The Future Is Female! Here’s How Ariana Grande, Janelle Monáe, Cyndi Lauper & Other Women Have Impacted Music Over The Years.

Billboard’s 13th annual Women in Music event will honor Ariana Grande, SZA, Janelle Monáe, Cyndi Lauper, Kacey Musgraves, and Hayley Kiyoko.

Photo credit: Metadata Janelle: Atlantic Records

There is no doubt that women have come a long way in many different fields including music. Over the years, Billboard has celebrated women in music and this year is no different.

Billboard’s 13th Annual Women in Music event will honor Ariana Grande, SZA, Janelle Monáe, Cyndi Lauper, Kacey Musgraves, and Hayley Kiyoko. Each singer will join the history of icons who have been previously honored including Selena Gomez, Madonna, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift. Here’s how these phenomenal women have contributed their talents to help shape music along the years.

Ariana Grande

LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 02: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO COMMERCIAL USE) Ariana Grande performs onstage during the 2018 iHeartRadio Wango Tango by AT&T at Banc of California Stadium on June 2, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for iHeartMedia )

Ariana Grande is a star on her own terms, never bending to any particular musical trend or path in the industry. She consistently stands up for herself and her decisions in a world that often isn’t hospitable to that sort of strength in young women. Over the course of her career, Grande has claimed the top spot several times with her hits like “No Tears Left to Cry,” “God Is a Woman,” and most recently, “Thank U, Next.” It’s safe to say she absolutely deserves to be Billboard’s Woman of the Year 2018.


NEWARK, NJ – OCTOBER 28: Singer-songwriter SZA performs at Power 105.1’s Powerhouse 2018 at Prudential Center on October 28, 2018 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Power 105.1)

SZA will be given the rule breaker award, which recognizes female artists who use their music and platform to defy traditional industry expectations and advance a powerful message for young people. As a dynamic new voice with an uncompromising songwriting vision, the first lady of Top Dawg Entertainment has consistently upended the expectations of a modern R&B star while scoring Grammy nominations, multi-platinum hits from herCtrl album.

Janelle Monaé

Atlantic Records

Janelle Monáe’s insatiable drive to incorporate new, untold stories into her artistic projects, while synthesizing classic funk, soul, R&B, jazz, hip-hop, and rock. In the past decade, Monáe has worked to redefine how a black woman can be represented in popular culture. Her album Dirty Computer peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 album chart, and at the same time, she shows she has no limit in exercising her creative ways.

Cyndi Lauper

NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 04: Musician Cyndi Lauper speaks onstage during the 2018 Farm Sanctuary on the Hudson gala at Pier 60 on October 4, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Farm Sanctuary)

The entire world recognizes the power of Cyndi Lauper’s pop music, and just as crucially, she has used her undeniable talent to soar beyond music, create positive change in modern society and become a true Icon. Lauper has delivered endless classics in her four-decade career. On top of her accolades as a Grammy, Tony and Emmy winner, she is also an active humanitarian and advocate. This year also marks the 10th anniversary of theTrue Colors Fund, which Lauper co-founded to end youth homelessness among the LGBTQ community.

Kacey Musgraves

THE 52ND ANNUAL CMA AWARDS – Country Music superstars Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood return to host “The 52nd Annual CMA Awards,” Country MusicÕs Biggest Night, live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, WEDNESDAY, NOV. 14 (8:00-11:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. The beloved hosts return for the 11th time. (ABC/Image Group LA)

Kacey Musgraves has been tapped to receive the innovator award, which recognizes female artists who challenge musical convention, create positive change and contribute new ideas both in and outside of their creative work. With her third Top Country Albums-topping release, Golden Hour, Musgraves has evolved her traditional country sound with daring vision, becoming an in-demand live act while serving as an advocate for inclusion and tolerance

Hayley Kiyoko

NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 20: Hayley Kiyoko attends the Republic Records VMA After-Party at Catch on August 20, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for Republic Records)

Hayley Kiyoko will collect the rising star award as an up-and-coming artist whose cultural impact and exceptional talent have demonstrated a clear path to success. By serving as a progressive pop symbol and a spokesperson of the LGBTQ community, Kiyoko has proven that her artistic future is bright through her bold debut album, Expectations, self-directed music videos, and powerful live shows.

Each of these talented women is not only creating a legacy in their respective genre but have also shown us how to be fearless, unstoppable and unapologetically ourselves.

Written by Lupe LLerenas

Lupe LLerenas formerly known as 'Lupe Looove' has built her work around all things entertainment. She loves writing, listening to music and discovering new things. When she's not prepping for an interview, chasing a story on social media or covering an event, you can find Lupe roaming the streets of Los Angeles with her phone in hand. Stay connected with Lupe on all social media platforms @LupeLLerenas.