Bad Bunny Honors Ivy Queen During Surprise Appearance at Billboard Women in Music

Twenty years after entering the Billboard charts for the first time with “Quiero Bailar” (2003), Ivy Queen was honored with the Women In Music Icon award at the 2023 Billboard Women in Music on Wednesday (March 1).

The 50-year-old Puerto Rican rapper — who to date has 20 entries on Latin Rhythm Airplay chart, among other accolades — was presented with the coveted award by Bad Bunny, who during his presentation said he is the artist he is today because he has a part of Ivy Queen in his musical DNA. “She gave me the strength to be myself and to work double,” he said. 

“As a fan of reggaetón, I’ve waited a long time for this moment,” he continued, “and I think that in 2023 is the time where more female reggaeton exponents exist, and I’m sure it’s because of the root that Ivy planted a long time ago.” 

Dazzling in an all-silver, body-hugging gown, Queen accepted the award, giving an empowering speech. 

“When I fell in love with music I found myself constanly battling to earn my spot, to earn my own lane, and to find my own identity between the guys,” she said. “The movement was underground, then turned reggaeton. I traveled around the island of Puerto Rico measuring my skills against male MCs. Bars became my self-defense mechanism. Through lyrics, I encouraged other Latinas that stand around me to stand for themself and also to not stay quiet when something hurts. I call upon all the Latin and industry women to not allow others to split us and divide us no more. … Let’s stay authentic, let’s stay healthy, let’s walk with grace, let’s laugh more but also remember that beauty is a mental attitude, and with that said, please, ladies, do not go to bed with makeup tonight, OK?”


In addition to Ivy, this year’s honorees included SZA (Billboard’s Woman of the Year); Becky G (Impact Award); Lana Del Rey (Visionary Award); Kim Petras (Chartbreaker Award); Latto (Powerhouse Award); Honda’s Rising Star Doechii; Lainey Wilson (Rulebreaker); Rosalia (Bose’s Producer of the Year Award); and K-pop group TWICE (Breakthrough Award).

Billboard’s annual Women in Music awards returned Wednesday (March 1) for the 2023 edition to honor the most influential powerhouses – including artists, creators, producers and executives — in music today who are contributing to the industry and community. The ceremony took place at the YouTube Theater at Hollywood Park in Los Angeles, and was hosted by award-winning writer-actress Quinta Brunson.

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