Billboard just released their yearly list of Women in Music and we’re so proud to announce that our ladies Lana Del Rey, Selena Gomez, Brittany Howard and Demi Lovato made the list. Congratulations ladies – 2015 has been an exceptional year for you all and we certainly do not stand along in saying we are more than excited to see what 2016 has in store!
You may all be wondering who Billboard selected as their chosen “Woman of the Year” – it is none other than Lady Gaga.
“It speaks volumes to me that I’m being recognized as Woman of the Year in 2015…This is the year I did what I wanted instead of trying to keep up with what I thought everyone else wanted from me.” – Lady Gaga
Though this may come as a surprise to many of you, the Grammy and Guinness Record-stacking superstar, who has sold over 28 million albums and 140 million singles, considered quitting music in 2014. Her reason, you ask? As Billboard put it: “She felt her image was threatening to eclipse her artistry.”
Here we are in 2015, and the 29-year-old reignited and reinvented her career; Her collaborative album, Cheek to Cheek with Tony Bennett, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and went on to win her a sixth Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album; The album sparked an international tour, further carrying out reviews for most of 2015.
“The audience goes crazy for the way she sings…She has one of the great voices of all time, and it’s amazing how musically intelligent she is.” – Tony Bennett
A few of Gaga’s noteworthy 2015 highlights include:
- On a personal level, Gaga got engaged to actor Taylor Kinney on Valentine’s Day – which Taylor Swift seemed to adore:
Is it just me or is Lady Gaga, like, fully LIVING right now?!? #goals
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) March 1, 2015
- Her masterful performance of The Sound of Music medley at the Academy Awards – which earned her a congratulatory hug from none other than Julie Andrews herself
- The release of her powerful track and music video: “Til It Happens to You,” aimed at promoting empathy with victims of sexual assault and ending campus rape; it initiated a partnership between Her Born This Way Foundation and the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
- Her lead role in the fifth season of American Horror Story: Hotel, which, announced by AHS, has not only had the highest-rated series in FX’s history, but this year marked its strongest season yet, with Gaga’s first episode debut drawing an impressive 12.2 million viewers.
“I’m more sexual and powerful and intelligent and on my shit than I’ve ever been,” says Lady Gaga. “I’ve come a long way through a lot of heartache and pain, but none of it made me damaged goods. It made me a fighter.”
Highlights from our Women in Music honourees:
TRAILBLAZER HONOREE: Lana Del Rey
“The most encouraging thing about the climate for artists right now is there’s not such a narrow lane for what is considered ‘pop,’…I feel like anything goes — and hopefully pop songs will continue to have a little more depth and texture behind them.” – Lana Del Rey
– Her fourth album, Honeymoon debuting at No. 2 on the Billboard 200
– 20-date Endless Summer Tour, including eight shows with Courtney Love
– Featured on The Weeknd’s “Prisoner” track off Beauty Behind the Madness
CHART TOPPER HONOREE: Selena Gomez
“Strength represents a vulnerability…This was the first time I was able to really trust myself and go with my gut.” – Selena Gomez
– Her second studio album, Revival, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 – marking her second No. 1 album!
– Revival‘s lead single, “Good For You,” peaked at No.5 on the Billboard Hot 100, marking her highest charting Hot 100 and fastest platinum selling single
– Featured performer on this year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, endorsed by Pantene and premiered in a long-list of films, such as Unity, Hotel Transylvania 2 and The Big Short.
POWERHOUSE HONOREE: Brittany Howard
“Björk. Erykah Badu. Memphis Minnie. Nina Simone…The guitar player from Heart, Nancy Wilson. This badass drummer, Meytal Cohen.” – Brittany Howard, on her female musical heroes
– Featured on Billboard’s Coachella March cover
– Alabama Shakes‘ Sound & Color debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200
– Tracks “Don’t Wanna Fight” peaking at No.2 on the US AAA chart.
RULEBREAKER HONOREE: Demi Lovato
“The biggest struggle isn’t being a woman in the industry, it’s being a celebrity. People feel entitled to demand things because they feel you belong to them. To me, it’s less about gender and more about fame.” – Demi Lovato
– Her fifth album, Confident, debuting at No. 2 on the Billboard 200
– “Cool for the Summer” peaking at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100
– Launched her mental-health campaign “Be Vocal: Speak Up for Mental Health”
All photos and quotes taken from Billboard.