among others.
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