Women In Music Awards 2023: All the winners and celebratory moments from our biggest ever edition

Women In Music Awards 2023: All the winners and celebratory moments from our biggest ever edition

The Women In Music Awards returned for its biggest ever edition as we marked the 10th year of WIM with a celebratory ceremony.

The 2023 edition of the much-loved event took place at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, London. Women In Music is staged in association with AIM and UK Music.

The hugely successful awards recognise the great careers of women and female-identifying people in the music business. It was hosted once again by Women In Music stalwart and friend of Music Week, broadcaster Alice Levine.

“To paraphrase a great Woman In Music, Alison Wenham [awards co-founder] has said time and time again, these awards seek to make themselves redundant,” Levine told the audience. “BUT,” she joked, “we need to do that in a way that doesn’t make me redundant, because this is a lovely thing to invoice for just before Christmas."

Women In Music has grown since 2014 to become a landmark event in the music industry calendar. Among the 1,000-plus guests at the daytime ceremony were top executives including Universal Music UK CEO & chairman David Joseph, Sony Music CEO & chairman Jason Iley and Warner Music UK CEO Tony Harlow, as well as artists including Emeli Sandé.

There were tributes – in person and on the giant screen – to female executive talent honoured at the ceremony from UMG CEO & chairman Sir Lucian Grainge, David Joseph, Jason Iley, Tony Harlow and superstar artist Robbie Williams, who advised Outstanding Contribution recipient Maggie Crowe to “go easy on the sherry”.

Last year’s event marked our first outing at the Park Plaza. This year’s ceremony has been sold out months in advance.

For 2023, we had two new categories, DE&I Initiative of the Year and the Special Recognition Award (sponsored by YouTube), so there were more opportunities to honour excellence in the business.

Also recognised at the ceremony, of course, was this year’s Roll Of Honour, in association with TikTok - look out for a series of special Roll Of Honour content around this year’s event. The game-changing executives (see below for the full list) join a line-up of previous honorees, who have been selected over the past decade. 

Our Roll Of Honour recipients attended in person, with the exception of Fuga’s Liz Northeast who accepted in absentia. There was a posthumous tribute for Dianne Bonney, who has been inducted into the Roll Of Honour. "I wish you could all have known her and basked in the sunshine that she created," said Absolute's Fran O'Donnell. 

The ceremony started with superstar DJ and chart-topper Eliza Rose collecting the New Artist Award sponsored by PRS For Music and PRS Foundation. Rose was recognised for her impact, including No.1 single B.O.T.A. (Baddest Of Them All) with Interplanetary Criminal, which became one of the defining tracks of the booming dance scene.

"It's amazing to be in a room of amazing women who are all in music," Eliza Rose told the audience.

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With a touching video tribute from Rose’s mother, it’s fair to say that motherhood was a running theme of this year's Women In Music at a time when the industry is working to better accommodate the needs of parents and families

Live Music Inspiration winner Natasha Gregory co-founded the Mother Artists agency during the pandemic. As well as raising young sons, who paid tribute on video, she’s been a champion for her acts including Idles, CMAT and First Aid Kit. And the award was presented by her own mother, Christa Warnock!

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Our Rising Star winner for 2023 is Ginella Appau, Black music editor at Apple Music UK & Ireland.

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She has made her mark at the streaming giant with key playlists and editorial initiatives, as well as working closely with Apple Radio star Dotty, Apple Music’s lead cultural curator and host on Apple Music 1, who presented the award. 

"Every single team in this room needs a Ginelle," said Dotty.

Accepting the award, Ginelle Appau said: "I literally have my dream job... And the most exciting part is I'm just getting started."

Power Up was a popular winner of the DE&I Initiative award at Women In Music 2023. The game-changing programme recently launched its third year of industry support and mentoring for Black music creative and exec talent. Lorna Clarke, director of BBC Music, presented the trophy to Power Up’s team.

The award was accepted by co-founder Ben Wynter and Eunice Obianagha, who was part of the first year's cohort. 

"I'm deeply honoured to be accepting this award, alongside Ben, on behalf of all the artists and execs that have been through this programme," said Obianagha.

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In a powerful speech in which he urged music companies not to forget their commitments on diversity, Wynter said it was "bittersweet" to win for an initiative that shouldn't be needed. 

"This is for all the initiatives, organisations and companies that operate in the space," he added, acknowledging the work of female-led organisations including Black Lives In Music, Black Music Coalition, Girls I Rate and Action For Diversity & Development.

