Shenseea, SZA, Latto, Chloe Bailey and many more women in the music industry steps out for the 2023 Billboard Women in Music awards.
SZA won the Woman of the Year award, the most prestigious of the Billboard Women in Music awards that were handed out on Wednesday night (march 1). Billboard’s Women in Music awards have honored several young artists in the music game also, including Doechii, Latto, and others.
SZA delivered an inspiring speech as she spoke about overcoming doubts and fears and even her desire to want more for her life outside of just being an artist.
The singer’s latest album ‘SOS’ spends a 10th week at No. 1, making her one of the most commercially successful artists of 2022.
The artist began by thanking her parents, who joined her at the event as well as members of her team and her label, before she shared a very candid ad-lib.
“I’m taped in here for high hell y’all,” SZA joked about her sexy red dress as she accepted her award and shared that she didn’t write a speech in keeping with her authentic self.
“I guess a couple of days ago Malisa was like ‘you should take time to write your speech and I’m like ‘ok’… I didn’t write anything, but that’s also not who I am,” she begins.
She continued, “I’m a very off-the-dome kind of person, and I guess what I wanted to say is like, there’s so many women in this room right now that I respect so deeply. This could have been any of us in this room,” she says naming several artists she felt was just as deserving as her including Lana Del Rey, Chloe Bailey, Latto or even Coi Leray.
SZA also shared that artists have to deal with projections from fans and encouraged other artists not to be pressured by them.
“I think sometimes there’s a misconception, everyone always feels like ‘that girl’ ‘Oh I know I’m that b***ch and I have a lot of confidence’, and I feel like it’s ok to not be that person all the time because I used to feel like I didn’t belong but I realized that the key is to stay open and available for whatever the universe or God wants to do with your life,” she said.
The “Snooze” artist added, “Even when you don’t know who you are. I really just want my life to be more than music, to be more than an artist. I want to serve others, I want to serve people, I want to be open and available for whatever God wants for me, and saying ‘yes’ to everything that’s scary, to everything that feels like it’s not for you or where you don’t belong, is really the only way where we walk through those doors.”
SZA also shared parting advice for other women in the room to “Continue to be inspired and stay available. You don’t have to be confident, you don’t have to even know you are the one, you just have to say yes to the possibility,” she said. “And thank y’all for saying yes to me.”
In the meantime, R&B singer Doechii received the Rising Star Award, which was presented by her mother. “It feels so good,” she said, also noting that she especially felt honored, and it was a “huge stamp” because artists like Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga, and Janelle Monae previously received the same award.
Latto won the Powerhouse award and noted that she was not taking ‘no’ for an answer anymore.
“Megan Thee Stallion won this award, Doja Cat won this award. It’s crazy because I’m a fan of my peers and they’re now my peers,” Latto mused. “All the inspiring women who paved the way for me and all the women that there are to come. I’m grateful to be a part of this new wave of female rap and baby, we kickin’ down the door and we ain’t takin’ no for an answer,” she added.
Shenseea was also spotted at the event but did not win an award this year. The Jamaican singer showed some legs on the red carpet dolling up in a white outfit with white accessories.