Afterward, actress and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres presented Pink with the award. She said that Pink asked her to present her with the award because Cher was unavailable.
>> Photos: Stars arrive for the 2017 MTV VMAs“It makes sense that Cher would give the award, because Cher got the Vanguard award last year, and I have not received the Vanguard award. I have received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama,” DeGeneres joked.
She praised Pink, a friend, as “the most incredible performer,” and said she was honored to have been asked to present the singer with the award.
Pink started her speech by sharing a moment from her daughter Willow’s life. Her daughter recently told her that she felt like “the ugliest girl at school” because “she looked like a boy with long hair,” she said.
The singer told the audience that she explained to Willow that she has also been told she looks like a boy, but that hasn’t stopped her from selling out arenas and having amazing success.
“So, baby girl, we don’t change. We take the gravel in the shell and we make a pearl, and we help other people change so they can see all kinds of beauty,” Pink said before thanking fellow artists. “Keep shining for the rest of us to see. And, you, my darling little girl, are beautiful.”
The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.