Kylie Minogue Thanks the ‘Terrible Times’ in Billboard Women in Music Speech: ‘It’s How We Navigate Them’

Kylie Minogue may have been a star for nearly 40 years now, but the Billboard Women in Music Awards on Wednesday evening (March 6) nonetheless represented a first for the generations-spanning pop idol.

After successfully scaling the stairs leading up to the YouTube Theater stage (sideways, thanks to a tight-fitting dress) to accept the Icon Award from presenter Bebe Rexha at the ceremony, Minogue kicked off her speech by noting the unusual nature of the evening in the scope of her decades-long career.

“I love being in this room, and it’s ridiculous to say, but I’ve never been in a room like this — a pure and vital celebration of women in music, and I’ve been one for 37 years,” she said. “So it is especially nice to be here and so wonderful to be in your company.”

While the award came amid the success of Minogue’s smash single “Padam Padam” — which marks her biggest hit in the United States in more than two decades — the singer aptly kept the focus on her status as a long-running icon, beginning with her 1987 hit “The Loco-Motion” (still her highest charting single on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 3) to her No. 7-charting Hot 100 smash “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” in 2001 and her latest chart success.

“On the one hand, it seems completely surreal. Like, ‘Is this really happening? How did I get here?’” she said of receiving the honor. “And then on the other hand, simultaneously, I know the steps it took to get here physically and mentally. Navigating the highs, the lows, and then trying to never lose sight of the in-between, the terra firma. I also know there’s luck, fate, a calling and help — a lot of help from a lot of people over a very long time in my case.”

Speaking of the lows, in ending her speech, Minogue made a special “shout-out to all the times that were not peak moments. They were no fun. But those challenges, the lows, the stuff we’ve gotta get through sometimes, I wanted to give a big shout-out to all the terrible times. Thank you for teaching us. They were horrendous in the moment, but they happen, and it’s how we navigate them and what we do with them. I’m not looking forward to the next one, but it will come.”

Stream the Billboard Women in Music 2024 Awards here at 8 p.m. ET Thursday (March 7).

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