Last weekend the House of Blues Anaheim was donned in black leather and lace as the Women’s International Music Network, (WiMN) honored notable women from all facets of the music industry during their seventh annual “She Rocks Music Awards” co-hosted by KTTV/11 News Anchor Christine Devine, Yahoo music editor Lyndsey Parker and She Rocks co-founder Laura B. Whitmore.
The rock star-studded event coincided with the 2019 Winter NAMM show held a few blocks away at the Anaheim Convention Center. As the sun set on a busy day of music merchants shop talking and hob-knobbing with prospective buyers and artists, the Friday night lights lit up the red carpet on the Anaheim GardenWalk for the evening’s honorees to arrive in all of their girl-power glory.
The heart of the event beats a synchronistic rhythm and blues of women who bravely and fearlessly have paved the way for women’s equality in an industry that have been historically dominated by men. Founded in 2012 by the event’s co-host Laura B. Whitmore, WiMN is a hub that connects women with resources and tools that promote and empower women whose interests and passion are within the audio and music industries.
As guests made their way to their assigned tables, they passed through the foyer of the venue where it was immediately obvious to see the labor of love that the show’s producers, sponsors and volunteers had put into all the details. Rows of tables covered with donated items for a silent auction whose proceeds help the organizations’ efforts to promote and support diversity within the music industry.
With no introduction, and appropriately kicking off the show in ankle boots and fishnet stockings were the alternative rock band duo from London/Belfast, Rews, who proved by their full sound and high energy rock-pop set that less is more with only two instruments, drums and guitar/vocals.
Introducing her bluesy rock song “Good for a Girl,” singer, songwriter and saxophonist Mindi Abair said, “We all write about what we know about, and what I know about is being a woman. And I see women every day taking over the world, in our own ways, but this room especially and you inspire me, so this is for women who inspire me.”
The room was inspirational indeed, with the presence of the 2019 She Rocks Awards recipients including: Terri Nunn, lead singer of the iconic electro-pop band, BERLIN and recipient of the Icon Award and who also performed her hit “Metro” flawlessly. Macy Gray, GRAMMY Award-winning singer, songwriter, producer and actress, although she was, absent for the evening due to a filming obligation. Lisa Loeb, Platinum-selling, GRAMMY Award-winning singer-songwriter, touring artist, author. Her guitar hero Steve Vai presented Nita Strauss, acclaimed solo artist and guitarist for Alice Cooper, with the Inspire Award.
Erika Ender, award-winning and chart-topping composer, singer, co-writer of the hit “Despacito” and the evening’s Dream Out Loud Award winner. Dana DuFine, VP Global Content and Development AEG Facilities. Dale Krevens, Vice President of Tech 21, and the She Rocks Mad Skills Award winner. Lynette Sage, art director at Reverb. Samantha Pink, Director of Business Operations at JAM Industries USA. Terri Winston, Executive Director, Women’s Audio Mission.
Her sister Laura posthumously presented the late Janis Joplin with a Lifetime Achievement Award with a retrospective. She said, “Janis only found herself when she found the blues, wove it into rock n roll and perfected the sound that expressed social commentary.” The inspiring speech was followed by a medley of Janis’s hit songs “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Piece of my Heart,” and “Raise Your Hand” passionately performed by guitarist Orianthi, Australian vocalist Vanessa Amorosi, singer Judith Hill, Emily Armstrong of Dead Sara, Sarah Command of the Command Sisters and the She Rocks Awards house band, Rock Sugah, led by Divinity Roxx.
It was a perfect ending to the 3-hour long award show full of inspiring acceptance speeches, introductions and moving performances honoring women in music. Christine Devine summed it up so perfectly when she said, “Thank goodness for the She Rock Awards, am I right!”
You can still purchase the silent auction items online here: Silent Auction
Cover photo: Nita Strauss (Photo: Estelle Massry)