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Madonna Dedicates Her Billboard Woman of the Year Award to Her Critics, Says They Made Her a 'Fighter'

Madonna Dedicates Her Billboard Woman of the Year Award to Her Critics, Says They Made Her a 'Fighter'

Madonna strikes a powerful pose as she arrives at Billboard’s Women In Music 2016 Luncheon on Friday (December 9) in New York City.

The 58-year-old entertainer was honored at the event as Woman of the Year for many achievements this year – including extending her record as the highest-grossing female touring artist of all time in 2016.

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Madonna

Madonna was introduced by close pal Anderson Cooper who gave a heartfelt tribute to the queen of pop.

Taking the mic, Madonna gave an extremely powerful and blunt speech where she described the hardships she faced before making it big in the music industry.

She recalled the abuse, bullying, and sexism she faced in her 30-year career.

“It’s not so much about receiving this award as it is having this opportunity to stand before you and say thank you,” Madonna said at the end of her speech. “Not only to the people who have loved and supported me along the way, you have no idea…you have no idea how much your support means. But to the doubters and naysayers and everyone who gave me hell and said I could not, that I would not or I must not – your resistance made me stronger, made me push harder, made me the fighter that I am today. It made me the woman that I am today. So thank you.”

You can read more from Madonna‘s speech on Billboard.com.

Also pictured inside: Rita Ora, Andra Day, Shania Twain, Idina Menzel, and Louise Roe arriving at the event.

FYI: Madonna wore a custom Gucci multicolored tiger silk jacquard suit with floral patches, a sequin embroidered anchor and “Euterpe” embroidered on the back.

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Credit: WENN; Photos: Getty, AKM-GSI
Posted to: Anderson Cooper, Andra Day, Idina Menzel, Louise Roe, Madonna, Rita Ora, Shania Twain

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