Selena Gomez, Brittany Howard Honored At Women in Music Luncheon
Accepting her latest accolade, the Latina thanked those who selected her for the prize for “supporting me not just with this record but all the time” and adding, “I have so much more to prove.” Howard picked up the Powerhouse title at the event and appeared to be more than a little in awe of the girl power at Cipriani 42nd Street, stating, “This is such an honor to be in this room with all you wonderful, powerful women.” Meanwhile, pop group Fifth Element were named Group of the Year by Pitch Perfect 2 star Hailee Steinfeld, who told the audience, “Great things can happen when women come together and bring their voices as one.” The former U.S. X-Factor stars also performed, mashing up their “Worth It” hit with Destiny’s Child’s “Independent Women” and Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family.” The girls made a point of thanking their mothers in their acceptance speech. Country legend Loretta Lynn, Tori Kelly and newcomer Kelsea Ballerini also picked up big awards at the gala – Lynn was the recipient of the Legend honor, while Kelly claimed the Breakthrough gong and Ballerini picked up the Rising Star award. But perhaps the highlight of the event was rapper Missy Elliott’s moving Innovator acceptance speech, during which she said, “I stand here for all the women who (have) been told you don’t fit the mould. Look at me, I’m here… I wanna thank all the women before me… because they kicked down the door for me to be able to walk through.” The “Work It” hitmaker, who was introduced to the stage by Ciara, is currently putting the finishing touches to her comeback plans, revealing her new album will be released soon. “I want to say 2016 but I don’t want to give a time,” she said. “Nowadays, you say a time, they’ll stone you.” Missy’s comeback began in February when she joined Katy Perry onstage at the Super Bowl Half-time Show for a hits medley. Lady Gaga wrapped up the event by accepting the Woman of the Year award. The “Poker Face” singer was joined by fiancé Taylor Kinney and friend and frequent collaborator Tony Bennett at the gala.