After a week in which all eyes were on her revealing interview with Diane Sawyer , Rihanna was funny and confident on the stage Monday night, when she accepted the Glamour Woman of the Year Award in New York.
After Iman’s introduction of the fashionable singer, Rihanna began her speech (which can be seen in this YouTube video) by brushing tears from her eyes and saying, “I’m PMSed, sorry.” She then went on to joke about her striking ivory Stephane Rolland gown: “As usual, I decided to wear the tightest dress I could find!
“I am shaking right now — I am so nervous, but overwhelmed and honored … to be Glamour’s Woman of the Year,” she continued, noting that fellow winner Maya Angelou, who won the lifetime achievement award, really raised the bar for acceptance speeches that night.
“I didn’t even know I had to speak; I didn’t know what kind of event it was, I didn’t know anything until a few hours ago,” she said. “I have to say, Maya Angelou, I love you, but you made this terribly more difficult for me.”
“First, thank you to Iman,” she went on. “It is very incredible that you’re presenting me with an award. It was a real honor to be named Glamour’s Woman of the Year, especially because I think of myself as just becoming a woman. I just turned 21 this year. Just to be mentioned in this group of women is overwhelming. I love being a part of a night where we’re celebrating women and such strong women.”
In her speech she thanked a slew of people she works with, including stylists, Def Jam, L.A. Reid and Jay-Z, but Rihanna saved the important people for last, when she thanked her mom and grandma for making her the strong woman she is today.
“[I thank] my entire family who flew here from Barbados — shout-out to you, Mommy, hi!” she said. “I really look up to my gran and my mom. They are my two women of the year. I love you very much, Granny. I love you very much, mom. They’ve shown me what strong women can accomplish and achieve. Without their unconditional love and guidance, I wouldn’t be here, and I hope I can be an example for young girls and women today. Thank you so much.”
Though Glamour made a point of mentioning the Chris Brown assault at the event, Rihanna told MTV News on Monday that she doesn’t want to become known only for the incident.
“I don’t want to be the big domestic-violence spokesperson, because that doesn’t define who I am,” she said. “But if I can help young women in any way, and that being one of the things they need help with, then I’ll do that.”