Photo Credit: Andie Mills
Hosted by the Women’s International Music Network (the WiMN), the seventh annual She Rocks Awards took over the House of Blues Anaheim on Friday Jan. 25. The gala celebration, which happens during the NAMM conference at the Anaheim Convention Center, celebrates women in music with performances from Grammy winners Lisa Loeb, saxophonist Mindi Abair and Erika Ender who performed her own stripped down version of the smash hit “Despacito” which she co-wrote with Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee.
Following performances from London-based rock duo Rews and Abair’s rendition of “Pretty Good For a Girl,” Women’s International Music Network founder Laura B. Whitmore took to the stage to welcome the packed house.
“We are here to share, enlighten and empower women in the industry,” Whitmore said. “Yes, we’ve made progress, but we can’t stop now.”
Whitemore’s sentiment rang throughout the evening as award recipients were honored on stage by coworkers and longtime friends in the music industry. The awards honored numerous women in the music industry from behind-the-scenes-professionals to legends and hitmakers. Audio industry veteran Samantha Pink was awarded the Excellence award, Reverb’s art director Lynnette Sage was presented the Innovator award, vp and c0-founder of Tech 21 Dale Krevens received the Mad Skills award, AEG’s vp of global content and development Dana DuFine was given the Powerhouse award and Terri Nunn was honored with the Icon award.
“For me, being a woman is a blessing,” said Enders when receiving the Dream Out Loud award. “Women have amazing superpowers such as unconditional love and empathy. We’re able to do a lot of things at the same time. We have that versatility…We are capable of delivering great results, but most of all we do everything from the bottom of our hearts.”
Enders added, “We need to compete less, share and unite more, and collaborate among us. And collaborate with men as well. I don’t believe in fighting against, I believe in building together. There is nothing more empowering than women empowering other women.”
Speaking the prominence of music in everyone’s daily lives, Campion award recipient Terri Winston stressed the fact that there are so few women with input on the sounds people here so often.
“Women’s ideas, thoughts, perspectives, points of views aren’t being heard because we aren’t in the room during production,” Winston said. “We aren’t in the room to make sure that is what we want to hear. We aren’t in the room to decide if that is what we want our daughters to hear.”
LA-born guitarist Nita Strauss received the Inspire Award which was presented to her by Sweetwater’s Nick Bowcott and former member of Frank Zappa’s band and Whitesnake guitarist Steve Vai. Strauss, along with all of the other night’s performers, was backed by the evening’s all-female house band Rock Sugah.
The evening concluded with the night’s top honorees. While Macy Gray was unable to accept her Vision award in person, local Los Angeles news anchor and the event’s co-host alongside SiriusXM’s Lyndsey Parker, Christine Devine accepted on her behalf. Gray’s hit “I Try” was performed by Nashville-based artist Laura Clapp.
Platinum-selling singer/songwriter Lisa Loeb was presented with the Spirit award by hit songwriter Shelly Peiken and one of Billboard’s Women in Music executives of the year Michelle Lewis.
“I never liked being separated out as a girl who plays guitar, a woman musician. To me, I’ve always thought of myself as a person who is a musician,” Loeb said. “That being said, over the decades of being a professional musician, I have embraced the community of women in our industry. I have come to cherish being a part of this creative, strong, persistent, beautiful, multitasking group of women.”
Along with fellow singer/songwriters Command Sisters, Loeb played her early hit “Stay” before performing a solo rendition of her song “Say Hello” from her 2018 Grammy-winning children’s album Feel What U Feel.