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"This Is a Magical Day": Pink & Janelle Monáe Honored at "Billboard's" Women of the Year Gala

Image courtesy of John Lamparski/WireImage (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of John Lamparski/WireImage (via ABC News Radio)

"I'm feeling really grateful that I've been able to tell my stories," Pink said Tuesday afternoon in New York City, as she accepted Billboard's Woman of the Year honor.  But this being Pink, that was after she took the podium and said -- twice -- "Holy sh*t!"

Thanking her team, her husband Carey Hart and their daughter Willow , who she called "my greatest teacher," Pink said she's been successful "if I've kept one girl from feeling different or ugly or unempowered." She wished for a day that women will "stop apologizing for the very things that make them women," and that girls would "embrace their grace, their power and their youth, and not sell it and have to buy it back later."  Saluting her parents, who were in the audience, she said that she was glad that they were there to see her "do something good and legal."

She also said she'd like to be remembered for "my humor, my passion, and my ability to go from angel to a**hole in 3.5 seconds, but always for something I truly believe in."

Nate Ruess , frontman for the band fun. and Pink's partner on the Grammy-nominated duet "Just Give Me a Reason," also paid tribute to the singer, saying, "To know Pink is to have been hung up on by her, in heated debate."  After saying that initially, he didn't want to record "Just Give Me a Reason," he added, "You twisted my arm, and I've never been happier for doing anything." He saluted Pink for "being yourself the whole entire time," adding, "There aren't enough artists who do what Alecia " -- Pink's birth name -- "does."

Billboard honored Pink not only for her artistry, and her success in the past year both on the charts and on tour, but also for her philanthropy. At the ceremony, held at Capitale on New York's Bowery, Pink, sporting a multicolored striped dress, walked the carpet with husband Carey Hart, who told ABC News Radio that his wife deserved the honor because "she's the best.  She does it all. She's old school. She actually sings on stage!" 

The woman of the hour told reporters, "This is a magical day and it's inspiring.  I've been fighting my whole life to be a woman that is taken seriously, and I'm stoked!"

Canadian pop duo Tegan & Sara were on hand to perform Pink's hit "Just Like a Pill" in tribute to the singer, and Tegan told ABC News Radio, "Honestly, she's always been an inspiration to us.  She's an articulate, intelligent, outspoken, very stylish, very talented woman who has always spoken her mind, and I like that."  And Christina Perri , who performed her new single "Human" in tribute to the head of her record label, who was also being honored, told ABC News Radio that Pink's her hero.

"She's amazing. She's from my hometown. She's got tattoos. She writes her songs. She really sings. She performs. She's the most badass human being on the planet. She's a mom. I mean, seriously, like, it's just too much!" Christina laughed.

Janelle Monáe , the cutting-edge R&B singer featured on fun.'s hit "We Are Young," was also honored Tuesday, as Billboard's Rising Star.  On the red carpet, she said of the honor, "I didn't take it lightly.  I think there's so many incredible inspiring women who easily could have gotten this acknowledgement and so I'm just very very thankful."

Accepting the award, the singer spoke about her grandmother, who worked as a sharecropper, and her mom, who worked as a custodian.  "It's because of their perseverance and sacrifice that I am standing here today," Janelle told the audience.  "We don't have to all take the same coordinates to get to the same destination." 

Paraphrasing President Obama 's comments on Tuesday at a memorial service for Nelson Mandela , Janelle added, "Don't ever underestimate the power of one woman." 

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio