If it wasn't already evident by the sheer number of astounding players and creators already gracing music culture, the power and outreach of female musicians is certainly documented by the growing popularity of the She Rocks Awards.
Conceived by Women's International Music Network founder Laura Whitmore, the She Rocks Awards kicked off in 2012 as a partnership with Guitar Player's parent company, NewBay Media. Back then, it was mainly held as part of a breakfast conference at NAMM. Today, it has evolved into an event as well-produced as the Grammys or Billboard Awards. (NewBay Media continues to help sponsor the big show, but is no longer an active partner.) The awards are still held during the NAMM show, but the venue has been upgraded quite a bit from a conference room at the Anaheim Hilton, and now rocks out at The House of Blues Anaheim.
The 2018 awards were co-hosted by Whitmore and KROQ Los Angeles radio personality Kat Corbett.
Here is a look at the winners and rave-ups unleashed at the 6th Annual She Rocks Awards bash on January 26, 2018...
Legend Award: Pat Benatar
Unfortunately, the rock legend had to bow out at almost curtain time, but Tish Ciravolo of Daisy Rock Guitars accepted the award in her behalf.
Dreaming Out Loud Award: Exene Cervenka
The singer, artist, and poet, who celebrated her band X's 40th anniversary last year, had a typically punk-ish quote about the award. "It was all men and women mixed together," she said about her start in the Los Angeles punk scene. "We didn't think about it. It was just people." Still, she offered that a "women's night is great."
Inspire Award: Fanny
Fanny guitarist June Millington was first profiled in GP back in 1973, she has topped the magazine's "top player" lists for years, and, hey, the late David Bowie was a big fan of the band she started with her sister Jean on bass. Fanny is still rocking, and a new album, Fanny Walked the Earth, is slated for release in March.
Icon Award: Melissa Etheridge
Etheridge gave AXS a quote that she'd still be singing and playing whether she got awards or sold tons of records—a sentiment many musicians share. "It's not a question of persevering, it's a question of you do something, you love it," she told AXS reporter Sari Cohen. "When other people happen to love it, all of a sudden, it's a great thing that you can do for the rest of your life."
Vanguard Award: Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson
Like Cervenka, the B-52s singers were also celebrating four decades of making music. Their unique approaches to lead vocals and background vocal parts blew minds back in the early days of their band, and almost single-handedly paved the way for crazed and creative singers to follow their bizarre muses, wherever the musical journey might lead.
Other artists, journalists, and music and manufacturing execs honored at the show included:
• Karla Redding-Andrews, Executive Director for The Otis Redding Foundation
• Amberly Crouse-Knox, Senior Director, Creative and Business Development, BMG Production Music
• Candace Stewart, Studio Manager, EastWest Studios in Hollywood
• Dawn Birr, Channel Manager for the Americas, Sennheiser Business Solutions
• Fabi Reyna, Founder and Editor of She Shreds Media
• Vanessa Mering, Marketing Manager, HARMAN Professional
• Kristy Porter, Guitar Center’s Director of Merchandising, General Accessories & Media
The 2018 She Rocks Awards Finale