Jessika Laudermilk Talks Rising Star Honoree Victoria Monét, Empowering Women & More | Billboard Women in Music 2024

Billboard host Lyndsey Havens caught up with Honda’s AVP of Marketing, Jessika Laudermilk, on the 2024 Women in Music Awards’ red carpet. During the evening’s programming, Honda proudly presented the Rising Star Award for the fifth consecutive year, honoring Victoria Monét. In an exclusive interview, Laudermilk articulated Honda’s deep-seated belief in nurturing aspiring artists, emphasizing the brand’s unwavering dedication to fueling dreams within the music industry. Through partnerships with Billboard and initiatives like Honda Stage, Honda empowers emerging artists, providing them with a platform to amplify their voices and connect with audiences worldwide. As Laudermilk embodies female empowerment within the automotive industry, her advice resonates as a beacon of inspiration for women everywhere: stay true to oneself, persevere, and break through barriers. With her daughters by her side at the event, Laudermilk epitomized the spirit of the celebration, where dreams take center stage and the future of music shines brightly. 

Take a look at the conversation below:

Host: We’re so happy to have you here. So Honda is presenting the Rising Star award to Victoria Monét this year. Tell me a little bit about why it’s so important to be a part of presenting that award.

Jessika Laudermilk: Well, Honda is so excited to be here tonight at the Billboard Women in Music Awards to celebrate women as they pursue their dreams within the music industry. And  for five years now, Honda has had the honor to recognize rising up-and-coming women artists in the industry and really help fuel the ambitions of these young artists as they pursue their dreams. And it’s a great connection to Honda, as one of our biggest philosophies is the power of dreams. And so, it’s been inspirational to watch all of these past rising star winners as they continue to pursue their dreams within the industry, going back to Rosalia, to Gabby Barrett a few years ago, to last year’s winner with Doechii. So, this year’s winner of the Rising Star award really is a perfect embodiment of female empowerment: Victoria Monét and we are so excited for her to win this award tonight as she is a perfect example of a woman breaking down barriers and pursuing her dreams. And it’s also inspirational just to continue to see, and we hope that this award is one that young artists will be inspired to win and also an inspiration for young women who will be watching this award show tonight.

Host: How else does Honda empower women, especially young women, throughout their career, whether they’re in entertainment or something?

Jessika Laundermilk:Honda has had a long history over two decades of supporting women and music platforms within our brand. And whether it is through Honda Stage, we’re here tonight as a partner with Billboard to help bring the Billboard Women in Music to all of you, and we’ve also partnered with Billboard to support our Honda Stage initiative. And just this year alone, we have four different female artists through the Honda Stage, where it’s a really unique platform where we can bring unique content to their fans, but also giving these up-and-coming artists a new platform to be able to reach new audiences and help them break through to the music industry. We also have other events and programming that we work with called Dreamlab, where we work with different female artists and also through the Honda Civic tour. So, we have a lot of investments with music as it really is a great correlation to our brand and our message as we see these young artists trying to pursue their dreams.

Host: As a woman yourself working in the automotive industry, what advice or wisdom would you have for other women?

Jessika Laudermilk:It has been a great ride being a female in a very male dominated industry, as music is, too. And I love to be that example for my daughters who I brought here tonight, and other women throughout the company. And I would say, as advice, always stay true to who you are and to never give up on that and to always try to break through to what the next step is.

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