The event, which took place at YouTube Theater in Inglewood, California, honored trailblazing women in the music industry.
Barrett was among the star-studded list of honorees and was on hand to accept the coveted Rising Star Award presented by Honda.
Jessika Laudermilk, marketing executive for Honda, introduced Barrett after the “Pick Me Up” singer’s husband, Cade Foehner, honored her with a heartfelt speech that praised her career achievements, and her duties as a mother and wife.
“I’m Cade Foehner, the proud husband of the next honoree, Ms. Gabby Barrett Foehner. Gabby and I actually met out here in Los Angeles a few years ago, when we were on the television show, American Idol,” Foehner began. ”We also got engaged out here as well, and so it’s good to be back out here where everything got started. During our time on the show, Gabby of course was a real standout to me after all I did fall in love with the gal.”
Foehner continued, ”She was also very driven for excellence and driven toward goals and accomplishing those goals and that’s something that I still witness in her everyday.”
The American Idol alum went on to applaud Barrett for who she is behind the scenes as both a wife and mother to their one-year-old daughter, Baylah May.
“One thing that most people don’t get to see from many artists is who they are in their home. After all, that is who a person really is, is when the doors are shut and the cameras go off,” the Texas native added. ”So, I’d like to be the first to tell you that Mama Foehner is a superstar in her home. She is a mother and wife before she is anything else in this world. As most see, she certainly is excellent at singing and writing hit songs, but they don’t get to see the glory and the wonder of a woman of this caliber in her home. I’ve seen her nurse a crying baby. I’ve seen her cook so many meals that fill my belly up with good food. And I’ve seen her change a big ol’ poopy diaper right before we go out on stage.”
Barrett’s husband went on to share that what fans see on stage is just a “little glimpse” of the “Godly woman” Barrett is in her everyday life.
“She does it for the glory of her Lord and savior, Jesus Christ,” Foehner added. ”I am so proud of my darling wife’s accomplishments and I am so grateful to her and to the Lord for making her the woman, wife and mother that she is. It is truly the greatest privilege, this side of Heaven, to have her at my side. Thank you Billboard for recognizing my sweet Gabby with the Rising Star Award tonight.”
A montage of clips from throughout Barrett’s career was then displayed after Foehner’s touching tribute to Barrett before she joined him onstage to perform an acoustic rendition of her chart-topping debut single, “I Hope.”
Sitting beside her husband on guitar, Barrett belted out the lyrics to the fan-favorite tune that broke Billboard chart records.
As her performance concluded, Barrett was all smiles as she made her way to the podium to humbly accept the award in front of the star-studded audience. She shared her gratitude for Billboard and Honda as well as fellow honoree Bonnie Raitt for being a “wonderful inspiration to so many people.”
“I grew up with this big dream, it certainly was not easy. I didn’t come from a wealthy background or wealthy family. A lot of people doubted me, kids, adults, school teachers, you name it,” she recalled. “I heard a lot of nos and it seemed like every door that I knocked on, remained closed for a long time, but by the graciousness of God, I am here today. I continue to work hard and persevere.”
The multi-platinum hitmaker then dedicated her award to “all of those that dream big, no matter what age you are” and offered advice with hopes to motivate others who are chasing their dreams.
“You may not see a clear path and others will try to knock you,” Barrett said. ”Some days you will want to completely give up and feel absolutely defeated but try to use any negative comments or situations that you run into along the way as fuel to keep you going. You really can achieve those big dreams that a lot of people may laugh at you for talking about.”
Barrett went on to graciously thank “some wonderful women” in her life, including her mom, Pam, her mother-in-law, Kelly, her sisters, and most importantly her daughter, Baylah.
“Thank you to my sweet 1-year-old baby girl, Baylah, you make me want to be better and I just hope that I can inspire you as much as you inspire me,” the Pennsylvania native concluded.
While walking the red carpet prior to the ceremony, Barrett was surprised by Billboard with three new plaques. One for her chart-topping debut single, “I Hope,” which went 6X Platinum, and another for her second No. 1 hit, “The Good Ones,” for going 2X Platinum. Additionally, Barrett’s debut album, Goldmine, achieved Platinum status.
Hosted by the 2008 Billboard Woman Of The Year honoree, Ciara, the event also honored Olivia Rodrigo (Woman Of The Year), Bonnie Raitt (Icon Award), Doja Cat (Powerhouse Award), H.E.R. (Impact Award), Karol G (Rule Breaker Award), Phoebe Bridgers (Trailblazer Award), Saweetie (Game Changer Award), Summer Walker (Chart Breaker Award) and Golnar Khosrowshahi (Executive Of The Year).
The 2022 Billboard Women In Music Awards aired live on Twitter at 9/8c on Wednesday, March 2.