( 4UMF NEWS ) Lady Gaga And Missy Elliott Honored At Billboard Women In Music:
Lady Gaga and Missy Elliott were in tears Friday as they discussed the struggles they faced in their careers at an event honoring women in the music industry.
Gaga was named Billboard’s woman of the year, while Elliott — who has largely stayed out of the spotlight in recent years, save for a surprise Super Bowl appearance, but returned last month with a new single — was dubbed innovator of the year.
Loretta Lynn, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes, Lana Del Rey, girl group Fifth Harmony, pop singer Tori Kelly and country singer Kelsea Ballerini were also honored at the event, along with 50 female music executives.
The Billboard Women In Music event, which included guests like Alicia Keys, Paul Rudd, Martina McBride and Jussie Smollett from “Empire,” will air Dec. 18 on Lifetime.
Gaga — who earned a Grammy nomination Monday and a Golden Globe nod on Thursday — grew emotional onstage when she spoke about her struggles to find her voice in the industry.
“It’s really hard sometimes for women in music. It’s like a (expletive) boys club we can’t get into. Sorry grandma,” she said. “I’ve tried for so long. I just wanted to be taken seriously as a musician.”
Gaga was introduced to the stage by her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, who said piano lessons as a child helped the pop star discover her gift for music. The singer ended her speech with strong words for those who doubted her in the past: “But I can write songs and I can sing.”
Elliott, too, was emotional in a 6-minute speech that earned a standing ovation louder than any other Friday afternoon. The rapper, who recently returned with the single “WTF (Where They From)” after years away from the spotlight, cried throughout her speech.
“I was that kid that used to write on my mother’s walls … I just had songs written all over the walls … (and) as time went on I realized I was different and unique and not a follower,” she said. “I’ve had my ups and downs, there’s times I’ve wanted to give up, but God had another plan for me and if it had not been for him, I would not be standing here.”
She went on to thank Janet Jackson for being a dependable friend and also paid tribute to her late friend, R&B singer Aaliyah.
“And Aaliyah I hope you’re looking down and proud of me,” she said.