WATCH: Ivy Queen Receives Billboard’s Icon Award, Presented by Bad Bunny

Lead Photo: Ivy Queen and Bad Bunny at Billboard Women In Music held at YouTube Theater on March 1, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Billboard via Getty Images)
Ivy Queen and Bad Bunny at Billboard Women In Music held at YouTube Theater on March 1, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Billboard via Getty Images)
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Last night (Mar. 2), Ivy Queen was honored at the Billboard Women In Music Awards by receiving one of the top honors, and it was presented to her by a special guest. Bad Bunny made an appearance and presented her with the Icon Award while talking about her influence on his career.

Ivy Queen was one of the women honored last night at the Billboard event. She received the Icon Award for her legacy as a female pioneer in the reggaeton music scene. Ivy Queen came up in the industry alongside Daddy Yankee, Don Omar, and Tego Calderón. Last night, Bad Bunny gave Ivy Queen her flowers while presenting her with the award.

“I don’t have to say much because Ivy’s career and legacy speak for themselves,” Bad Bunny said. “When they ask me what artists have inspired me, I never know what to say because, truthfully, I’ve been a fan of reggaeton since I was a kid, and a lot of artists have inspired me. I’ve always said that my musical DNA has a bit of all the artists, and without a doubt, the strength I’ve had to be myself and be successful, to work double, is part of Ivy that I have in my musical DNA.”

Bad Bunny then talked about how Ivy Queen has inspired him and a new wave of Puerto Rican women in reggaeton. “I will never know what it feels to be a woman in the industry, or in general because I’m a man, but I know what it’s like to be judged and go against the current. That’s why I say that because of Ivy, I’ve worked double time to shut people’s mouths, to fight, and to feel proud of who I am the way Ivy has always shined. As a fan of reggaeton, I’ve waited a long time for this moment. I think that 2023 is the time when more female reggaeton artists exist, and I don’t want to speak for her, but I’m sure it’s because of the roots that Ivy planted a long time ago, and today we’re seeing it in the new generation of Puerto Rico that’s dominated by women.”

After accepting the award from Bad Bunny, Ivy Queen talked about what she endured to be the icon that she is today. “When I fell in love with music I found myself constantly battling to earn my spot, to earn my own lane, and to find my own identity between the guys,” she said. 

“The movement was underground, then turned [into] reggaeton. I traveled around the island of Puerto Rico measuring my skills against male MCs. Bars became my self-defense mechanism. Through lyrics, I encouraged other Latinas that stand around me, to stand for themselves, and also to not stay quiet when something hurts.”

Toward the end of her speech, Ivy Queen offered playful beauty advice to all the women in the audience. “I call upon all the Latin and industry women to not allow others to split us and divide us no more,” she said. “Let’s stay authentic, let’s stay healthy, let’s walk with grace, let’s laugh more but also remember that beauty is a mental attitude. And with that said, please, ladies, do not go to bed with makeup tonight, OK?”

Becky G was also honored with the Impact Award. The Mexican-American pop star performed her hit “MAMIII” sans Karol G. Rosalía received the Producer Award for her work on her albums El Mal Querer and Motomami. During her speech, she expressed her admiration for Lana Del Rey, who received the Visionary Award. 

Check out Ivy Queen’s full speech accepting the Icon Award below.