In honor of 30 years of Billboard Latin Music Week, we go down memory lane revisiting some of the best quotes from the Women Panel over the years.
The panel — which has evolved its name from Leading Ladies panel to Divas Q&A and most recently Women in the Lead panel — made its debut in 2009 inspired by The Women of Regional Mexican music panel from the Regional Mexican conference of 2007.
We’ve selected the standout quotes from the few panels that were captured on video. Below, check out short clips from the panel in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2019 with memorable quotes by Gloria Trevi, Olga Tañón, Ivy Queen and Anitta, among others.
2013: Latin’s Leading Ladies Panel (Kany García, Carla Morrison, America Sierra & Olga Tañón)
Tañón on her humble beginnings:
“My family didn’t have a lot of money or a family member who was a musician, so it was hard for me to start off, but I took advantage of the school system in Puerto Rico. I took my first class at the age of four and started learning opera. I continued taking classes until it finally paid off. I was able to land an audition for a merengue band even although I wasn’t into it at first because I loved rock. But merengue has given me all of these wonderful things.”
2014: Divas Q&A (Kat Dahlia, Leslie Grace, La Marisoul & Gloria Trevi)
Trevi on feeling every word in a song:
“The most important thing on stage for me is the heart, the emotion you invest when you sing — to perform a lyric and feel every word of that song, communicate with the people, the audience. When I write a song, I’m not worrying about my vocal range. I’ve written songs that in order to reach certain notes, I have to go out of my vocal range. But I reach it because I have to reach it.”
2015: The Divas Panel (Ivy Queen, Ha*Ash, Sofia Reyes, Rossana)
Ivy Queen on thriving in a male-dominated genre:
“I put on my pair of pants and I straighten the guys out too. It might be easier for other female artists to show parts of their body to become someone, but in my 20 years as an artist, I’ve always represented women with lyrics that are empowering.”
2018: Women in the Lead (Yuridia, Becky G & Karol G)
Becky G on there being no shortcuts to success:
“We’re so involved with our culture, and for me, as a young Latina in the music industry facing all of these obstacles, just like anything in life, there are no shortcuts. Whatever you want to go for, it won’t be easy. And that’s for anyone. Going back to my roots, I admire people like my grandparents because of the sacrifices they made for their families. And it wasn’t just one sacrifice — it was a hit after hit. How are we going to pay bills, how do we get our kids better education, etc. As time goes by, those sacrifices have paid off, but then I question myself, ‘What am I going to sacrifice or how will I use my platform to help the ones that come in the next generation?'”
2019: Women in the Lead Panel (Becky G, Karol G, Anitta & Lali)
Anitta on changing the game in Brazil:
“We speak a different language, and the way Brazilians consume songs and music is completely different. Sometimes there are people who are very successful all over the world, but nobody knows them in Brazil because we consume music differently. And when it comes to women, Brazil is farther ahead now. The thing is that Brazil’s urban rhythm is not reggaetón. It’s funk. Reggaetón is now slowly starting to play in Brazil. And when I started doing funk, there was a moment for a long time when there wasn’t a female singer who wasn’t singing about love or playing that stereotypical female role. When I started doing funk, that belonged in the streets and the favela, people would say on the radio, ‘A woman singing funk, that can never happen.’ My songs are always about freedom and people would say, ‘Brazil won’t accept this.’ And what I said was, ‘Oh, now they’re going to accept this.’”