Naturally, she was emotional upon hearing the news.
"Being a young, black, queer woman in America, there was something I had to say -- a group of people I wanted to celebrate. I’m happy to be representing them," Monáe said. "I hope they feel seen, I hope they feel heard. I hope they feel loved, I hope they feel celebrated."
Other album of the year nominees included Invasion of Privacy (Cardi B); By The Way, I Forgive You (Brandi Carlile); Scorpion (Drake); H.E.R. (H.E.R.); Beerbongs & Bentleys (Post Malone); Golden Hour (Kacey Musgraves); and Black Panther: The Album, Music From And Inspired By (various artists).
On Thursday, Monáe was celebrated with the Trailblazer award at Billboard's 13th annual Women in Music ceremony at New York's Pier 36. “Being a trailblazer is about diving into spaces unseen and undiscovered,” she said at the event. “For me, that meant uncovering aspects of who I am in order to make spaces for others.”