Lady Gaga Accepts Billboard’s Woman of the Year, Tells Haters: ‘I Couldn’t Wait to Prove You Wrong’

Just look at her now.

Lady Gaga accepted Billboard’s Woman of the Year title at the Billboard Women in Music 2015 event in New York City on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015 after performing her gripping tribute to fellow victims of sexual assault, “Til It Happens to You“.

The artist was introduced by her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, who explained how she learned to walk and play the piano at the same time.

“Four years later, she was playing by ear,” she said, adding a piece of adorable trivia. “At the age of six, she wrote her first song – called ‘Dollar Bills’.”

“It’s like a fucking boys club that we just can’t get into,” Gaga explained in her riveting speech about females rising to the top of the music industry.

“Women provide a wisdom to music that is very unique and special. It is a perspective no one else can have because we bear life. And because we go through things no one else goes through. And because it’s right. Because we’re all equal.”

The Golden Globe-nominated actress concluded her speech with a message to those who doubted her along the way. “I couldn’t wait to prove you wrong,” she says. “Because I may not be a lot of things, but I can write songs, and I can sing.”

Missy Elliot accepted her honor for Innovator of the Year from former collaborator Ciara, sharing her message of female empowerment. “I stand here for all the women who been told you don’t fit the mold,” said the “WTF” artist. “Look at me, I’m here.”

“I wanna thank all the women before me … because they kicked down the door for me to be able to walk through.”

Among Elliot and Gaga were Lana Del Rey who was presented her title of Trailblazer of the Year by Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz and Tori Kelly who accepted the Breakthrough HonorSelena Gomez was presented with the Chart-Topper Honor by Paul Rudd, sharing her gratitude for fan support on her latest album, Revival.

“Thank you for supporting me not just with this record but all the time. This album in particular was such a transition for me. I have so much more to prove.”

Watch all of these incredible women plus Fifth HarmonyKelsea Ballerini, and more accept their honors at the Billboard Women in Music event when it airs on Lifetime at 8 p.m. E.T. on Dec. 18, 2015.

Launch the gallery at the top of the page to view photos from the red carpet.