Lady Gaga will be feted as Billboard’s 2015 Woman of the Year, succeeding Taylor Swift, who appeared at last year’s intimate event that also celebrated Aretha Franklin, Ariana Grande, Iggy Azalea, Jessie J, Charli XCX and Idina Menzel. More honorees for this year’s Women in Music will be revealed in the coming weeks.
Lifetime has partnered with Billboard to televise the event. The female-focused cable network has inked a three-year deal with Billboard to televise the music brand’s Women in Music event for the first time in its 10-year history. Don Mischer Productions, whose work includes multiple Billboard Music Awards, Oscars, Emmys (including the last two) and Super Bowl halftime shows, will produce the inaugural televised outing, to be held Dec. 11 at Cipriani Midtown in New York and aired Dec. 18.
“We’re delighted to partner with Billboard on this special event, bringing it to a mass audience for the first time ever,” says Liz Gateley, executive vice president and head of programming at Lifetime. “Lady Gaga is an extraordinary artist, emblematic of the strength, courage and fortitude that Lifetime celebrates, and we are thrilled to offer our platform to recognize her in every way she deserves.”
In addition to Gaga’s new turn on FX’s American Horror Story: Hotel, which premieres Oct. 7, the six-time Grammy-winning pop star and actress recently hit No. 1 on the real time Billboard + Twitter Trending 140 chart with her video “Till It Happens to You,” a track written for the college sexual assault documentary The Hunting Ground, which premiered at Sundance in January and will air on CNN later this year. Gaga’s last appearance on the chart was with the Tony Bennett duet “Anything Goes,” which entered the top 10 on July 29. The two recently concluded a 36-show tour through North America and Europe in support of their 2014 album Cheek to Cheek. Gaga’s solo follow-up, her fifth studio album, is expected to be released next year.
“Billboard’s Woman of the Year has always represented the finest in music, and the anointing of a key influential figure who drove the conversation for that year. No one embodies that more than Lady Gaga in 2015,” says Janice Min, co-president and chief creative officer of Guggenheim Media’s entertainment group, which consists of Billboard and THR. “From her show-stopping performance at the Oscars, to her co-headlining tour, to her philanthropic outreach and foundation promoting youth wellbeing and empowerment, to her new role as TV star, there is no woman dominating popular culture tastes and its evolution as much as she is today. What a force.”
Billboard currently has two branded shows on air — the Billboard Music Awards, produced by Dick Clark Productions, and the Billboard Latin Music Awards, produced by Telemundo — which both reached record rating highs in 2015.