RihannaAfter taking some time to recover from a tough year -- due to the Feb. 8 assault at the hands of ex-boyfriend Chris Brown -- Rihanna is back and was honored as one of Glamour magazine's 2009 Women of the Year Monday night (Nov. 9) in New York.

"I didn't even know I had to speak; I didn't know what kind of event it was, I didn't know anything until a few hours ago," Rihanna, Glamour's most recent cover girl, said during her speech. "I have to say, Maya Angelou, I love you, but you made this terribly more difficult for me." The novelist and civil rights activist, as well as Michelle Obama, Serena Williams, Maria Shriver and Amy Poehler, were among the astute mix of women Glamour honored.

Rihanna kept her speech light Monday night, but opened up to the mag in the December issue's cover story. "I'm stronger, wiser and more aware. You don't realize how much your decisions affect people you don't even know, like fans. My story was broadcast all over the world for people to see, and they have followed every step of my recovery. The positive thing that has come out of my situation is that people can learn from that," the singer said.