Paramore’s Hayley Williams will be honored with the first-ever Billboard Trailblazer Award at this year’s ninth annual Billboard Women in Music Awards. The singer/songwriter joins Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande and Idina Menzel as the recipients announced for the Dec. 12 New York City event so far.
Taylor Swift will be honored with the Woman of the Year award, Ariana Grande will receive the Rising Star award and and Idina Menzel is the award’s first-ever Breakthrough Artist of the Year. Williams’ Trailblazer Award honors a standout female artist who breaks from convention to make a unique mark in music and pave the way for other talent.
“I can remember a time when I would’ve been made fun of for doing things differently. Now I’m getting an award for it? This is too much. I’m so excited!” says Williams. “There are women in this industry who totally bulldozed walls down for the likes of me to come along and do what I believe in. I want to be that for even one girl in the future. I can’t wait for the event next month and to high-five some of my sisters in music.”
With Paramore, Williams has hit the Billboard 200 album chart four times, including their self-titled release this year that became their first No. 1 in April. They also broke into the Hot 100 top 10 with the track “Aint It Fun,” which reached No. 10 in May. She has also collaborated with B.o.B on his 2010 hit “Airplanes” and Zedd’s 2014 single “Stay the Night.”
“Trailblazers like Hayley are exciting to follow because they are risk takers, and we are pleased to honor her creativity and success this year,” said Janice Min, co-president and chief creative officer of Guggenheim Media’s Entertainment Group, which consists of Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter. “We’ve watched her progress and climb the charts as a soloist and lead singer for several years, and we look forward to seeing what she comes up with next.”
Recipients of the Billboard Icon Award and Country Artist of the Year will be announced in coming weeks.