Ariana Grande holds back tears as she stands up for herself against 'diva' accusation

Ariana Grande is defending herself. In an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music, the 26-year-old singer opened up about why, in the past, she stepped away from the spotlight to let her music speak for itself.

"I stopped doing interviews for a really long time because I felt like whenever I would get into a position where somebody would try to say something for clickbait or twist my words or blah, blah, blah, I would defend myself. And then, people would be like, 'Oh, she's a diva,'" she said. "I was like, 'This doesn't make any sense.'"

Grande said those comments confused her because, from her point of view, she was simply expressing an "opinion about something" related to art, directing or her career.

"It always was in the past manipulated and turned into this negative thing, whereas I don't see that with men," she said. "It's like when men express their opinions or defend themselves or are directing something and making notes on something, they're brilliant. And they're genius at it."

"And yet, it's just so not the same thing with women, which I hope we can work on fixing," Grande continued. "And of course that's not always the case. It's not always that way. But it does make... you want to quiet down a little bit."

Despite her past negative experiences, Grande revealed she's trying to say "f**k that" to letting people's comments affect her, largely because she's "tired of seeing women silenced by" such things.

"I think there's this thing where we'll hear something, or be, 'Oh, she said this.' And then it really sits with you. And you feel like, 'Oh wow. Should I not express myself anymore? Should I not have this fight that I want to have anymore? Should I just say, OK, and let it be?'" she said. "And then it kind of f**ks you up a little bit."

"Of course, it's not an all-the-time thing. But it is definitely still prominent," Grande continued. "But I'm trying to just say, 'f**k it' and let go of that trauma. Because I do have a lot to say, and I do enjoy talking to people. And I do want to do interviews and share with people, and not be afraid to be myself. And I'm working on becoming that."

The host went on to praise Grande for her "powerful" decision to let her work do the talking for a bit, a compliment that made the singer emotional.

"That's gonna make me cry," she said while getting visibly choked up. "Thank you. I appreciate that. I appreciate that a lot."