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Music Creative – Spirit Of The Studio (sponsored by Downtown) and Music Champion are categories that recognise, respectively, the talent and the tastemakers. 

Music Creative was awarded to hitmaker Maegan Cottone, who has writing credits on tracks by Sigala, Becky Hill, Jax Jones, Ella Henderon, Nathan Dawe, Little Mix, Demi Lovato, Olly Murs, Britney Spears, Iggy Azalea, Kesha, Selena Gomez, Black Eyed Peas, and more. And it was another proud moment for her long-term publisher Phrased Differently and its founder Hiten Bharadia, who handed her the award. Phrased Differently won the Independent Publisher category at the Music Week Awards earlier this year.

"We all have somethng in common: a love and passion for music," said Cottone, who used her speech to draw attention to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and loss of life in Israel, as well as calling for a greater share of streaming revenue for songwriters.

Our WIM 2023 Music Champion is Jamz Supernova, who was triumphant following another round of strong RAJAR ratings for BBC 6 Music. Jamz has been a trailblazing tastemaker throughout her career, bringing fresh and diverse music to radio audiences every week (1pm each Saturday on 6 Music). 

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Her label, Future Bounce, sees Jamz working in both an A&R and consulting capacity, and has released records from the likes of Bianca Oblivion, Suchi and Giulia Tess. Through her DJ sets, she is a mainstay at festivals and clubs worldwide.

"I don't know who put me forward for this award," laughed Jamz. "It wasn't the BBC, they apologised profusely!"

And she defended her role as a tastemaker focused on underground music: "I just play the stuff I absolutely love."

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Praveen Bhatia, co-founder and co-owner of legal practice Tan Ward, was presented with the Entrepreneur Award. A notable figure in music law and a seasoned advisor of intellectual property rights, Bhatia has made a reputation for excelling in strategy-based work and deal negotiations. Tributes to one of the top music industry legal minds came in from Wretch 32, David Joseph, Jason Iley, Tony Harlow, Rich Castillo, EMI SVP, A&R, and her Tan Ward co-owner Daniela Korn.

"For all the stresses of the job, I really do love what I do," said Bhatia, who acknowledged the support of Jason Iley for "giving me a seat at the table".

A hugely popular industry figure, Natalie Wade was recognised for her sterling work with our Campaigner award (sponsored by Spotify). As well as being director of music industry engagement at PPL, she is  the founder of The Cat’s Mother and Small Green Shoots, whose latest cohort on the Young Shoots programme attended the awards to help out and have an opportunity to network. Small Green Shoots was an event partner along with Girls I Rate and Mobolise by MOBO. 

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There were huge cheers for Wade, who was surrounded by Small Green Shoots participants as she collected the trophy and declared: "I'm definitely not considering growing old gracefully." She also acknowledged the efforts of PPL on diversity.

"I'm only here because I stand on the shoulders of all the unsung women," said Wade. "People who know where the bodies are, who get things done."

The Music Week Women In Music Special Recognition Award (sponsored by YouTube) is new for 2023, so it had to be presented to someone special. Our inaugural winner is Bola Abioye, UK group company secretary at Universal Music Group, a hugely popular, respected and formidable executive.

With more than three decades at Universal, including almost 20 years as company secretary, there were heartfelt (and funny) tributes on video from across the company, including (deep breath)... UMG chairman & CEO Sir Lucian Grainge, David Joseph, CEO & chairman, Universal Music UK, Boyd Muir, EVP & CFO at UMG, David Sharpe, COO, Universal Music UK, Selina Webb, EVP at Universal Music UK, Nickie Owen, president of international marketing, Universal Music UK, Alex Boateng and Alec Boateng, co-presidents, 0207 Def Jam, Adam Barker, director of business affairs, Universal Music UK, Alice Webb, CEO, Mercury Studios, Sharlotte Ritchie, director of global communications, UMG, Natasha Mann, director of diversity & inclusion, Universal Music UK, Charmaine Kuranchie, learning programme manager, Universal Music UK, Claire Haffenden, director of events & artist relations, Universal Music UK. And not forgetting her predecessor in the role, Michael Howle, as well as her proud family.

The trophy was presented at the ceremony by David Joseph, who said that if Bola Abioye was an album she would be Songs In The Key Of Life by Stevie Wonder.

"Bola being the first ever winner of this award makes this extra special," he said.

