Cyndi Lauper has urged women in music to "stick together".
The 'Time After Time' hitmaker was honoured with the Icon of the Year Award at Billboard's 2018 Women in Music event in New York City on Thursday (06.12.18) and reflected on how record labels used to sign "quotas" of female acts but praised the power of "sisterhood" and how much stronger women are when they promote one another.
She said: "When I was starting they had quotas of women they would sign. I actually did a showcase and the guy said to me, 'well, we got Debbie, Patti -- we got our quota of women.' That's where it was.
"I guess it's kind of still like that, but you [honorees] are kicking down doors and that is awesome. I strongly believed my whole life that sisterhood is a powerful thing...
"We need to share our stories and stick together and promote each other. I stand on the shoulder of women who came before me, as you guys are standing on mine and others will come and stand on yours...
"To all the women, please remember -- we shouldn't be against each other, we should help each other."
The 65-year-old singer had accepted the award from Dua Lipa and told the 'New Rules' hitmaker she'd be "standing here one day" before admitting she didn't know what it was like to be an icon.
She said: "I always get asked, 'What does it feel like to be an icon?' I didn't know how to answer that. See now? I can hand them this and say, 'Here, hold this.' "
Elsewhere at the event - where the likes of Ariana Grande and Janelle Monae were also honoured - Kacey Musgraves was given the Innovator Award and felt she'd been presented with the accolade because she isn't afraid to take risks.
She said: "This is crazy -- I mean, women are f***ing awesome.
"I feel really hopeful and proud about the state of the modern woman. Her bravery, her unapologetic celebration of rights. Her life, her mind, and her art. And definitely most of all, her realness. And I've been craving realness for so long."
"[Innovator], that's a heavy word. Innovator to me means having the courage to take risks, knowing that it could completely fail, and doing it anyway. I mean, what's the point of any of this if you're not able to be who you are?"
Billboard Women in Music 2018 honourees:
Woman of the Year:
Icon of the Year