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Winners of Billboard Magazine's "Woman of the Year" Award (2007-2017)

Updated on February 11, 2018
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Dorothy McKenney is a former newspaper reporter turned researcher. Her husband, Mike, is a professional landscape/nature photographer.

Selena Gomez (2017)

Selena Gomez is the latest winner of Billboard Magazine's "Woman of the Year" award.
Selena Gomez is the latest winner of Billboard Magazine's "Woman of the Year" award. | Source

Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez, a native of Texas, got her show business start on a kid's show called Barney & Friends. She also was a guest star on The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and Hannah Montana. Her first lead role came in the series entitled Wizards of Waverly Place. In 2009, she released her debut pop album called Kiss & Tell, and her name has remained on the pop music charts since that time.

In 2009, Gomez became an ambassador for UNICEF, a group of which she had been a long-time supporter. She has been praised for going public with her battle with lupus, which caused her to undergo a life-saving kidney transplant in 2017.

Madonna (2016)

Madonna is a brilliant artist that most people either love or hate, but there is no denying that she is a brilliant singer, actress and career strategist.
Madonna is a brilliant artist that most people either love or hate, but there is no denying that she is a brilliant singer, actress and career strategist.

Madonna: A Brilliant Woman Who Counts Her Blessings

Madonna Louise Ciccone was born in Michigan and is a professional boundary pusher. She is also a master at the reinvention of self and is a seven-time Grammy award-winning artist who has sold over 300 million records and CDs. She literally dominated the music world in the 1980's and yet was selected as Billboard Magazine's Woman of the Year for 2016. That is the epitomy of staying power in the entertainment industry.

In her acceptance speech for the prestigious award, she said this: "I think the most controversial thing I have ever done is to stick around. Michael (Jackson) is gone. Tupac (Shakur) is gone. Prince is gone. Whitney (Houston) is gone. Amy Winehouse is gone. David Bowie is gone. But I'm still standing. I'm one of the lucky ones and every day I count my blessings."

One element of Madonna's career that really takes center stage is how many times she's reinvented herself. It's easier to stay in one look, one comfort zone, one musical style. It's inspiring to see someone whose only predictable quality is being unpredictable.

— Taylor Swift, Two-Time Winner of Billboard Magazine's "Woman of the Year" Award

3 of the 10 Winners Have Been From Texas

The winners of Billboard Magazine's Woman of the Year award were born in various places across the United States, but three of the 10 recipients hail from the state of Texas, which speaks well of the state famous for cowboys and longhorns. The women from The Lone Star State who have won the award include the following:

  1. Selena Gomez
  2. Ciara
  3. Beyonce'

Lady Gaga (2015)

Lady Gaga - the more outrageous she gets, the more popular she becomes.
Lady Gaga - the more outrageous she gets, the more popular she becomes.

Lady Gaga: Outlandish Fashion Sense Is Part of Her Appeal

The 2015 recipient of the award was born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, but is known professionally as Lady Gaga, an entertainer who has proven to be highly innovative - enough to become one of the best-selling music artists of all time. Unlike many others, she is not without training in performing arts, having studied method acting at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York City for ten years. At the age of 17, she was admitted to the Collaborative Arts Project 21 (CAP21), a music school at New York University (NYU)'s Tisch School of the Arts. She withdrew from NYU during her second semester to focus on her music career.

Her live performances have featured constant costume changes; and her outlandish fashion style is a part of her overall appeal to the millions of people who are her fans.

To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.

— Reba McEntire, First Recipient of Billboard Magazine's "Woman of the Year" Award

Taylor Swift (2014) and (2011)

As of this writing, Taylor Swift is the only woman to have won Billboard Magazine's Woman of the Year award twice - in 2011 and 2014.
As of this writing, Taylor Swift is the only woman to have won Billboard Magazine's Woman of the Year award twice - in 2011 and 2014.

