Olivia Rodrigo praised previous songwriters and musical artists for giving her strength while accepting Billboard’s 2022 Woman of the Year award.
The former teen actor-turned-popstar was honored at the event Wednesday night at the YouTube Theater in Inglewood, Calif. She talked about being lucky for her career and thanked Sheryl Crow for presenting her with the honor.
“Every woman here today is striving to break down those barriers, change the narrative and support each other,” said Rodrigo, who opened the show by performing “deja vu.” During her acceptance speech, she spoke of being “constantly moved” by young girls writing songs every day from their bedroom floors.
“I am constantly moved by your vulnerability, your creativity and your bravery, and I promise that everyone here today is working to make this world and this industry a better place for you,” she continued.
Rodrigo became the biggest star of 2021 with her faith-based debut album, breaking chart records and racking up awards and nominations. Rodrigo’s exploration of heartache, jealousy and insecurity on his debut studio album “SOUR” broke streaming records and led all 11 tracks to land in the top 30 of the Billboard Hot 100 charts. She is the first female artist to achieve the feat.
“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, who received the Icon Award, used the Women in Music stage to address the crisis in Ukraine. She performed “Angel From Montgomery” written by John Prine featuring Jackson Browne, then said the song was dedicated to “women of Ukraine”.
After accepting her award, the 10-time Grammy winner and activist said she wanted more equity and opportunity for women. She continued to say that her “heart is heavy” for the people of Ukraine and said 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.
HER, Doja Cat, Saweetie, Phoebe Bridgers, Karol G and Summer Walker were some of the other musical artists who were recognized at the event, which celebrated the achievements of the industry’s top female performers and executives. music. Gabby Barrett and executive Golnar Khosrowshahi were also honored during the live show, hosted by Ciara.
It was a family affair for Saweetie and Bridgers who both asked their mothers to present the awards to them separately.
Saweetie’s mother, Trinidad Valentin, called her daughter “a force to be reckoned with”. Meanwhile, Bridgers’ mother – Jamie Bridgers – said she was grateful her daughter had found a way to use her voice to “showcase the people and causes she cares about”.
Barrett’s husband, Cade Foehner, gave a heartfelt speech about his wife’s musical success and being a wife and mother.
The couple joined the stage to perform “I Hope.”
“I grew up with this big dream. It certainly wasn’t easy,” Barrett said. “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.
HER received the impact award, Doja Cat snagged the powerhouse award, Karol G won the rule breaker award, Saweetie won the game changer award, Bridgers won the trailblazer award and Walker was recognized for the Card Breaker Award.
Christina Aguilera took the stage and said she had been cast for a new NFT magazine cover. The singer said she would donate part of her profits to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.