Billboard Music Awards recognize women during Women’s History Month
Billboard’s annual Women in Music Awards recognize top female artists, producers and executives who have made a significant contribution to the music industry over the past year. Despite the fact that the annual event has grown in size since its inception, one woman is named Woman of the Year. Reba McEntire was the first to receive this honor in 2007, and Olivia Rodrigo received it this year. Taylor Swift is the only female artist to have won the award twice, in 2011 and 2014.
Former teenage actress-turned-popstar Olivia Rodrigo praised previous songwriters and musical artists for giving her strength by accepting the Billboard Woman of the Year 2022 award at the event held on 3 March. Held at the YouTube Theater in Inglewood, Calif., she spoke about being blessed career-wise and thanked Sheryl Crow for presenting her with the honor.
Rodrigo became the biggest star with her denominational debut album, “SOUR”, which broke records and earned her numerous awards and nominations. All 11 songs from “SOUR” landed in the top 30 on the Billboard Hot 100, making her the first female artist to accomplish the feat.
Rodrigo opened the Billboard show with his hit song “déjà vu” from his album “SOUR”. Giving her performance, she said, “Every woman here today is striving to break down those barriers, to change the narrative, and to support each other.”
As she accepted her award for 2022 Billboard Woman of the Year, Rodrigo spoke of being “constantly moved” by young girls who write songs every day from their bedroom floors, just like she. She went on to say, “I am constantly moved by your vulnerability, your creativity and your bravery, and I promise everyone here today is working to make this world and this industry a better place for you.”
“What I love most about songwriting is its ability to perfectly capture how I feel better than anything I could have said in conversation,” she said. “Songwriting has always been everything to me, so for people to connect with my music is beyond a dream come true.”
Bonnie Raitt, 10-time Grammy winner and activist who received the 2022 Icon Award, has used her platform to address the current crisis in Ukraine. Her song, “Angel From Montgomery” was dedicated to the women of Ukraine. She went on to say that her “heart is heavy” for the people of Ukraine and she even prays for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I know the Russian people don’t agree – so many of them – with what’s being done,” she said. “I pray for all people who work hard for peace, including the man who started the war. May he have a transformation.
For Saweetie and Phoebe Bridgers, it turned out to be a family affair, with their mothers presenting the awards separately. Trinidad Valentin, Saweetie’s mother, described her daughter as a “force to be reckoned with”. Meanwhile, Bridgers’ mother, Jamie Bridgers, expressed her gratitude that her daughter had found a way to “showcase the people and causes she cares about”.
Gabby Barrett’s husband Cade Foehner gave a moving speech about his wife’s musical success as well as her role as wife and mother.
The couple came together on stage to sing “I Hope.”
“I grew up with this big dream. It certainly wasn’t easy,” Barrett said after her performance. “I don’t come from a wealthy background. Many people doubted me – children, adults, teachers. I heard a lot of ‘no’s and it seemed like every door I knocked on had been closed for a long time. But by the grace of God, I’m here today. I continue to work hard and persevere.
Other musicians were recognized at the event, such as HER, Doja Cat, Karol G and Summer Walker.