Boxx couldn’t let the year end without taking a look back at music’s high notes. From our favorite albums and music videos to the breakthroughs and comebacks we didn’t see coming, our critics have assembled a yearbook of Top 10 lists. Today, we list our favorite 10 Fem-Powered Moments of 2013 (in no particular order). From Bikini Kill to Sleater-Kinney, female artists have long been fighting for their right to rock. This year marked many a meaningful moment for women in music, and we think it’s something worth celebrating. Stay tuned in the days ahead for more coverage, culminating in our 2014 preview.
Feminists Respond to Robin Thicke’s Sexist Video
Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” music video may have broken the Internet—but for all the wrong reasons. Sporting naked models and misogynistic lyrics, the video sparked an important conversation about rape culture and consent—as well as a wildfire of memes and parodies. This one from Auckland University law students was definitely our favorite.
Artists Come Together For Breast Cancer
Over 60 musicians—both male and female—created one-of-a-kind Converse sneakers to auction off as part of Warner Music Australia’s In Their Shoes initiative. All proceeds raised went to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Angel Haze Releases a Powerfully Personal Take on “Same Love”
Breathing personal perspective into the LGBT anthem, openly bisexual rapper Angel Haze coveredMacklemore and Ryan Lewis’s “Same Love” as part of her 30 Gold remix series. The song details Haze’s coming out struggles, capturing the transition from painful acceptance to proud declaration. With the abolishment of Prop 8 and DOMA earlier this year, the track reflects one of 2013’s most striking sentiments.
P!nk Wins Woman of the Year at Billboard’s Women in Music Awards
Not only did the pop rock superstar win Billboard’s Woman of the Year award for her badass accomplishments and incredible success—she gave a killer speech. “I wish that girls embraced their power and words and value in their youth, and not sell it or barter it and have to buy it back later in life,” she said. “I wish for my daughter to grow up in a world where wonderful publications like Billboard celebrate them for their originality and individuality and willingness be to be themselves, and the courage to be scary and get shit done. I wish for women to stop apologizing for those very things that make us women.” Amen, sista.
Katy Perry Duets With an Autistic 11-year-old
A young girl living with autism, Jodi DiPiazza uses music to connect with the world, citing Katy Perry as her favorite singer. As part of Comedy Central’s Night Of Too Many Stars benefit for autism programs, Perry teamed up with DiPiazza for a tear-jerking rendition of the star’s hit song, “Firework.” MC Jon Stewart was so overcome by the moment that he had to take a few seconds to recover before proceeding with the event.
Chime for Change Debuts Sound of Change Global Concert
Gucci’s global campaign to raise funds and awareness for women’s empowerment sponsored its inaugural Sound of Change concert in June. From Beyoncé and Jay-Z to Iggy Azalea and Timbaland, the show brought together a slew of supportive guys and gals, with all proceeds benefiting feminine-focused mega platform Catapult.
Jessie J Shaves Her Head for Red Nose Day
The rising British songstress shed her luscious locks—and all inhibitions—by shaving her head for Comic Relief’s UK-wide fundraising event last spring. Organized every two years, Red Nose Day encourages everyone to put on a red nose and do something silly for charity. The “Price Tag” singer has always held a message of being true to one’s self, but this fearless move proved she’s not just talk.
Sharon Jones Beats Cancer In Under Five Months
After a heartbreaking diagnosis of bile duct cancer last June, Sharon Jones was forced to postpone her album release and cancel all tour dates. But the soulful songstress wasn’t out for long, announcing her return to the stage by mid-October. Jones will give her first performance in over a year on February 6 at the Beacon Theater in New York City.
Lauren Mayberry Speaks Out Against Online Misogyny
Refusing to remain a target of sexists texts, e-mails and Facebook messages, Chrvches‘ frontwoman Lauren Mayberry penned an open letter to her online abusers. “I am incredibly lucky to be doing the job I am doing at the moment—and painfully aware of the fact that I would not be able to make music for a living without people on the Internet caring about our band,” she wrote. “But does that mean that I need to accept that it’s okay for people to make comments like this, because that’s how women in my position are spoken to?” Her letter may not have put an end to such remarks, but it certainly showed she wasn’t going to take them lying down.
Pussy Riot Member Embarks on Hunger Strike
Even behind bars, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova refused to silence her voice. After being famously imprisoned for Pussy Riot’s guerilla performances, Tolokonnikova announced last fall that she would begin a hunger strike to protest “slave labor” working conditions. She cited 17-hour workdays, unsanitary living conditions, abuse of female inmates and death threats from officers as some of the many atrocious prison crimes she’d endured. Tolokonnikova was hospitalized as a result of her protests in November, but will be released from prison three months early thanks to the adoption of a new amnesty law by Russian legislators. (As of press date, all members of Pussy Riot have been released.)
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