On the video tribute, Sir Lucian Grainge, chairman & CEO, UMG, said: “What can I say about Bola? Unique, one of a kind.”  

He added: “When her predecessor, Michael Howle, announced his retirement, I’d been thinking for some time about the contribution that Bola had been making, and how strong, literal, stoic, professional and profound that she is… I’m absolutely thrilled that you’ve been honoured with this award.”

“Just you being present in this business does so much for young Black execs,”  said Charmaine Kuranchie, learning programme manager, Universal Music UK.

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Welcoming a new award for the behind-the-scenes contributions of female executives, Bola Abioye said: "I feel so blessed to be here. It is such an honour to be the recipient of this Special Recognition Award."

Noting that her career was almost over before it began as a result of racism that made her experience self-doubt, Abioye reflected on how that changed suddenly three decades ago when she joined a music company that nurtured her talent.

"Those doubts were silenced when I walked into Universal Music 31 years ago," she recalled.

"To be a Black woman for the field I'm in, for as long as I have in the world's No.1 music company – wow!"

Abioye also acknowledged the "amazing Universal Music women", including Selina Webb. And she thanked "Sir Lucian Grainge, who gave me the opportunity", as well as Boyd Muir, "wonderful David Joseph", David Sharpe, Adam Barker, Michael Howle, and others.

Our International Woman Of The Year is another game-changing executive: Reservoir CEO & founder Golnar Khosrowshahi. Established in 2007, Reservoir is the first female founded and led publicly traded independent music company in the US. Under her watch, it’s become one of the key players in the industry, including publishing and recorded music through labels including Tommy Boy and Chrysalis.

The trophy was presented to Khosrowshahi by Chrysalis-signed star and Reservoir publishing client Emeli Sandé.

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Khosrowshahi noted that Reservoir has supported and nurtured female executive talent. "I celebrate their careers and leadership, and I'm humbled by the opportunity to work alongside them, day in, day out," she said.

During the ceremony, Women In Music also featured a posthumous artist tribute to Chrysalis artist and music icon Sinead O’Connor from her daughter, Roisin Waters. 

"I have watched the world's outpouring of love, affection and grief for my mother," she said. "It means something to me to see that she was a great presence in many people's lives."

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Andrea Czapary Martin, PRS For Music CEO, has become a familiar figure over the last four years in the UK, with record results and the organisation on track to hit £1 billion in distributions. So she was a hugely deserving recipient of the Businesswoman Of The Year award, which was presented by Michelle Escoffery, president of the PRS Members’ Council.

"What an honour to win this award," said Martin, who reflected on her education and early life, overcoming dyslexia and big roles in business, paying tribute to the support of her father.

As well as leading the audience to repeat a self-confidence mantra, she underlined her approach to running PRS: "Companies with diversity are more innovative and outperform companies that don't have diversity."

Our penultimate award was a big one – Inspirational Artist sponsored by Vevo. In 2022, we had a music icon – Mel C – and this year the trophy went to one of the greatest UK pop groups, Sugababes.

BBC Radio 1’s Clara Amfo was on hand to present the trophy to the trio, who recently played an acclaimed show at The O2. The group have faced challenges over the years and won back the right to use their name in 2019.

"Our journey has been controversial but it's been well worth it," said Keisha Buchanan. "It's made us tougher. It's brought us closer in friendship and sisterhood."

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Our final award of the night for Outstanding Contribution went to a UK music industry legend. Maggie Crowe OBE, BPI events & charity director, has become one of the most recognisable faces over the last few decades for her role as one of the BRITs organisers for almost 20 years, as well as the Mercury Prize and her support for the BRIT School.

The award was presented by the new BPI CEO, Dr Jo Twist (and a fellow OBE), who described her as a "pioneer for women in music", and there were video tributes from across the industry.

YolanDa Brown, chair, BPI, said: “Everybody knows and loves Maggie, from the amazing work that you do to celebrate British music, to the BRIT Awards and the Mercury Prize, and everything you do for us here at the BPI, but also for the generations that have come through music and those to come. You are so passionate and energetic about the next generation and what they can contribute to our music industry. Absolutely inspiring! Thank you, Maggie, and congratulations on your award."

There were also tributes from Universal Music UK’s Selina Webb and Rebbecca Allen, who were showrunners of the 2021 BRITs. 

Selina Webb, EVP, Universal Music UK and 2022 Outstanding Contribution recipient, said: “Oh Maggie, we’re so thrilled for you! After we did the BRITs, we were ready for a little sit-down, but not Maggie. She was straight back in there getting ready for next year. Her energy is incredible, the industry is so lucky to have her.”

