Strong and Influential Females Were Recognized at Billboard’s 2018 Women in Music Event
Songbirds, industry executives, and Ariana Grande fans gathered at Billboard’s 2018 Women in Music event Thursday night. As guests and honorees arrived to Pier 36 in Manhattan, they passed by crowds of fans hoping to catch a glimpse of the “Thank U, Next” singer and recipient of Billboard’s Woman of the Year Award.
The 13th annual event, sponsored by Fiji Water and American Express among others, honored women across the industry, from artists and executives to the women who created and implemented the Music Modernization Act. The evening was hosted by Ellie Goulding, and awards were given to both new and familiar faces of the industry. Tierra Whack presented Janelle Monáe with the Trailblazer Award, Cyndi Lauper received the Icon Award from Dua Lipa, and SZA was honored with the Rule Breaker Award by Anderson .Paak. The Innovator Award went to Kacey Musgraves (who gave a spellbinding performance), and Hayley Kiyoko took the stage to accept the Rising Star Award after performing her song “Curious.”
Also in attendance was Maggie Rogers, wearing Proenza Schouler, whose year was quite busy: She toured with Mumford and Sons and appeared on Saturday Night Live. “There was so much transition in my life, and I’ve got this record coming out in January and it is very much about this change,” she told Vogue; “2018 has been about fun and friends and finally feeling like I have a voice in all of this.”
Grace VanderWaal was one of the younger guests to be a part of the event, and she reminded the pink carpet of how much she loved Ariana Grande by screaming and tearing up upon the star’s arrival.
The woman of the year (past winners include Lady Gaga and Madonna) was the final artist to take the stage, where she performed her latest hit—one that Patti LaBelle even heard about: “It went so viral, even I caught it, and I have a flip phone.”
Reflecting on the past year as she accepted the award from LaBelle, Grande said she hopes to focus on herself in 2019, and she ended her speech with a simple line: “It’s the things I’ve always had and the people I’ve always had that makes life so great.”