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Selena Gomez Speaks Out About Her Career Break During Emotional AMAs Speech

2016 American Music Awards - Roaming Show
Jeff Kravitz—AMA2016/FilmMagic/Getty Images Recording artist Selena Gomez accepts the award for Favorite Femal Pop/Rock Artist onstage at the 2016 American Music Awards on Nov. 20, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

"I was absolutely broken inside," she said

At Sunday’s American Music Awards, Selena Gomez made her first public appearance since taking a career break to focus on her emotional health. After appearing on the red carpet, Gomez was awarded a trophy for Favorite Female Artist – Pop/ Rock and used her acceptance speech to send an emotional message to fans and critics.

“I think it’s safe to say that all of you know my life whether I like it or not,” she said. “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.”

She continued: “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.” Gomez then thanked fans for staying “loyal” to her during her break. “If you are broken, you do not have to stay broken,” she said, near tears.

When Gomez announced her break in August, she told PEOPLE: “As many of you know, around a year ago I revealed that I have lupus, an illness that can affect people in different ways. I’ve discovered that anxiety, panic attacks and depression can be side effects of lupus, which can present their own challenges.”

She then said she was taking “time off” to be “proactive and focus on maintaining my health and happiness.” The break followed the release of her 2015 album Revival and subsequent tour.

Read the full transcript of her speech:

“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. 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. 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. 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.”

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This article originally appeared on ew.com

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