03/31/2009 at 02:45 PM EDT
Those weren't crocodile tears.
When Miley Cyrus
was named favorite female singer at Saturday's Kids' Choice Awards, the teen star couldn't help but get a bit choked up. "I was a little embarrassed," she tells MTV News
. "But then again, I shouldn't be."
And Cyrus, 16, says despite criticism, her response was genuine. "It meant something to me," she says, "because it's from the kids and the kids are more important than anything else in the world. So it made me happy."
Cyrus, whose latest project is Hannah Montana: The Movie
, say she didn't even expect to win the award, and was truly surprised by the honor. "Honestly, I didn't think I was going to win it," she says. "It just made my day that I did. It means a lot to me."