Billboard Women in Music: Janelle Monae, P!nk, Melanie Fiona, and More


Tuesday at NYC’s Capitale, luminaires from the music industry celebrated the top women in the business at Billboard’s annual Women in Music event. P!nk was named Woman of the Year, while Janelle Monae was honored as the Billboard Rising Star.

Among the top women in music were:
Debra Lee – Chairman & CEO, BET Networks
Ethiopia Habtemariam – EVP/Head of Urban Music, Universal Music Publishing Group & SVP, Motown Records
Bozoma Saint John – Director, Cultural Branding, Music & Entertainment Marketing, PepsiCo

Other notable names in attendance were Melanie Fiona, Skylar Diggins, and Vashtie Kola. Indie pop duo, Tegan and Sara, and breakout synth rock band, CHVRCHES, honored P!nk and Janelle Monáe respectively with covers of P!nk’s “Just Like a Pill” and Janelle’s “Tightrope.”

Nate Ruess of fun. was also at the event to honor the two women with whom he has collaborated and received Grammy Award nominations. The event was presented by COVERGIRL, Nikon, Target and City National Bank.


Janelle Monae:
“I was inspired to create the change that I wanted to see, which the electric lady was. The electric lady is bold, fearless; she stands up for those voices who are often ignored.”

“I want to use this award as motivation to keep writing more songs and cultivating new ideas and help all the young women across the world to truly embrace the things that make them unique.”

“At Nelson Mandela’s memorial service, one of the things the president said was ‘don’t ever underestimate the power of one man.’ So don’t ever underestimate the power of one woman.”

Nate Ruess about Janelle:
“Anytime she’s around, I just want to dance.”

Nate Ruess about his song with P!nk:
“I just wanted to write the song, not sing it, but [P!nk] twisted my arm and I’m so glad she did.”

“What do you say when someone says ‘Hey Woman of the Year!’? Well if you’re me you think of all the other women who deserve it more. These are the names that pop into my head, Hilary Clinton, Angelina Jolie… Miley Cyrus if you’re high as shit and have a thing for tongues.”

“I’m grateful that I have helped girls from feeling different, ugly, un-empowered.”


“Here’s what I wish, I wish that girls embrace their power and their worth and their value and their youth and not settle or barter away anything and have to buy it back later in life. I wish for my daughter to grow up in a world where wonderful publications like Billboard celebrate women for their originality, individuality and willingness to be true to themselves, their encouraged to be scary and emotional and get shit done. I wish for women to stop apologizing for those very things that make us women.”

“To my family, I’m so glad you could be here today to see me do something good and legal.”

“To my husband Carey who I love with my whole being. My wish is that I get to write a really nice song about you one day. Which is gonna suck because I’m not good at that, but I’m still gonna try.”

“Boys go off to war and women wait. But we go off to war too. If fact we do more and more and deal with shit you guys don’t even wanna know about like spanx and bodywear and being pitted against each other constantly in competition.”

“I wish to be remembered for my humor and my passion and above all my ability to go from angel to asshole in 3.5 seconds, but always for something I truly believe in.”

“After all the craziness and all the chapters still left unwritten I will be one crazy ass grandma. I will have blue highlights and f**k me heels, I will have a really nice glass of wine that I made, and I will tell anyone that will listen about a smart ass from Doylestown, Pennsylvania who told everyone she was going to be a star and then Billboard f**king magazine made her woman of the year.”

P!nk on the worst city to perform:
Philly probably, my hometown. Never perform in Philly on St. Patrick’s Day because they’re not there for you. They’re there for beer and to fight. I broke up a fight between two moms in the middle of a song. There were 10,000 people in the arena and they kicked out 1,000. That’s Philly pride right there.”








at Billboard's Women in Music at Capitale New York, Dec 10, 2013.


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