Billboard, the leading destination for charts, news, trends and innovations in music, announced today that it will honour SZA, Kacey Musgraves and Hayley Kiyoko at its 13th annual Women in Music event, held in conjunction with the release of the Women in Music issue, on December 6 in New York City. Soulful and candid singer-songwriter SZA will accept the Rule Breaker award, genre-bender Kacey Musgraves will collect the Innovator award, and pop singer-songwriter Hayley Kiyoko will receive the Rising Star award. Ariana Grande (Woman of the Year), Janelle Monáe (Trailblazer Award) and Cyndi Lauper (Icon Award) have already been announced as honorees at the star-studded event, which also honours the most powerful female executives in the industry.
“In their respective genres, SZA, Kacey Musgraves and Hayley Kiyoko are creating necessary space for more personal, authentic expression,” says Ross Scarano, Billboard’s VP content. “It makes for provocative, perspective-shifting work that is challenging traditional notions of songwriting in R&B, country, and pop music. We’re lucky to have three iconoclasts in one room together.”
SZA will accept the Rule Breaker award, which recognizes a female artist who uses her music and platform to defy traditional industry expectations and advance a powerful message for young people today. As a dynamic new voice with an uncompromising songwriting vision exemplified on her TDE/RCA platinum debut album Ctrl (#3 debut on the Billboard 200), SZA has consistently upended the expectations of a modern R&B star while scoring Grammy nominations, multi-platinum hits like ‘Love Galore’, ‘The Weekend’, and ‘All The Stars’ with Kendrick Lamar, plus a prime slot on Top Dawg Entertainment’s best-selling Championship Tour.
Kacey Musgraves is the recipient of the Innovator award, which recognizes a female artist who challenges musical convention, creates positive change and contributes new ideas both within and outside of her creative work. With her Top Country Albums-topping third album, Golden Hour, Kacey Musgraves has evolved her traditional country sound with daring vision, while continuing to serve as an advocate for inclusion and tolerance as an in-demand live act.
The Rising Star award will be presented to Hayley Kiyoko as recognition of 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, Hayley Kiyoko has used her bold debut album, Expectations (No. 12 Peak on the Billboard 200 chart), self-directed music videos and live shows as platforms of empowerment, ensuring a bright artistic future ahead.
The 13th annual Women in Music event is produced by Don Mischer Productions. The red-carpet pre-show will be broadcast live on Twitter, 7PM-10PM EST on December 6. The 2018 event is sponsored by American Airlines, American Express, Fiji Water, Honda Stage and Nielsen Music.