Last night’s three hour American Music Awards included a number of water cooler moments, including Drake’s reunion with fellow Degrassi star Nina Dobrev, Idina Menzel’s message of solidarity to the cast of Hamilton, Green Day‘s anti-Trump lyrics, and host Gigi Hadid’s impression of Melania Trump.
But even with all of the incredible performances and surprising presenter and winner comments, the biggest moment of the night arguably goes to Selena Gomez and her emotional and honest acceptance speech.
Making her first public appearance since announcing her hiatus in August, Gomez hit the stage near the end of the evening after being announced as the winner of Favourite Female Artist Pop/Rock.
In an act of bravery and inspiration, Gomez began the speech by referencing her 2014 performance of “The Heart Wants What It Wants,” saying “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 that all of you know my life whether I like it or not. 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.”
Gomez, who revealed in 2015 that she had been diagnosed with lupus, released a public statement in August saying she was stepping away from the limelight to focus on her health. The singer’s time off seems to have benefited both her physical and emotional health, with Gomez eloquently urging others to do what feels right to them. “I don’t want to see your bodies on Instagram. I want to see what’s in here [holds chest]. I’m not trying to get validation nor do I need it anymore. All I can say from the bottom of my heart is I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to be able to share what I love every single day with people that I love.”
Taking home her first AMA ever, Gomez ended her sobering and inspiring speech by thanking her devoted fans. “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,” said Gomez. “If you are broken you do not have to stay broken. If that’s anything whether you respect me or not that’s one thing you should know about me. I care about people. Thank you so much for this. This is for you.”
The reaction to Gomez’s speech was instant, with a visibly moved Lady Gaga crying and cheering from her seat.
As an artist who has also spoken publicly about her battles with health and depression, Gaga congratulated Gomez in person following her speech.
Selena’s longtime friend Taylor Swift wasn’t at last night’s AMAs, but that didn’t stop her from cheering on her bestie in an Instagram story.
— Selena Gomez News (@SelenaGomezNews) November 21, 2016
Model and actor Colton Haynes has spoken out about his issues with depression in the past and sent ‘the biggest hug’ to Gomez via Twitter.
Sendin the biggest hug in the world to @selenagomez for speaking about how important it is to take care of your mental health
— Colton Haynes (@ColtonLHaynes) November 21, 2016
Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz is hoping Gomez will inspire others to take care of themselves.
Selena speech at the amas ❤️ more of that in the world please.
— p dubbs (@petewentz) November 21, 2016
American Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman was inspired by Gomez’s AMA speech.
— Alexandra Raisman (@Aly_Raisman) November 21, 2016
Fifth Harmony member and fellow AMA winner Camilla Cabello sent Gomez a message of love on Twitter.
— Camila Cabello (@camilacabello97) November 21, 2016
Keep up the amazing work, Selena!