Swizz beatz, michelle williams, and rico love at the SESAC awards Swizz beatz, michelle williams, and rico love at the SESAC awards

Michelle Williams, Swizz Beats and More Honor Songwriters at SESAC Pop Awards

Swizz beatz, michelle williams, and rico love at the SESAC awards

Swizz Beatz, Michelle Williams, and Rico Love at the SESAC awards.

"What's a song without lyrics?" This question echoed throughout the evening as the 2013 SESAC Pop Music Awards honored songwriters with heartfelt speeches, musical performances and fine dining.

Some of the industry's biggest names—Michelle Williams, Swizz Beatz, Melanie Fiona—praised the pens behind the hits. "People like Whitney Houston and Luther Vandross didn’t write their songs, but they connected to people and they had writers gifted enough to tell their story in a way that was believable," said PJ Morton, a R&B songwriter and Maroon 5's newest keyboardist. Rico Love, Nate "Danja" Hills, Nikhil Seetharam, Jacob Luttrell, Psy and more were recognized for writing hit songs in 2012.   

Andy Allo, Melanie Fiona, Angela Hunte and Michelle Williams attend 2013 SESAC Pop Music Awards

Andy Allo, Melanie Fiona, Angela Hunte and Michelle Williams attend SESAC Awards.

Guests agreed that writers seldom receive proper praise for a song's success. "We’re probably the most under credited people in the business, yet it all starts with us," said Angela Hunte, a Grammy-winning SESAC songwriter. Hunte has worked with the likes of Miley Cyrus, Snoop Lion and helped pen Alicia Keys' NY anthem "Empire State of Mind" (when asked what inspired her, she simply replied, "New York. Is that corny?").

By the end of the night, Rico Love swept the house, walking away with awards for songs like "Heart Attack" by Trey Songz, "Mr. Wrong" by Mary J. Blige, Melanie Fiona's "4 AM," Kelly Rowland's "Motivation" and the coveted title of Songwriter of the Year. Michelle Williams presented the latter honor. "Sometimes as artists we know what we want to say, but sometimes it takes another writer," she said.

Daniel Glass, CEO and Founder of Glass Note Records and the evening's prestigious Visionary Award honoree, left the crowd with expressions of gratitude for the award: "It's the ultimate honor. I’ve learned from the beginning of my career to protect and really embrace and love what songwriters do, and I think that’s what SESAC does.” —Stacy-Ann Ellis

Photo Credit: Johnny Nunez and Shawn Ehlers

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During her speech for the Rule Breaker award, singer-songwriter recalled today's climate, asking her peers and those watching at home for a little bit of peace.

"I'm sorry for the state of the world honestly, for everybody in this room and I pray that all of us just get through it a little bit easier and just try not to lash out at each other," she said.

The recurring theme of unity among women was also heard on the carpet from artists like Tierra Whack. In addition to her message of love, the "Broken Clocks" singer also thanked her TDE family for rocking with her creative process.

"I'm just so thankful for everybody having patience with me, " she said. Shouting out the key members of her family in attendance, the TDE affiliate gave praise to her mother, father, and grandma. In this brief speech centered around the artist's growth Solána Imani Rowe, known more commonly as her stage name, Rowe everyone for their trust in her.

"I'm grateful for everybody taking the time to have the patience to watch someone grow, it is painful and sometimes exciting but mostly boring. And I am thankful for Top (Top Dawg Entertainment's Anthony Tiffith) for not dropping me from that label. For Peter, who I change my ideas every day and he be like okay I like this," she continued.

Thanking the likes of musical powerhouses like Alicia Keys and Whack, "The Weekend" singer offered her appreciation and condolences to Ariana Grande.

Watch SZA accept the Rule Breaker award above.

READ MORE: Anderson .Paak, Tierra Whack And More Praise Female Artists At 2018 Billboard Women In Music

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Beyoncé, Rihanna, And J. Lo Make Forbes’ Highest-Paid Women In Music List

As November comes to a close, many publications will be crafting their year-end lists for all things pop culture. Forbes released a ranking of the world's highest-paid women in music on Monday (Nov. 19), with Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, and Rihanna holding it down for women of color.

Beyoncé comes in at No. 3 on the list with an earning of $60 million as she made most of her money through her historical Coachella performance, the joint album with husband JAY-Z, Everything is Love, and the Carters' On The Run II Tour in support of its release.

Jennifer Lopez made No. 6 for earnings tallying of over $47 million thanks to her lucrative Las Vegas residency, endorsements, and shows including World of Dance where she serves as a judge.

Rihanna follows behind the "Love Don't Cost A Thing" diva at No. 7 with earnings of over $37.5 million. Although she hasn't toured since 2016—thanks to her cosmetics and lingerie lines, Fenty Beauty and Savage Lingerie—the Bajan pop star has been keeping herself busy.

Forbes' annual list (which factors in pretax earnings from June 1, 2017, through June 1, 2018) has placed Katy Perry at the top with over $83 million in profits due to her gig as an American Idol judge and her 80-date Witness: The Tour that brought in an estimated $1 million per night.

Scroll down to see Forbes' full list below.

Katy Perry ($83 million) Taylor Swift ($80 million) Beyoncé ($60 million) P!nk ($52 million) Lady Gaga ($50 million) Jennifer Lopez ($47 million) Rihanna ($37.5 million) Helene Fischer ($32 million) Celine Dion ($31 million) Britney Spears ($30 million)

 

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Kelly Rowland Hops In Her Bag With New Single "Kelly"

Kelly Rowland has it all and isn't afraid to brag about it on her new single, "Kelly."

Released Thursday (Nov. 22), the singer goes the clubby, confident route while rightfully dropping her attributes like her relationship with God, smoldering looks (a.k.a the drip) among other things. With "Kelly" being the first single since her 2013's Talk a Good Game, the singer comes out swinging, reminding everyone of her power in the game.

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“It’s about love, loss, and gain and whether it’s professional or with family or whatever, it’s just honest," she said. "I had no choice but to be honest and authentic with this record: it’s about friendship and marriage.”

She also explained a drop in confidence caused her hiatus. “I was thinking about pulling back from recording, but I couldn’t help myself: I still wanted to record. I still felt like I was missing something. The third year just came and left so fast. The fourth year I said: ‘I have to get to work’ and now I’m ready to release some music! I felt like I wasted so much time, and it was my husband who actually called me out on it. He said: ‘Babe, as great as those records were, I think you were nervous, you got gun-shy’, and when he said that it was like boom, a gong went off.”

Glad to have you back, Ms. Kelly. Listen to the eponymous record up top.

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