Billboard’s 2023 Women In Music Awards was the epitome of all the ladies in the place having style and grace!
Last night, Billboard hosted its annual event recognizing rising stars and artists, producers, and execs for their contributions. Hosted by Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning writer and actress Quinta Brunson at the YouTube Theater at Hollywood Park, the star-studded evening featured electric performances and inspiring speeches from some of the top women dominating the music industry.
In her opening monologue, Quinta Brunson encouraged women to work together to advance their place in society, noting the show would recognize women who are “leading the way” in the music industry.
SZA received the Billboard Woman of the Year Award, which was presented by Coi Leray.
“I didn’t write anything, but that’s also not who I am,” SZA told the audience in her acceptance speech. “I’m a very off-the-dome kind of person, and I guess what I wanted to say is like, there’s so many women in this room right now that I respect so deeply. This could have been any of us in this room.”
SZA went on to shout out several of the 2023 Women In Music honorees, from Doechii to Lana Del Rey to Latto, and then talked about how appearing ultra-confident is often a misconception projected upon artists. “I used to feel like I didn’t belong,” SZA admitted, “but I realized that the key is to stay open and available for whatever the universe or God wants to do with your life.
“I really just want my life to be more than music,” she continued, “to be more than an artist. I want to serve others, I want to serve people, I want to be open and available for whatever God wants for me, and saying yes to everything that’s scary, to everything that feels like it’s not for you or where you don’t belong, is really the only way where we walk through those doors.”
SZA concluded by saying: “You just have to say yes to the possibility,” she said. “And thank y’all for saying yes to me.”
Lana Del Rey received the Visionary Award presented by last year’s Woman of the Year honoree, Olivia Rodrigo. Del Rey accepted the award, and praised the progress that has been made by women in the industry, saying “it’s a wonderful time in the culture to be themselves.”
Bad Bunny made a surprise appearance to present Ivy Queen with the Icon Award.
Kim Petras kicked off the show with a performance of her single “brrr” and then received the Chartbreaker Award, presented by Wendy Goldstein from Republic Records.
Did you all know that Petras is the first openly transgender woman to be honored at Billboard Women in Music?
Becky G received the Impact Award presented by American Express, which recognized her efforts to build community by creating positive change.
Dove Cameron presented the award to her friend Becky G, who took the stage to perform “Mamiii” and then accept the award. Becky said she was “humbled” to receive the award, especially in her hometown of Inglewood.
Latto performed her hit “Lottery” with Lu Kala and then accepted the Powerhouse Award, which was presented by Chloe Bailey.
Lainey Wilson received the Rule Breaker Award, which was presented by her Yellowstone co-star Piper Perabo. Lainey performed her hit single “Heart Like a Truck” and then accepted the award, saying the award was for “all the women who do things their way…who aren’t afraid to break boundaries and color outside the lines.”
Doechii performed her song “Persuasive + Crazy” and then accepted the Rising Star Award presented by Honda.
She acknowledged that the award was a “huge stamp” since she followed in the footsteps of artists like Nicki Minaj who had been previously recognized.
Rosalía received the inaugural Producer of the Year Award presented by Bose. Canadian record producer WondaGurl presented her with the award. Rosalia explained the award was extra special because producing music “comes from love [and] comes from obsession,” and she doesn’t do it because it’s “fun,” but because it’s a passion.
Billboard also partnered with Bose to increase awareness for women and non-binary music producers in an effort to increase representation in the industry.
Epic Records’ Sylvia Rhone received the award for Executive of the Year.
Additional attendees included Adrienne Houghton, Coco Jones, Ambre, Baby Tate, Shenseea, Bee-B, Alaina Castillo, Chantel Jeffries, Chelsea Cutler, Diane Warren, Erika Jayne, Heidi Klum, Kash Doll, Liz Gillies, Madison Beer, Victoria Monét, Zara Larsson and more.
Check out more photos from the event below:
A leading champion of supporting small businesses, American Express gifted all honorees and artists custom gift bags featuring artisan items from five multicultural and women-owned small businesses – Flatbush Granola, Mented Cosmetics, Sukie’s Candle Co., The Old Town Soap Co., and Treslúce Beauty.
The show was live streamed through Harmony, Penske Media’s (PMC) in house streaming platform which allows audiences to live stream some of the most significant cultural events happening today across PMC’s websites spanning entertainment, music, fashion, art, women’s interest and more. Billboard’s Women in Music event aired live on Billboard, Variety, WWD, Indiewire, The Hollywood Reporter, Soaps, Robb Report, She Knows, Stylecaster, FN and Vibe.
Sponsors for the 2023 Women in Music Awards include: American Express, presenter of the Impact Award, Honda, presenter of the Rising Star Award, Mugler, Nationwide, Bose, and Smirnoff ICE.