From the new-wave vocal powerhouses to indie-minded breakouts to enduring legends who still rock our world, Elle magazine is honoring women who are rocking the music scene this year.
Gwen Stefani looks fabulous on the cover, but take a peek inside and you'll find portfolio's on Adele, Willow Smith, Feist, Hillary Scott, Robyn, Jennifer Hudson, Stevie Nicks, Florence Welch, Aretha Franklin, and Nicki Minaj.
Here are some highlights from the interview:
-On the love songs written about her ex: “We’re not on great enough terms for me to say, ‘Oh, have you heard my record? It’s number one; did you know?”
-On being a rapper: “I always wanted to play with the boys. I didn’t want to be a pawn in their game or have a sidekick role. I wanted to be more of a lead character – a superhero.”
-On her full length album: “It’s going to be a party beat. I think you’re gonna like it!”
On writing hits: “I do! Why wouldn’t you want that many people listening to the songs that you wrote? There’s no way to go back after you have had it. So the intentions of even the solo records were always about trying to write those guilty-pleasure albums that just get in your head and you can’t get out. I’m not cool, I’m not into the B-sides. Prince, who is one of my idols, gave me some advice when I worked with him: “Have you ever just tried writing a hit? Like, don’t just try writing a song, try and write a hit song.” I remember him saying that and me thinking, Yeah, you’re right. Why would you write anything else?”
On whether Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Katy Perry have taken a page out of her playbook when it comes to style: “Really? I don’t see myself in those girls. I usually put pants on. I see these girls as more going for the sex-symbol thing. I was more, in the band, like a tomboy. Of course, I think every girl is sexy, so there’s going to be a little of that. But I see a lot of younger artists going more toward the sexy thing.”
On pop music: "When we were growing up, some of the hits were legendary ones that you hear your whole life. But certain songs, I don’t know if you’ll ever hear them again. Because that’s what that music is, like a guilty pleasure, it’s right at the moment. It’s like fashion—it’s now, then it’s gone."
-On creating her latest album, Body Talk: “At first it was a way of having more fun. Then it started to influence how I communicated with my fans—how to bring new music into a live set throughout the whole year.”
-On performing in gay clubs when she was younger: “In high school I was like, ‘Well, these are drag queens lip-synching, and I can really sing; why can’t I go up there?’ I would win all the talent shows.”
-On the changes in her life: “My surroundings and my lifestyle are different, and it’s like, what part of Jennifer is the same as 10 years ago? The only thing I have to hold on to is my voice.”
-On performing at the 2010 MTV Music Video Awards: “It was my intro to America. And they could have sent me packing if it hadn’t gone so well.”
-On her sophomore record: “The lyrics are about sex, guilt, religion, science, and revelations. You know, all the good stuff.”
-On wardrobe options for her tour: “I am going to rock this [size] 16. Sixteen probably sounds large to girls who wear 10s and 12s, but I love it, because it looks good on me.”