As she accepted her Rulebreaker Award trophy at the 2023 Billboard Women in Music Awards ceremony on Wednesday night (March 1), Lainey Wilson reflected on her outside-the-box journey to country music stardom and applauded her fellow female “rulebreakers.”
“This award right here is for all the women who do things their way,” Wilson said from the stage, in between cheers from the crowd.
“The ones who are not afraid to go against the grain and paint outside of the lines. The ones who take no on the nose and somehow turn it into a yes,” the singer continued. “I am so inspired by the women who lean into the things that make them different and unique, and I am so blessed to be surrounded by women who have lifted me up and helped me believe that I could break through glass ceilings.”
As she reflected on the decade-plus of sweat equity that led her to success, Wilson dropped a cuss word at the podium.
“I’ll you what, this s–t is not for the faint of heart,” she told the crowd with a laugh. “All the women who are coming on this stage and in this room here tonight, being honored, can testify.”
At the 2023 Billboard Women in Music Awards, Wilson became the first country artist ever to receive the Rulebreaker Award — a category that celebrates female acts defying traditional expectations and norms within their industry and spreading a positive message through their work. The award has been given out annually since 2015, when Demi Lovato was the first to receive it.
On the awards show carpet, Wilson reflected further on what being a “rulebreaker” means to her.
“I feel like I have gone against the grain. I feel like I have kept my blinders on and not worried about what anybody else is doing, on either side of me. I’ve had a lot of opinions — a lot of people tell me what I need to be, what I don’t need to be — but I’ve had a hard time being anything other than myself,” she reflected.
“I’ve been in Nashville for 12 years trying to do this thing. It’s a cool feeling and a sense of freedom, knowing I have not been anything other than myself, and I’ve done things the way I wanna do ’em,” Wilson added.
“I’m the rulebreaker — we’re gonna be breaking some rules tonight!” she joked.
Wilson was the only country honoree at Wednesday night’s ceremony. Others receiving trophies included Becky G, Doechii, Ivy Queen, Kim Petras, Latto, Lana Del Rey and Twice. Writer and actor Quinta Brunson hosted the event, which took place at the YouTube Theater at Hollywood Park in Los Angeles.
10 Country Artists Who Won 2022
We know who won the 2022 ACM and CMA Awards, and we know which country artists won country radio and streaming airplay battles. Who won 2022?
That’s a fairly big question, but when we asked our friends on social media, a few names came back consistently. These 10 artists elevated their careers to new heights in 2022, so while our No. 1 winner didn’t spend the most weeks at No. 1 or dominate sales charts, her career took off like a rocket. Scroll down to see the full list.