Selena Gomez was named Favourite Pop/Rock Female Artist at the American Music Awards on Sunday – and, as such, won her first ever AMA. However, the occasion marked another big moment for the 24 year old, as it was her first public appearance since taking a career hiatus to focus on her mental health earlier this year.
And the Hands to Myself singer decided to open up about her struggles in a truly empowering acceptance speech.
“Thank you guys so much,” said Gomez, voice shaking as she held onto her gong.
She continued: “In 2014, this stage was actually the first time that I was authentically 100 percent honest with all of you. I think it's safe to say most of you know my life whether I liked it or not. And I had to stop. Because I had everything. And I was absolutely broken inside. I kept it all together enough to where I would never let you down, but I kept it too much together to where I let myself down.”
Pointing to her heart, Gomez continued: “I don't want to see your bodies on Instagram. I want to see what's in here. I'm not trying to get validation, nor do I need it anymore. All I can say is I'm so grateful that I have the opportunity to be able to share what I love every day with people that I love.
“I have to say thank you so much to my fans, because you guys are so damn loyal, and I don't know what I did to deserve you. But if you are broken, you do not have to stay broken. That's one thing you should know about me: I care about people. And this is for you.”
Earlier this year, Gomez revealed that she had been experiencing panic attacks, depression, and anxiety as a side effect of Lupus, a disease which affects the body’s immune system.
“As many of you know, around a year ago I revealed that I have Lupus, an illness that can affect people in different ways,” she told toofab. “I’ve discovered that anxiety, panic attacks and depression can be side effects of Lupus, which can present their own challenges.”
She continued: “I want to be proactive and focus on maintaining my health and happiness and have decided that the best way forward is to take some time off.
“Thank you to all my fans for your support. You know how special you are to me, but I need to face this head on to ensure I am doing everything possible to be my best. I know I am not alone by sharing this, I hope others will be encouraged to address their own issues.”
Gomez confirmed that she was undergoing chemotherapy to combat her Lupus diagnosis in 2015.