As the music award season comes to an end, Billboard hosted their annual Women in Music award show Wednesday night at the YouTube Theater in Los Angeles, Calif. The award show, which returned to an in-person format for the first time since 2019, presented Olivia Rodrigo as Women of the Year.
“To all the young girls out there who are writing songs every day in their journals, on their bedroom floors – I am constantly moved by your vulnerability and your creativity and bravery,” Rodrigo said in her acceptance speech. “And I promise everyone here today is working to make this world and this industry a better place for you.”
The show recognized Phoebe Bridgers as the Trailblazer, Doja Cat as the Powerhouse, Saweetie as the Game Changer, Summer Walker as the Chartbreaker, H.E.R. with the impact award, Bonnie Raitt as the Icon, Karol G as the Rulebreaker, Gabby Barrett as the Rising Star, and Golnar Khosrowshahi as the executive of the year. The show was hosted by Ciara.
The show was the first where fans could attend in-person. The fans made a difference to the show by interacting with the nominees cheering on their favorite musicians, like Karol G, who was a house favorite. Karol G performed “El Barco” and when accepting her award, was met with fans chanting her name throughout the theater.
Each recipient was awarded with a custom music pendant designed by small business owner Maggi Simpkins in collaboration with Billboard. When accepting her award, Doja Cat said how she can’t wait to wear the necklace because “that’s what girls do,” then ended with “Amen, women.”
Bonnie Raitt dedicated her performance of “Angel From Montgomery” to the women of Ukraine. During her speech, Raitt said, “My heart is heavy for the people of Ukraine, and I know the Russian people are not in agreement – so many of them – with what’s being done. I pray for all the people who are working hard for peace.”