From Billie Holiday to Beyoncé, from Helen Reddy singing “I Am Woman” to Taylor Swift proclaiming herself “The Man,” female voices have been the soundtrack to change, evolution, and revolution. With March being Women’s History Month, it’s time to celebrate the women who continue to inspire greatness through their art. HollywoodLife has put together an epic playlist — featuring Dua Lipa, DeJ Loaf, Gwen Stefani, Rihanna, and more of your faves – to help honor those who paved the way and those continuing to shatter records (and glass ceilings) today.
From the very beginning, women have been breaking records and blazing paths. At the first Grammy Awards ceremony in 1959, Ella Fitzgerald won two awards, making her both the first Black woman to win a Grammy and the first woman to win multiple Grammys. Keely Smith, Salli Terry, Barbara Cook, Pert Kelton, Helen Raymond, and Renata Tebaldi also took home awards that night, per the Grammy’s official website. Astrud Gilberto became the first woman to win an award in the General Field – Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year, and Best New Artist – taking home Record of the Year for “The Girl From Ipanema” in 1964. Carol King became the first woman to win Song Of The Year for “You Got A Friend” in 1971. Bobbie Gentry was the first female Best New Artist, and Julie Garland became the first woman to win Album of the Year in 1961 for Judy At Carnegie Hall. Billie Eilish became the youngest artist – and the first female – to win all four major categories in 2020.
Of course, it’s not all Grammys. Women have been dominating on the charts, too. After Ariana Grande released Thank U, Next, she became the first artist since The Beatles to hold the top three spots on the Billboard Hot 100. (“7 Rings,” “Break Up with Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored,” and “Thank U, Next,” in that order.)
Beyoncé — who as of 2021 is on her way to possibly becoming the woman with the most Grammys (bluegrass artist Alison Krauss has the record with 27, with Bey at 22) – tied Frank Sinatra with having the most Record of the Year nominations in the award’s history (seven for each.) Bey is also the first Black woman to headline Coachella (and arguably, the best artist to headline.) She’s also the first artist to have her fist six albums debut at No. 1, the most-nominated woman in Grammy history, and the first woman to win six Grammys in one night. She’s also a living icon, a culture powerhouse, and arguably the most powerful voice in pop culture.
Lady Gaga pulled off a Grand Slam, of sorts, in 2019, becoming the first women in history to win an Oscar (Best Original Song, “Shallow”), a Grammy (Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, Best Song Written for Visual Media), a Golden Globe (Best Original Song, “Shallow), and a BAFTA (Best Film Music) within the same year. Taylor Swift also shattered countless records with 2020’s folklore, including most cumulative weeks at No. 1 by a woman. She also became the first artist in history to debut a song (“Cardigan”) and album (folklore) at No. 1 simultaneously, per PopCrave.
Blast the playlist above throughout March. Happy Women’s History Month!