Rebecca Allen, co-president, EMI, said: “Your energy, your passion and your dedication to make things work is like nobody else in this business.” 

Stuart Worden, principal, the BRIT School, said: “Thank you for over 30 years of making stuff happen for this school, and for being the best fun ever.”

Lorna Clarke, director of music, BBC, said: “Well done, and I would say to everyone – women in music, women in the room – look how far we’ve come. Here’s to more Maggies.” 

Jason Iley, CEO & chairman, Sony Music UK & Ireland, said: “Maggie, I am so delighted that you have won this award. You are truly one of the industry greats. You are so kind, special, adorable, so considerate and so wonderful to be around. And that laugh? What a laugh. Maggie Crowe, you are outstanding."

Robbie Williams said: “Hi Maggie, many congratulations on your award. It’s always lovely working with you, and thank you for everything you’ve done for me over the years. Have a wonderful night, and go easy on the sherry.”

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"It's nice to be out on a Friday afternoon," said Crowe. "But I bet every one of us is thinking about picking up the kids, the weekend shopping or all the emails to deal with."

Her tips for success included "be kind to yourself" and "avoid the dullards – they try to draw you into their nonsense and it's draining".

Pointing out that she was recently dancing with BRIT School students, she said: "I feel I'm mentally 19 – but I'm nearly 60."

"Congratulations to all the wonder women accepting awards today," she concluded. "I'm proud to be part of the class of 2023."

After another inspirational edition of Women In Music, the celebrations continued with the after party at the venue featuring a DJ set from Sophie K. 

Attitude Is Everything was the WIM 2023 charity partner. 

Blackstar was the branding sponsor and SoundCloud/Musiio was the drinks reception sponsor.


New Artist Award sponsored by PRS for Music and PRS Foundation – Eliza Rose

Live Music Inspiration – Natasha Gregory, Co-founder, Mother Artists

Rising Star – Ginella Appau, Black Music Editor at Apple Music UK & Ireland

NEW: DE&I Initiative of the Year – Power Up

Music Creative, Spirit Of The Studio sponsored by Downtown – Maegan Cottone

Music Champion – Jamz Supernova

Entrepreneur Award – Praveen Bhatia, Co-founder and Co-owner, Tan Ward

Campaigner sponsored by Spotify – Natalie Wade, Director of Music Industry Engagement, PPL, Founder, The Cat’s Mother and Founder, Small Green Shoots

NEW: Special Recognition sponsored by YouTube – Bola Abioye, UK Group Company Secretary, Universal Music Group

International Woman Of The Year – Golnar Khosrowshahi, CEE & Founder, Reservoir 

Businesswoman Of The Year – Andrea Czapary Martin, CEO, PRS For Music

Inspirational Artist sponsored by Vevo – Sugababes

Outstanding Contribution – Maggie Crowe, Director, Events & Charity, BPI



Whitney Asomani – Artist Manager, Sugababes & Founder, Twenty Two Agency

Dianne Bonney – Head of Digital, Absolute Label Services (posthumously awarded) 

Daisy Greenhead – Communications Director, Sony Music UK

Sally Anne Gross – Reader in Music Business, University Of Westminster

Tiger Hagino Reid – Artist Manager, Campaign Manager, Writer, Community Organiser and Leader, Tiger Projects, ESEA Music, Chorus

Ele Hill – VP Corporate Affairs, Live Nation UK and International

Dellessa James – Senior Artist Relations Manager, Amazon Music UK

Jess Kangalee – Founder, Good Energy PR

Amanda Maxwell – UK Music Futures chair and independent Artist Manager to Ellie Prohan

Claire McAuley – EVP, Global Rights Management, Warner Chappell Music

Debbie McWilliams – Director of Live Entertainment, Scottish Event Campus 

Saskhia Menendez – Innovator, Board of Directors, Keychange, The F List Music, LiVE Diversity Expert Panel Member

Liz Northeast – SVP, EMEA, Fuga

Hannah Overton – Head of Operations, Bella Figura Music

Esta Rae – Senior Event Manager AIM, Founder Life with Dyslexia, No Limit Management

Kate Reilly – Chief Membership & People Officer, PPL

Claire Walters – A&R / Creative Manager, Universal Music Publishing

Stay tuned to Musicweek.com for interviews with all the winners and our Roll Of Honour for 2023.


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