After dominating 2022 with viral TikTok tracks, her first Grammy win and, of course, her seven-week Billboard 200 chart-topping sophomore album SOS, SZA has officially been named Billboard‘s 2023 Woman of the Year.
The honor will be given at the Billboard Women in Music Awards, which will take place March 1 at the YouTube Theater at Hollywood Park in Los Angeles.
“Since she burst onto the scene in 2017, SZA has defied genres and continually released raw, powerful songs which have landed her music on the Billboard charts,” said Hannah Karp, Billboard’s editorial director, in a press statement. “The release of her latest album, SOS, has solidified her as a distinct force in contemporary R&B, and catapulted her into superstardom. We can’t wait to honor her as Woman of the Year.”
In 2017, SZA unveiled her major-label debut album Ctrl, which was celebrated by fans for its raw and honest lyrics, paired with the singer’s honeyed vocals. The album landed No. 1 on Billboard’s Top R&B Albums, No. 2 on Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums and No. 3 on the Billboard 200, and went on to be certified three times platinum by the RIAA. Ctrl has remained on the Billboard 200 chart since its release and holds the record for the longest run for any Black female artist’s debut album (295 weeks and counting).
In the five years since, SZA won a Grammy for best pop duo/group performance for her Doja Cat collaboration “Kiss Me More” and received the Rulebreaker Award at the 2019 Billboard Women in Music Awards.
On Dec. 9, the 33-year-old dropped her long-awaited sophomore album, SOS, which immediately debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, her first chart-topper. With more than 400 million streams in the U.S. during release week, SOS became the second-largest streaming week for a female artist and third-largest of 2022 among all albums.
SZA is gearing up to embark on her first arena tour this year, which is slated to kick off just before the WIM ceremony on Feb. 21 in Columbus, Ohio.
The star joins previous Women of the Year honorees including Olivia Rodrigo (2022), Cardi B (2020), Billie Eilish (2019), Ariana Grande (2018), Selena Gomez (2017), Madonna (2016), Lady Gaga (2015) and Taylor Swift (2014).
The event, hosted by Quinta Brunson, will recognize music’s top female artists, producers and executives for their contributions to the music industry, their communities and beyond. Becky G will be honored with the Impact Award presented by American Express, Doechii with the Rising Star Award presented by Honda, Ivy Queen with the Icon Award, Kim Petras with the Chartbreaker Award, Latto with the Powerhouse Award, Lainey Wilson with the Rulebreaker Award, Lana Del Rey with the Visionary Award, and TWICE with the Breakthrough Award.
Tickets are available to the public, and can be purchased via Ticketmaster here, with more information at billboardwomeninmusic.com. Prices range from $85 to $275. Sponsors for the 2023 Women in Music Awards include American Express, Honda, Mugler, Nationwide, Bose and Smirnoff ICE.