Monáe’s Rising Star reward comes on the heels of her second album release, "The Electric Lady," which bowed at No. 5 on the Billboard Top 200 and at No. 3 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.
"Being recognized for your hard work and passion is always humbling and encouraging. I feel honored Billboard has taken note of my journey in the music industry thus far," Monáe says. "I hope by receiving this award I'm encouraging aspiring acts to stay true to their own artistic visions and never give up."
On her new studio set, Monáe worked with a stellar cast which included Prince, Erykah Badu, Solange Knowles, Miguel and Esperanza Spalding and counted Sean "Diddy" Combs and OutKast's Big Boi as co-executive producers.
Monae launched her career with a Grammy nomination for her single, "Cold War," lifted from her 2010 debut album, "ArchAndroid." The single "Tightrope" was a global hit, which won her fans from Madrid to Melbourne. Her latest single is "PrimeTime," featuring Miguel.
"From her distinctive style to her unexpected collaborations, Janelle is truly carving her own path in this industry," comments Billboard Editorial Director Bill Werde. "We are thrilled to celebrate her talents as this year’s Rising Star and look forward to seeing what she does next."
Sponsored by Nikon, Target, COVERGIRL and City National Bank, Billboard's annual Women in Music event celebrates the most powerful and talented women in the music business. Now in its eight year, the annual event coincides with the publication of Billboard's Women in Music Power Players list. Katy Perry was the 2012 Woman of the Year honoree, while previous winners include Taylor Swift and Beyonce. Past Rising Star honorees including Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga.