Billboard Women In Music honoured


December 12, 2016
Kesha, 29, March 1


The annual Billboard Women In Music event featured emotional speeches about the uphill battles women face in the music industry, including personal stories from top honouree Madonna and pop singer Kesha.

Madonna was named Woman of the Year last Friday, and passionately spoke onstage in New York about being raped at knife point, battling critics, and being called words like 'whore', 'witch' and 'Satan' throughout her career.

"I remember feeling paralysed. It took me a while to pull myself together and get on with my creative life to get on with my life. I remember wishing that I had a female peer that I could look to for support," 58-year-old Madonna said.

The audience included fellow honouree Shania Twain, Nick Jonas, Anderson Cooper and dozens of music industry executives.

"People say that I'm so controversial, but I think the most controversial thing I have ever done is to stick around ... I'm still standing," Madonna said.

The event also paid tribute to platinum-selling singer Kesha, giving her the trailblazer award.

"I didn't really feel like standing up and getting an award - I didn't feel worthy of that. Most importantly, do not let anyone else ever take your happiness. You are worth it, and thank you for reminding me that I'm worth it, too," she said.

Twain was given the icon award while Grammy-nominated R&B singer Andra Day received the powerhouse award.