Billboard has been celebrating women in music all week long to kick off Women’s History Month. We partnered with World of Women to roll out the first NFT magazine covers designed by an NFT artist that honored Christina Aguilera, Madonna and Mariah Carey. And the 2022 Women in Music event commenced on Wednesday (March 2), where ladies such s Olivia Rodrigo to Bonnie Raitt were awarded for their contributions to the industry as they gave advice to the next generations of women.
More powerful women deserve to be given their flowers this week, as Aretha Franklin‘s musical legacy continues to live on through her granddaughter, and Rihanna continues to carry life and life-giving clapbacks.
Take a look at Billboard’s weekly roundup and the “awards” we’re giving to this week’s headlines.
Cutest Music News: Aretha Franklin’s granddaughter auditions for American Idol
There ain’t no way Aretha Franklin was the only talented singer in her family, and her 15-year-old granddaughter Grace Franklin proved that while auditioning for the latest season of American Idol. She performed Lauryn Hill’s version of “Killing Me Softly” before judge Katy Perry prompted her to give another song a shot, and Grace broke out into “Ain’t No Way” by the late Queen of Soul herself. Watch her audition here.
Savviest Music News: Billboard and World of Women launch first NFT magazine covers designed by an NFT artist
In celebration of Billboard‘s annual Women in Music issue, Billboard rolled out three special covers commissioned as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that honored Christina Aguilera, Madonna and Mariah Carey. Billboard partnered with World of Women — co-founded and launched by NFT artist Yam Karkai in July to welcome women into the digital collectible space — to produce the “inclusive and empowering imagery,” writes Billboard editorial director Hannah Karp. Learn more here.
Funniest Music News: Rihanna serves the best clapback while arriving fashionably
BadGirlRiRi is not one to be messed with. The beaming expectant pop star arrived fashionably late, as one does, to the Dior Autumn Winter 2022 show at Paris Fashion Week on Tuesday (March 1). But when someone heckled her about her tardiness, she had the best two-word clapback — “No s–t” — proving she doesn’t take s–t from anyone. Watch her response here.
Most Impressive Music News: The Weeknd announces first leg of stadium tour with special guest Doja Cat
The Weeknd is taking his After Hours Til Dawn Tour to new heights this summer after the Canadian-Ethiopian superstar announced the first leg on Thursday (March 3), featuring special guest and fellow pop star Doja Cat. The tour, which boasts his “most ambitious production to date,” will support his latest album Dawn FM as well as his previous blockbuster LP After Hours. The Weeknd also announced a philanthropic endeavor tied to the tour, as he’s donating $500,000 as well as $1 from each concert ticket sold in North America to his new XO HUMANITARIAN FUND. See the first set of dates here.
Most Bada– Music News: Songwriters protest Spotify in L.A. over low royalty rates
Songwriters led by the organization The 100 Percenters gathered outside of Spotify’s old West Hollywood office on Monday afternoon (Feb. 28) to protest against the streaming giant’s notoriously low royalty rates. Dubbed #WeWroteThat, songwriters told Billboard they would be planning the next event at Spotify’s new campus in Downtown L.A.’s Arts District. “I just want to be able to pay my bills. I just want to afford basic expenses. We songwriters struggle every day,” commented songwriter and The 100 Percenters board member Kaydence. “I’ve written for some of the biggest artists in the world, like Ariana [Grande] and Beyonce, and it’s still hard.” Read more about the protest here.
Most Heartwarming Music News: Olivia Rodrigo, Bonnie Raitt & more honored at Billboard’s 2022 Women in Music event
The fabulous ladies of the music industry showed up and showed out Wednesday evening (March 2) for Billboard‘s 2022 Women in Music event, hosted by Ciara. Olivia Rodrigo kicked the ceremony off with a performance of “Deja Vu” before accepting the Woman of the Year honor; Saweetie and Phoebe Bridgers’ mothers presented their daughters with the Game Changer and Trailblazer Awards, respectively; and Bonnie Raitt offered a prayer for peace after delivering a performance of “Angel From Montgomery,” proving the Icon that she is. Read the best moments from the night here, and look through the photos from the show here and the red carpet here.