Taylor Swift's Love Life

If you went looking for the exact opposite to Madonna or Lady Gaga, you might just run across the squeaky-clean singer Taylor Swift, who is the only woman to have won this award twice - in 2011 and in 2014.

Her award-winning songs have been stories of her personal relationships - how her heart was broken, and of the hearts she broke - while dating various men. Those songs, however, landed her on the Rolling Stone Magazine's "100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time" list in 2015, a position that most songwriters only dream about. On that list, she was placed within the ranks of legendary performers such as James Taylor, the Bee Gees, Paul McCartney, Willie Nelson, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Dolly Parton, Hank Williams and Bob Dylan (#1 on the list).

Swift has also won 10 Grammy awards, an Emmy, 21 Billboard Music awards, 12 Country Music Association awards, eight Academy of Country Music awards; and she holds five Guinness World Records.

Her accomplishments in the music industry are enough to fill a large book and we have barely scraped the tip of the iceberg with this article.

One thing I've learned is that I'm not the owner of my talent; I'm the manager of it.

— Madonna

Pink (2013)

Alecia Beth Moore has been known as Pink since she was about 14 years old. She has named Madonna and Janis Joplin as her greatest musical influences.  In 2000, she was named ‘Best New Pop Artist’ at the Billboard Music Awards.
Alecia Beth Moore has been known as Pink since she was about 14 years old. She has named Madonna and Janis Joplin as her greatest musical influences. In 2000, she was named ‘Best New Pop Artist’ at the Billboard Music Awards.

Katy Perry (2012)

Katy Perry pursued a gospel music singing career in her teens, and her first album was released under her birth name, Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson.  Her stream of hits began in 2008, and today she is one of the best-selling music artists of all time.
Katy Perry pursued a gospel music singing career in her teens, and her first album was released under her birth name, Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson. Her stream of hits began in 2008, and today she is one of the best-selling music artists of all time.

Music is one of the most powerful things the world has to offer. No matter what race or religion or nationality or sexual orientation or gender that you are, it has the power to unite us.

— Lady Gaga

Fergie (2010)

Fergie is the female vocalist for The Black Eyed Peas, with whom she has achieved chart success worldwide.  She has also enjoyed a long string of solo singles, along with many more hits with the Peas. Her latest solo album was released in 2017.
Fergie is the female vocalist for The Black Eyed Peas, with whom she has achieved chart success worldwide. She has also enjoyed a long string of solo singles, along with many more hits with the Peas. Her latest solo album was released in 2017.

Beyonce' (2009)

Beyonce's fame began in the 1990's when she was the lead singer for the all-girl group Destiny's Child.  The group broke up in 2006, starting her career as a solo artist.  She has won five Grammy awards since that time.
Beyonce's fame began in the 1990's when she was the lead singer for the all-girl group Destiny's Child. The group broke up in 2006, starting her career as a solo artist. She has won five Grammy awards since that time.

Who I am on stage is very, very different to who I am in real life.

— Beyonce'

Ciara (2008)

Ciara's debut album, Goodies, was certified triple platinum (3 million in sales) by the Recording Industry Association of America. Her second studio album, 2006's Ciara: The Evolution, was #1 on the pop charts and went platinum.
Ciara's debut album, Goodies, was certified triple platinum (3 million in sales) by the Recording Industry Association of America. Her second studio album, 2006's Ciara: The Evolution, was #1 on the pop charts and went platinum.

Reba McEntire (2007)

You may have never heard of The Singing McEntires, but that is where Reba got her start - singing with two of her siblings in McAlester, Oklahoma.  Her accomplishments as a singer and an actress are enough to fill volumes.
You may have never heard of The Singing McEntires, but that is where Reba got her start - singing with two of her siblings in McAlester, Oklahoma. Her accomplishments as a singer and an actress are enough to fill volumes.

© 2018 Mike and Dorothy McKenney

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    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Beautiful photos and Selena Gomez is my best.

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