Selena Gomez emotionally dedicated her “Woman of the Year” Billboard award to the best friend who saved her life.
During her acceptance speech at the Billboard Women In Music 2017 ceremony in Hollywood on Thursday night, Gomez wept as she paid tribute to Francia Raisa who donated her kidney to the pop star earlier this year.
Gomez teared up as Raisa presented her with the award. “To be honest, I think Francia should be getting this award because she saved my life,” Gomez told the audience.
Gomez later reflected on how “incredibly lucky” she was.
“Honestly, I couldn’t be more grateful for the position I’ve been given in my career from seven to 14 to now,” she said. “I want people to know I respect the platform that I have so deeply because I knew that I wanted to be part of something great and I wanted people to feel great.”
“I’m so grateful for the older women who have lifted all of us up because I couldn’t be here without any of you,” she added as she thanked the women who had come before her in the entertainment industry.
Gomez revealed via this Instagram post in September that she’d undergone a kidney transplant due to her lupus, and that Raisa was her donor.
On the red carpet before the ceremony, Raisa revealed she hadn’t realized that Gomez was just “two weeks away from kidney failure” until after the surgery.
“Just seeing my friend get sick, and more sick, and more sick was hard but at the same time so positive for our friendship,” she added. “It got us closer but I also learned so much this year about myself. It was a very humbling experience.”
— billboard (@billboard) December 1, 2017
Check out Gomez’s full speech here: