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FutureStarrBillboard's 2023 Women In Music Awards Breaks Viewing Records
On April 13th, Quinta Brunson hosted Billboard's 2023 Women In Music Awards to recognize artists, creators, producers and executives for their contributions to music. This year's stars include SZA who will be honored as Woman of the Year.
Other 2023 award winners include Becky G, Ivy Queen, Kim Petras, Latto, Lainey Wilson and Lana Del Rey; as well as Spanish singer Rosalia who was the first-ever recipient of the Producer of the Year award.
Before she earned the titles "La Caballota," "La Potra," and "La Diva," Ivy Queen was just an unassuming young woman from Anasco, with pigtails. She'd been invited to audition for The Noise, a Puerto Rican collective and nightclub that helped shape reggaeton during the '90s.
At 18, she proved women could spit lyrics just as well as men, and her debut single, "Quiero Bailar," launched her into reggaeton's mainstream. Since then, she's become one of the genre's most recognizable voices and a pioneering figure in Latin hip-hop music.
On Wednesday, Ivy Queen received the Icon Award at Billboard's 2023 Women In Music Awards. Bad Bunny presented it to her and thanked her for creating a path for other reggaeton artists to break into music industry.
The awards ceremony took place at YouTube Theater in Hollywood Park, Los Angeles and was hosted by Quinta Brunson. Additionally, several other prestigious awards were presented during the evening.
At the event, Ivy Queen also performed with Bad Bunny in a special performance of their song, "Yo Perreo Sola," which translates to "I Want to Dance."
Ivy Queen donned a metallic dress with floral shoulder pads and matching clutch bag from Rey Ortiz. She shared the carpet with her friend Latto as they shared an emotional bond over their love for one another and their forthcoming albums.
Emmy-winning writer/actress Quinta Brunson served as host for this star-studded event, honoring SZA as Woman of the Year and featuring performances by Becky G, Doechii, Ivy Queen, Kim Petras, Latto, Lainey Wilson, Lana Del Rey and TWICE.
On Wednesday, March 1 at YouTube Theater in Los Angeles, American Express, Honda, Mugler and Nationwide joined other sponsors as gold sponsors of this special occasion.
SZA will present the top award at the ceremony, while Becky G (Impact Award), Doechii (Rising Star), Ivy Queen (Icon Award), Kim Petras (Chartbreaker Award), Latto (Powerhouse Award), Lainey Wilson (Rulebreaker Award), Lana Del Rey (Visionary Award), and TWICE (Breakthrough Award) also take to the stage during this momentous occasion.
Kim Petras, born in Cologne, Germany at the age of 2, transitioned to transgender at 16 years old and underwent gender affirming surgery at 16. Growing up listening to American music such as Madonna, Kylie Minogue and Britney Spears inspired her transition process.
Petras continued her writing and recording career even after moving to the United States. Her debut single, "I Don't Want It At All," reached number one on Spotify's Global Viral chart in 2017; additionally, Spotify named Petras one of four RISE Artists for 2017.
In 2019, Petras released her debut album Clarity and has since been on tour to support its singles. Songs such as "Icy" and "Personal Hell" pay homage to 90s pop stars she grew up listening to.
At Billboard's 2023 Women In Music Awards Breaks Viewing Records, platinum rapper Latto brought her A-game and performed her hit "Lottery" before taking home the Powerhouse Award. Chloe Bailey, who honored Latto with this year's Rising Star Award, called her "a force to be reckoned with", an icon for young women everywhere and "the personification of a powerhouse".
On her sophomore album, 777, Latto dials back the braggadocio that propelled her to stardom and opts for more R&B music. She's joined by various male voices throughout the record - from Kodak Black on "Buss Down" and Nardo Wick on "Stepper," a high-octane club banger with plenty of energy.
One of the standout songs here is Childish Gambino's collaboration. The rapper provides an inspiring verse on this slow, melodic ballad that features Lil Wayne who threatens to will Smith somebody.
Another noteworthy track is the soft, gospel-influenced "Sunshine," featuring Lil Wayne and Childish Gambino. Though heavily autotuned, this song serves as a testament to Latto's impressive vocal abilities.
Latto's debut single, 777, offers a glimpse into her potential as a female rapper. She possesses immense talent but needs to work hard if she wants to reach its full potential. If she can create an impactful sound, Latto could become a major force in hip-hop's landscape.
Lainey Wilson, a country singer-songwriter and Yellowstone actress, has achieved great success in the music industry over the past year. She's been featured on multiple "Artist to Watch" lists and currently holds titles such as Billboard Top New Country Artist of 2021, ACM 2022 New Female Artist of the Year and CMT 2022 Breakout Artist of the Year.
Her debut album Tougher showcased her powerful and clear voice, while Bell Bottom Country illustrated her development as an artist and songwriter. This honest body of work speaks volumes about her dedication and sincerity; both albums are must-listens for fans everywhere.
She has never been afraid to express her opinions about country music and has even joined Tractor Supply in a brand commercial that seeks to introduce "country" to more people.
Wilson's voice, with its deep Southern accent, delivers tough yet heartfelt contemporary country songs with touches of pop and classic rock influences. Her songs are a product of her upbringing in rural Louisiana as well as her time living in Nashville. Her music serves as an expression of both.
Six-time CMA Awards nominee Lauren Alaina is set to embark on her first headlining tour this January and March. Her 27-city Country with a Flair presented by Stella Rosa Future is Female tour will begin in January and conclude by March.
On Wednesday, she attended the 2023 Women In Music Awards alongside her Yellowstone costar Piper Perabo to accept her Rulebreaker Award. As she was welcomed by her co-star, she thanked her for being an inspiration and shared that it felt "absolutely insane" to receive such an honor.
Lana Del Rey was honored with the Visionary Award at this year's Billboard Women In Music Awards on Wednesday, March 1 in Inglewood, California alongside last year's Woman of the Year Olivia Rodrigo. With 14 years and nine genre-defining studio albums under her belt, she had achieved great success over these past 14 years.
Del Rey donned a yellow, paisley-print gown designed by Zimmermann for the event, which she revealed on Instagram had been inspired by one of her best friends' wedding days.
She looked stunning in her springy dress, featuring floral appliques on both the sleeves and hemline of the skirt. To finish off her ensemble, she completed it with gold sandals and a yellow belt.
She chose matte lip color and smoky eye shadow for her makeup look, accentuating it with teased hair.
Del Rey has earned a reputation for her classic, sophisticated style. She often dons pointed-toe boots, ankle-strap heels and sharp pumps from Versace or Salvatore Ferragamo on the red carpet.
After a thriving career, she has earned numerous awards and nominations from prestigious organizations like the Billboard Awards, Grammy Awards, and more. Currently, she's gearing up for the release of her next album Did You Know That There's A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd? on March 24th.
At the event, SZA, Becky G and Latto joined a star-studded lineup of powerful women including SZA, Becky G and Latto who performed several songs before receiving awards. Lana Del Rey and TWICE also took the stage during the ceremony for an incredible star-studded show that saw each artist deliver an enchanting performance.
Women in music are experiencing an exciting era. With the rise of gender equality and feminism, many artists are striving to transform the industry and bring new voices forward. While these awards recognize past accomplishments, they also honor rising stars who are revolutionizing the game by setting new standards.
Rosalia's latest album, Motomami, is an impressive example of genre hybridization. She utilizes her skills in reggaeton, flamenco, R&B and hyperpop to explore themes like fame, transformation and heartbreak. This sound draws upon elements from both her debut Los Angeles as well as more experimental 2018 release El Mal Querer.
The title track is an energetic blend of beats and melodies, featuring Rosalia's vocals backed by various sampled and manipulated instruments. Though it may appear to be a bold step on the surface, there's something genuinely soothing about it.
Another standout is 'CHICKEN TERIYAKI,' an uptempo track that blends reggaeton with intense subterranean bass. Janky synth stabs accompany Rosalia's warped vocals.
The lyrics of the song suggest she has moved on from her lover, yet her sweet melancholy belies how raw her wounds remain. Despite some abrasive tracks on Motomami, this album ultimately offers a heartfelt journey that explores difficult topics in an intimate and moving manner.