The eighth annual She Rocks Awards honored pioneering women in music, from rockstar legends to digital marketing experts and entrepreneurs, at the House of Blues Anaheim on January 17, 2020. Honorees included Gloria Gaynor, Lzzy Hale, Linda Perry, Suzi Quatro, Beatie Wolfe and many other women from all corners of the music and audio industry, including music entrepreneurs and digital marketing experts.
Lazy Hale of the heavy rock band Halestrom won the Inspire award, with a special guitar presented by the head of Gibson Guitars. In her acceptance speech, Lzzy said I’d like to thank my four mothers of rock n roll (referring to women music legends). Because you didn’t give up, neither did I… I won a fucking Grammy. Like my four mothers, I’ve had to fight every step of the way…”
Lzzy said she’s often asked, “Whats it like?” to be a woman in music. She said “It’s like navigating bullshit,” and then mention several times when people have told her disparaging or sexist comments. She concluded: “Don’t give up!”
Then she performed her band’s songs “I Get Off” and “I Miss the Misery.”
Hosted by the Women’s International Music Network (the WiMN), the gala celebration included inspiring live sets by the honorees, including Linda Perry, who gave an intimate, piano-based performance of “Not My Plan.” She then delivered a hauntingly beautiful acoustic guitar version of the hit she had written for Christina Aguilera, “Beautiful.”
Suzi Quatro rocked the house with her rendition of “Johnny B. Goode.”
The grand finale came from the legendary Gloria Gaynor, who gave a rousing performance that included her GRAMMY-nominated track, “Talkin’ ‘Bout Jesus,” from her new gospel album TESTIMONY,followed by her timeless anthem “I Will Survive,” which brought the capacity crowd to its feet.
Other performances during the evening included original songs from Beatie Wolfe with a touching tribute to hit songwriter Allee Willis who passed away on December 24. Co-host Mindi Adair performed a brand new unreleased song, “Where There’s A Woman There’s a Way,” and the surprise award recipient Jenna Paone delivered an infectious performance of “Queens” from her upcoming release, Girl, the album.
Honoree Tal Wilkenfeld, who performed selections from her recent album, Love Remains, summed up the sentiment of the evening and of the She Rocks Awards during her speech, commenting, “When I’m on stage I’ve never thought to myself, ‘I’m really feeling the groove here…for a chick.’Right now, we may be in a ‘male dominated industry’ because we’re outnumbered, but I’m pleased to see so many women choosing not to put up with being ‘male dominated’ in their personal or professional lives.”
She continued, “Thank you to She Rocks, you’re a fantastic and necessary organization. I hope you will continue to inspire women, men, and the media at large, until the question asked is no longer, ‘What’s it like being a chick in this business,’ but, rather, ‘What’s it like being YOU in this business?’”
The full list of 2020 honorees includes:
- Gloria Gaynor, Legend Award – GRAMMY® Award-winning artist, GRAMMY Hall of Fame inductee, and the legendary voice behind the iconic hit “I Will Survive”
- Linda Perry, Powerhouse Award – GRAMMY, Golden Globe, Critic’s Choice-nominated artist, Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee, multi-platinum producer and former frontwoman for 4 Non Blondes
- Lzzy Hale, Inspire Award – GRAMMY Award-winning artist/songwriter and frontwoman for Halestorm
- Tal Wilkenfeld, Vision Award – chart-topping singer-songwriter and critically acclaimed bassist
- Suzi Quatro, Icon Award – pioneering bass player, singer, musician and actress who played the role of Leather Tuscadero on Happy Days
- Beatie Wolfe, Innovator Award – Singer-songwriter, pioneer of immersive music formats, UN Women role model
- Suzanne D’Addario Brouder, Champion Award – Executive Director of the D’Addario Foundation
- Tara Low, Dreaming Out Loud Award – Music-based entrepreneur and editor and founder of Guitar Girl Magazine
- Myrna Sislen, Trailblazer Award – Owner of Middle C Music in D.C., classical guitarist, philanthropist, former music professor
- Judy Schaefer, Excellence Award – Marketing Director at PRS Guitars
- Jenna Paone, Spirit Award – Singer/songwriter, performer and co-writer of Girl, the album
- Ebonie Smith, Mad Skills Award – Founder and President of Gender Amplified, Inc, and Atlantic Records audio engineer and producer
Co-hosting the event were Yahoo Entertainment music editor Lyndsey Parker and saxophonist-vocalist Mindi Adair, with an opening performance by Marshall Records’ artists, D_Drive, who came from Japan to join the evening.
WiMN founder, Laura B. Whoitmore enthused, “This year’s event was over the top, and I couldn’t be more proud. From legendary honorees and heartfelt speeches to electrifying performances that had the audience on their feet, this was a night to remember.”
Find out more about the She Rocks Awards and the Women’s International Music Network at thewimn.com.
The 2020 She Rocks Awards was sponsored by Sweetwater, PRS Guitars, Marshall Amplification, Gibson, Tech 21, Reverb, NAMM, D’Angelico Guitars, Rat Sound Systems, Roland, Zildjian, Fishman, Sennheiser, D’Addario, Seymour Duncan, PreSonus, Shure, M.A.C Cosmetics, Monster Energy, Hippeas, Clif Bar, hint water, PRG, 108 Rock Star Guitars, iZotope, Soundgirls, Parademagazine, Premier Guitar, Guitar Girl Magazine, The Music & Sound Retailer, Music Inc.magazine, MusicNews, Guitar Player, Guitar World, Bass Player, Electronic Musician, Music Radar, KVR Audio, IK Multimedia, Future Publishing, and more.