Selena Gomez Honored Francia Raisa In Her Billboard Speech & Said Her Friend Is The One Who Deserves The Award
On Thursday night, Selena Gomez was honored as the Woman of the Year by Billboard, but during the event, the singer revealed that someone else was more deserving of the honor. During her acceptance speech, Selena Gomez said Francia Raísa deserved the award more than her. And her speech in honor of her friend, who saved her life through a kidney donation, was incredibly moving.
Raísa presented the former Disney star with the award herself, and Gomez got a bit choked up as she accepted it. "To be honest, I think Francia should be getting this award because she saved my life," she said.
She then took a moment, as she fought back tears, before she proceeded with the rest of her speech in which she thanked other people in her life who have helped her through such a difficult time. "Specifically this year, I would like to thank my amazing team and my family because they stuck with me through some really hard times," she said. She then turned again to her friend Raísa and Elle Fanning, who also introduced the singer and co-stars with her in the upcoming film A Rainy Day In New York, and said, "I don't know how I'll ever repay it but maybe I'll make an epic album next year." That's sure to be good news to all of those Selenators out there.
You can tell through Gomez's speech that this has been an emotional journey for both women. This speech showcases just how much Raísa's selflessness meant to the 25-year-old, especially considering that she stated that her friend is the one who actually deserves the big honor.
📹 | Selena Gomez's full acceptance speech after receiving the #WomanOfTheYear award at the Billboard's Annual #WomenInMusic 2017. [HD] https://t.co/3JqBi4Z7px— (@lwsgmedia) #
Raísa was equally moving when she presented the award. According to Billboard, she said, "When we first met, we bonded immediately". She also said, in reference to the kidney donation that was first announced on Gomez's Instagram, "When I found out I was a match for Selena, I didn't think twice about it."
These two really are there for each other 100 percent. Their close bond was on full display at Billboard's event, and they probably didn't leave many dry eyes in the house after both of their speeches.
In September, Gomez opened up about receiving a kidney transplant from Raísa. She posted a photo of herself and her friend in the hospital on Instagram and captioned the post, "So I found out that I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering." Gomez then said, "There aren't words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa. She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me." It was a moving post and gave fans a glimpse of the close bond that the singer has with her dear friend.
The two women also sat down with the Today show in October to discuss their experience. Their interview made viewers aware of just how dire the situation was with Gomez's health prior to this life-changing operation. In the emotional interview, Gomez shared that due to complications from her battle with lupus, her kidneys were shutting down and that she was weeks away from potential organ failure before the transplant. Raísa volunteered to be tested to see if her kidney would be a match for her friend, and she was. When Savannah Guthrie asked Gomez if she believed that Raísa saved her life she replied, "Because she did. That's it. I guess I got to the point where it was really kind of life or death".
It's amazing to see how far these two have come after what must have been a difficult experience for them. It seems as though the entire journey has made the two women closer than ever. In Gomez's emotional Instagram post detailing their journey, she even said, "I love you, sis" in reference to Raísa. After the transplant, they have been open about their journey and their love for each other. And Gomez's latest dedication to her friend at the Billboard Women in Music event proves, once again, just how close their bond really is.