Cameron Finney- Staff Writer
2017 has been quite the big year pertaining to politics, television, journalism, music and movies. One of the best things that people have been consistently embracing is female empowerment, something that must continue on forever. Billboard magazine held their Women in Music Awards just last week, honoring some artists out of the amazing group of females in the industry.
The recipient for Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the ceremony was Camila Cabello. Most people knew her name from being a member of the all-female pop group Fifth Harmony. This year she chose to begin a solo career after announcing her depart from the group back in December 2016. The artist instantly rose from the drama of her leaving the group with new material this past summer. Her first hit single “Havanna” has made much success, reaching number one on Billboard’s Mainstream Top 40 and officially certified platinum in the U.S., giving her quite a big start as a solo artist. The artist has been breaking ground by being herself, something she felt was not possible in a group, and is now the fourth top streaming artist in the world on Spotify. Cabello’s self-titled debut will be released Jan. 12 of next year.
This year’s Rule-breaker recipient was 22-year-old R&B singer Kehlani. The singer has been around the industry for the last three years, first releasing mixtapes, which led to her first Grammy nomination at age 20 for “You Should Be Here.” After an eventful 2016, including her brave struggle with mental illness, something that should be respected and never a joke, she entered 2017 with her first official studio album titled “Sweet.Sexy.Savage.” The album received much acclaim and reached the number two spot on the Billboard Top R&B album charts. The singer was chosen for this award because she always proves one does not have to be or look a certain way to get his or her career out there. Kehlani has stayed true to her heart and continues to be authentic while working hard to get to where she is today.
The Rising Star award went to thirteen-year-old Grace Vanderwaal. The singer has been rising in the industry since winning “America’s Got Talent” in 2016 for having such amazing vocals at such a young age and performing various with her ukulele. She received her award from talent judge Heidi Klum with a compelling speech about how lucky and grateful she has been and dedicated her award to the people who helped her the most, her parents.
The biggest award, Woman of the Year went to pop superstar Selena Gomez. Gomez has been impacting fans more, and more every year since her days on Disney Channel, and this year was her biggest yet. She has shown a massive amount of strength by telling the world about her struggle with lupus, mental health and the kidney procedure that changed her life this past summer. The singer received a kidney transplant with her best friend Francia Raisa, who presented Gomez the award during the ceremony. She started off her speech tearfully, stating that Francia should receive
The award because she saved her life. Gomez thanked her team for being there for her and being able to put music out there the way she wants it. Gomez proves to fans that how one can take control of their platform and do something positive with it beyond music.
This award show was a perfect way to end the year. These women worked hard to get where they are and prove it is not easy but believing in yourself and supporting one another can get you somewhere.