Latto tore down the stage at the YouTube Theater in Los Angeles March 1, in honor of the 2023 Billboard Women in Music event. The self-proclaimed “Clay-Co Queen” gave an energetic performance of her new single “Lottery” right before she accepted the Powerhouse Award.
The converted honor recognizes women who have made outstanding contributions to the music industry. It also celebrates artists who have dominated in their respective genres via streaming, sales and radio.
On Wednesday, the 24-year-old was presented the award by Rising Star honoree Chlöe Bailey, who called the Georgia native “a force to be reckoned with,” “an icon for young women everywhere” and “the personification of a powerhouse,” according to Billboard.
Before launching into an emotional speech, Latto praised past Powerhouse honorees Megan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat for paving the way for her to dream big.
“Megan Thee Stallion won this award, Doja Cat won this award. It’s crazy because I’m fans of my peers and they’re now my peers,” Latto said.
“All the inspiring women who paved the way for me and all the women that there are to come. I’m grateful to be a part of this new wave of female rap and baby, we kickin’ down the door and we ain’t- takin’ no for an answer.”
Latto’s meteoric rise to fame
In 2022, the rapper dropped her viral hit “Big Energy,” the lead single from her second studio album, 777. The song, the star’s highest-charting single to date, peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 after its debut.
Latto’s bold bars and infectious flow have earned her several nominations in just a short time, including one for Best New Hip Hop Artist at the 2020 BET Hip Hop Awards and the Top Rap Female Artist at the 2022 Billboard Music Awards.
In 2022, the rapper, whose real name is Alyssa Michelle Stephens, received a Grammy nod and she made history, too. She became the first female rapper to have a number one record grace pop, urban and radio stations with her smash hit “Big Energy.” According to her label’s website, Latto is the first female artist in 12 years to accomplish the big feat.
It may feel as though Latto has hit the jackpot over the last year, but her career certainly didn’t blossom by luck. It’s taken hard work and dedication. And there’s much more in store for the thriving femcee.
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