Former teen star Debbie Gibson, film and TV composer Laura Karpman, producer Sylvia Massy, guitarist Britt Lightning and frontwoman Kelsy Karter are the first honorees announced for the 2024 She Rocks Awards. The event is set to take place on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024, at the Anaheim Convention Center Ballroom in Anaheim, Calif.
Susanna Hoffs, who was honored at the She Rocks Awards in 2015, will co-host the 12th annual live awards show, which is presented by the Women’s International Music Network. Tickets to the show, which is now an official NAMM-sponsored event, are on sale now.
The She Rocks Awards is the premier event during the NAMM Show, bringing together industry professionals, artists, fans and the media. The annual event honors women who are groundbreakers and innovators and have displayed leadership within the music and audio industries. Past honorees include The Go-Go’s, Dionne Warwick, Nancy Wilson, Lzzy Hale, Gloria Gaynor, Linda Perry, Melissa Etheridge, Pat Benatar, Judy Collins, The B-52s, Colbie Caillat, Chaka Khan, Ronnie Spector, Orianthi and The Bangles.
The event includes live music, awards and speeches, dinner, a silent auction, gift bags and more. Tickets to the event are now on sale. The She Rocks Awards is open to the public; a NAMM Show badge is required to attend the She Rocks Awards. Find out more and purchase tickets at sherocksawards.com.
Founded in 2012 by music industry veteran Laura B. Whitmore, the Women’s International Music Network unites women who work within all facets of the music and audio industries.
Here’s a quick look at this year’s honorees:
Gibson was one of the top teen stars of the 1980s, someone who was talented beyond her years. Gibson, now 53, made history in June 1988 when her hit “Foolish Beat” topped the Billboard Hot 100, making her (at age 17) the youngest artist to write, produce and perform a No. 1 hit on Billboard’s flagship songs chart. After all these years, she is still the youngest woman to achieve that feat. Gibson returned to No. 1 on the Hot 100 in 1989 with “Lost in Your Eyes,” giving her two No. 1 hits among her five top five entries.
Gibson has showcased her talents in numerous musicals, from Les Misérables on Broadway to Grease on the West End. In 2019 she joined New Kids on the Block on The Mixtape Arena Tour and judged Nickelodeon’s America’s Most Musical Family. In 2021, she guest-starred on Lucifer and released her first pop album in 20 years, The Body Remembers. In 2022, she released her first full-length holiday album, Winterlicious. She recently announced a book deal with Gallery for her upcoming memoir. And in 2024 Gibson will celebrate 35 years of her album Electric Youth, which topped the Billboard 200 for five consecutive weeks in the spring of 1989.
The composer, 64, won a Primetime Emmy three years ago for scoring The Discovery Channel’s Why We Hate. Karpman’s scoring assignments span film, television, theater, interactive media and live performance. Karpman was elected the first female governor in the music branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This year is among her busiest to date, with such film and TV projects as Rock Hudson: All That Heaven Allowed (Max), 61st Street (The CW) and American Fiction (MGM/Amazon), while being a leading composer across the Marvel Cinematic Universe with What If? (Disney+), Ms. Marvel (Disney+), and The Marvels (Disney).
Massy is an American record producer, mixer, engineer, instructor and author. The producer is best known for her work with Tool, System of a Down, Skunk Anansie, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Taylor Hawkins, Johnny Cash, Prince, Jason Isbell and more. Massy is a vintage audio equipment expert and owns what is hailed as the world’s largest vintage microphone collection. Massy’s book Recording Unhinged is an Amazon bestseller. She’s also an accomplished fine artist and illustrator, author, educator and entrepreneur.
Lightning, 38, is the lead guitarist for the all-female ’80s rock band Vixen, best known for “Edge of a Broken Heart” and “Cryin’,” both of which made the top 30 on the Hot 100. The performer, born Brittany Denaro, joined Vixen in 2017, replacing Gina Stile as the group’s guitarist.
She is also the musical director at Rock n’ Roll Fantasy Camp, which allows people to live their rockstar fantasies and jam with their musical heroes. During COVID, she hosted and helped to produce more than 200 online Rock n’ Roll Fantasy Camp master classes with top artists including Roger Daltrey (The Who), Alice Cooper and Dave Mustaine (Megadeth). Britt Lightning has toured with Grammy-winning artist Alejandro Sanz, pop artists Rachel Platten and Jason Derulo, and continues to tour with Vixen while working on their upcoming studio album.
Karter is a singer, songwriter, musician and the frontwoman of Kelsy Karter & The Heroines, a four-piece Australian/British rock n’ roll band. She may be best known for pranking music fans in 2019 with a fake tattoo of Harry Styles on her face for the promotion of her breakout hit “Harry.” In 2020, after the release of their debut album Missing Person, Rolling Stone called Karter “a beacon for female rock stars.” Karter and her band have spent the past several years touring and playing festivals, most recently in 2023 supporting Billy Idol across the U.S. They are currently working on their second album.