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Charli XCX Debuts Song Dedicated to Late Producer Sophie, Karol G Is Woman of the Year and More From Billboard’s Women in Music Awards

Before Charli XCX began her performance for Billboard’s Women in Music Awards on March 6, the Grammy-nominated singer prefaced that her heart was beating “really, really fast.”

Singing an unreleased song called “So I,” presumably a track for her new album “Brat,” Charli said: “This song is about someone really, really special to me who is no longer with us,” and began crooning over a melody that references her late collaborator Sophie’s 2017 track “It’s Okay To Cry.”

Sophie died at the age of 34 in 2021 after she accidentally slipped and fell. The lyrics to “So I” reveal Charli’s strife with that grief: “You would say ‘C’mon stay for dinner’ / I’d say ‘No, I’m fine’ (Now I really wish I stayed).” The pair worked on various songs together, including Charli’s “Vroom Vroom,” but Sophie was best known for her solo work, specifically her 2018 album, “Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides.”

After completing her performance, Charli accepted the award for Powerhouse of the Year and told the audience — which ranged from industry champions, including Executive of the Year Michelle Jubelirer, to stars including Katy Perry, Ice Spice and more — that she was incredibly nervous to perform since she proudly and openly uses autotune.

Her speech didn’t touch on the song but the room was completely silent while she spoke — a feat for a crowd that had just caused the floor to shake during an up-beat delivery of candied pop songs from K-pop group, NewJeans.

Hyein, Hanni Pham, Minji, Danielle Marsh and Haerin at Billboard Women In Music 2024 held at YouTube Theater on March 6, 2024 in Inglewood, California.
Hyein, Hanni Pham, Minji, Danielle Marsh and Haerin at Billboard Women In Music 2024 held at YouTube Theater on March 6, 2024 in Inglewood, California.

Tracee Ellis Ross hosted the evening’s festivities at the YouTube Theater in Los Angeles, where several quick-paced and eye-popping musical moments from honorees Monét, NewJeans, Marren Morris, Young Miko, Luísa Sonza with Demi Lovato and Tems, took place. The lineup for award recipients was also an all-star affair: NewJeans was honored as Group of the Year, Kylie Minogue accepted (yet another) Icon award, Ice Spice was named Hitmaker of the Year, Victoria Monét was crowned a Rising Star and Karol G became the first Latin woman to win Woman of the Year, among others.

Presenters ranged from Bebe Rexha, Saweetie, Katy Perry and Glorilla, who told Variety she was “honored” to be surrounded “by such incredibly inspiring women, from literally all over the world… It’s a special feeling.”

Maren Morris at Billboard Women In Music 2024 held at YouTube Theater on March 6, 2024 in Inglewood, California.
Maren Morris at Billboard Women In Music 2024 held at YouTube Theater on March 6, 2024 in Inglewood, California.

On the red carpet, Maria Zardoya of the indie rock outfit the Marias spoke about the group’s upcoming new album, “Submarine,” telling Variety, “Water is the running theme of this record — change, evolution, rebirth — so we were trying to think of visual concepts that could match that energy. We thought about putting water in the actual vinyl presses but then we quickly realized it wouldn’t sound too good so we opted for putting water in the sleeve of the vinyl cover instead.”

Elsewhere, Latin rapper Snow Tha Product spoke to the importance of collaboration between women, discussing her recent business move to sign a global management deal with Yvette Medina, head of Latin at YMU. “I wish I had started working with a female manager a long time ago — she just gets it,” she said. “There’s so many things that throughout my career, I had been lacking — and I realized that sort of woman-to-woman connection is what made all the difference.”

See more red carpet photos below.

Karol G at Billboard Women In Music 2024 held at YouTube Theater on March 6, 2024 in Inglewood, California.
Karol G at Billboard Women In Music 2024 held at YouTube Theater on March 6, 2024 in Inglewood, California.
Ellie Goulding at Billboard Women In Music 2024 held at YouTube Theater on March 6, 2024 in Inglewood, California.
Ellie Goulding at Billboard Women In Music 2024 held at YouTube Theater on March 6, 2024 in Inglewood, California.
Young Miko at Billboard Women In Music 2024 held at YouTube Theater on March 6, 2024 in Inglewood, California.
Young Miko at Billboard Women In Music 2024 held at YouTube Theater on March 6, 2024 in Inglewood, California.
Snow Tha Product at Billboard Women In Music 2024 held at YouTube Theater on March 6, 2024 in Inglewood, California.
Snow Tha Product at Billboard Women In Music 2024 held at YouTube Theater on March 6, 2024 in Inglewood, California.
Kylie Minogue at Billboard Women In Music 2024 held at YouTube Theater on March 6, 2024 in Inglewood, California.
Kylie Minogue at Billboard Women In Music 2024 held at YouTube Theater on March 6, 2024 in Inglewood, California.
Ally Brooke and Dinah Jane at Billboard Women In Music 2024 held at YouTube Theater on March 6, 2024 in Inglewood, California.
Ally Brooke and Dinah Jane at Billboard Women In Music 2024 held at YouTube Theater on March 6, 2024 in Inglewood, California.
GloRilla at Billboard Women In Music 2024 held at YouTube Theater on March 6, 2024 in Inglewood, California.
GloRilla at Billboard Women In Music 2024 held at YouTube Theater on March 6, 2024 in Inglewood, California.

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