Hillary Clinton Honors ‘Gaga + Missy + Brittany + Tori’ In Billboard Essay
We already know what's on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's carefully-curated Spotify playlist. Now she's shared more of her thoughts on some women who have built, or are currently building, their musical legacy in an essay published in Billboard today (December 3).
"The great Loretta Lynn once said that to make it in the music business, 'You either have to be first, best or different,'" Clinton begins. She goes on to say that this applies to all of the artists honored as Billboard's 2015 Women in Music, which includes Lynn, Lady Gaga, Lana Del Rey, Fifth Harmony and Kelsea Ballerini.
"I've been listening to some of these women for years," she writes later in the piece. "Others I recently discovered. Now I'm a fan of them all. Their talent is dazzling. So is their work ethic. None of these women had success handed to her. They all had to keep at it, even in the face of failure and discouragement -- they kept singing, kept writing, kept getting better and better."
She also praised another group of honorees, women in the music biz who've also made Billboard's VIP shortlist this year, saying "they aren't just leading the music industry -- they're transforming it."
Clinton says she hopes girls and women will be emboldened by music's movers, shakers and doers. "Maybe they'll be inspired to reach toward their own dreams with greater urgency. Maybe they'll stand a little straighter or speak a little louder because that's what Gaga and Missy and Brittany and Tori and Selena and Demi and Kelsea and Lana and Ally and Normani and Lauren and Camilla and Dinah and Loretta would do."
In November, Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter jointly announced that they'd no longer rank the entertainment industry's most powerful women, with THR president Janice Min saying "we accidentally created a beauty pageant of brains where only one woman gets crowned." That choice is commendable, and while women in music still face obstacles and sexism that their male counterparts do not — there's a reason why there's no "Men In Music" issue — one hopes we'll eventually get to a point when female creators and executives in music don't need to be honored as a separate and indisputably embattled group.
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