Inside the 2024 Billboard Women in Music event

Check out all the behind-the-scenes moments from Billboard’s biggest awards night celebrating women.

(Left to right) Billboard's Rania Aniftos and actress Tracee Ellis Ross enjoy a pre-show interview moment ahead of Wednesday night's Billboard Woman in Music event, where Ellis Ross served as show host. (Photo credit: Screenshot/

Billboard Women in Music is an annual awards production that showcases a little bit of everything: There are performances of beautiful ballads and up-tempo singles, stunning hairstyles and gorgeous gowns, tributes to music legends and new artists alike, plus so much more. Most importantly, the ceremony recognizes the women in the music industry who are breaking down barriers, and this year’s show was no different. 

The 2024 Billboard Women in Music event honored some of our faves, including Tems, Victoria Monét and Ice Spice. Hosted by Tracee Ellis Ross, the awards show was full of entertainment, laughs — even a few surprises. TheGrio was in the room at the YouTube Theater in Inglewood, California, on Wednesday night to see all the magic on stage. Keep reading for the top behind-the-scenes moments from this year’s Billboard Women in Music. 

Tracee’s hair spectacular

Tracee Ellis Ross is a haircare co. CEO, and her love of all things hair was on display at the Billboard Women in Music awards. The actress-hostess debuted a supersized, textured updo to start off the show, and she made sure to shout out her unique look. 

“I feel so at home in this environment. And by ‘at home,’ I mean on the stage with a captive audience,” she jokingly said. “Since I have you here — captive — I thought maybe you guys could take a moment, as I walk, to just gander at my hair. Not that you could miss it. Please take it in, in all its splendor. Is it splendid? Is it splend-ing?” The audience was very much in on the joke, laughing out loud and applauding enthusiastically. We love a Tracee Ellis Ross moment!

On my mama

Victoria Monét’s 2024 is off to a beautiful start. The 34-year-old singer is sitting on top of the world with three Grammy wins, a chart-topping single, a gorgeous baby girl and a brand new Billboard Women in Music Rising Star trophy. Just when you thought things couldn’t get any better for Monét, her mother surprised her with the sweetest speech at Wednesday’s show. 

Monét — and the audience — had no idea her mom, L’Tanya Chestang Cubit, was going to present her with her Billboard honor, and the moment was too cute. The singer ran across the stage to give her mother a huge hug after Cubit gushed about how proud she is of her daughter.

“I remember how you were a little girl, and you were too shy to tell your teacher that you did not have a seat,” Cubit said while holding Monét’s hand. “So, you sat with your knees bent, and legs crossed, and pretended you had a chair. Baby girl, not only do you have a seat at the table, but it’s front and center.” Awww!

Tems’ biggest fan

Speaking of surprises, the Billboard audience was shocked when Savannah James, entrepreneur and wife of NBA icon LeBron James, graced the stage toward the end of the show. One of Tems’ biggest fans, Savannah was there to present the Nigerian singer with the 2024 Breakthrough Award. The mother of three was not previously listed as a presenter, and fans were thrilled to see Savannah in all her glory. 

Savannah’s appearance was followed by a beautiful performance from Tems that received a rousing round of applause. “Beyond the awards and collaborations,” said the extra-special guest, “it all comes back to that voice — rich, resonant, undeniable.” We couldn’t agree with Savannah more!

Keeping it spicy

Ice Spice was arguably the biggest artist in the room, based on the audience’s reaction whenever she was shown on screen or on stage. The 24-year-old rapper received cheers, applause and fans screaming “I love you, Ice Spice!” as soon as they got a glimpse of her signature orange-red hair and standout style. Sadly, Ice Spice was one of the honorees who did not perform at Billboard Women in Music, but she did accept her honor with the spicy flair that we’ve all come to know and love. 

“My corset is really tight so I can barely breathe,” she shared. “I want to thank my mother for being the best woman ever. Shoutout to all the women in the Bronx. Shoutout to all the women in New York. Shoutout to all the women in this building right now — y’all look really pretty. Thank you so much, you guys.” 

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