Philadelphians keep getting showered with accolades! They just keep on comin’!
It started back in September when Billboard magazine announced that P!nk, Doylestown’s Alecia Beth Moore, would be honored as its Woman of the Year. That ceremonious luncheon honoring her big year took place just last week, and she gave a truly eloquent and inspiring acceptance speech. (More on that momentarily.) Then our boy Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson got a nod from TIME Magazine’s year-end wrap up. Receiving honors in the same issue as Pope Francis’ Person of the Year designation, The Roots’ pontiff of percussion was dubbed Coolest Person of the Year. As if that weren’t enough to scream “Hell, yes!”, today we got the good news that Hall & Oates have been tapped to enter into the annals of rock history by induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Though her sixth studio album, The Truth About Love, was released last fall, it was the in 2013 that it really picked up steam and brought her back into the mainstream spotlight. Her only number-one album, it debuted at the top of the Billboard 200, with over 280,000 first-week sales, and she also scored her her fourth number-one single, “Just Give Me a Reason.” (The others: “Lady Marmalade,” “So What” and “Raise Your Glass”.) Of course, she also toured tirelessly, and her The Truth About Love Tour made about 140 stops across the States, Europe and Australia—where she’s huge and has three number-one albums.
P!nk’s so cool, and she’s ours to tout as a hero. For over 13 years now, she’s effortlessly combined elements of fearless identity expression and musical chops with that big, booming voice and an inspirational message of self-esteem and acceptance. Here’s one great graph from her acceptance speech:
“Here’s what I wish: I wish that girls embraced their power and their worth and their value in their youth, and not sell it or barter it for anything and have to buy it back later in life. I wish for my daughter to grow up in a world where wonderful publications like Billboard celebrate them for their originality, their individuality their willingness to be true to themselves and the courage to be scary and emotional to get shit done. I wish for women to stop apologizing for those very things that make us women.”
What a woman. She’s also got ten Top 10 singles to her name since her 2000/2001 one-two punch of Can’t Take Me Home and Missundaztood. She closed her speech with this gem:
“I want you to picture this — I will have blue highlights, I will have fuck-me heels, a really nice glass of wine that I made in my hand, and I will tell anyone that will listen to how a smartass from Doylestown, Pennsylvania told everyone she was gonna be a star, and then Billboard fucking magazine made me their Woman of the Year.”
Now, ?uest has had quite a year. No one is tired of The Roots on Late Night, and now we can watch The Tonight Show with great hometown pride when Jimmy Fallon takes over Leno’s seat in February 2014. ?uest also wrote a couple books, a memoir-y affair called Mo ‘Beta Blues, and a coffee table book about entitled Soul Train: The Music, Style and Dance of a Generation. Not gonna lie: That’s a pretty well-rounded dude—author, drummer, DJ (it says in the TIME piece that he’s DJed 13 weddings this year), television score producer (he composed the music for Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer), University teacher and general arbiter of cool musical collabs. His website, Okayplayer, gets a shoutout in the TIME blurb, too, because it “allows alternative musicians to create songs together online.” Even though, as some have pointed out, the blurb-writer for TIME, Joel Stein, is pretty much a dick, it’s the honor bestowed upon the once resident of Osage Avenue that we care about. All the hair picks to you, ?uest.
Finally, two of Philadelphia’s greatest heroes of pop funk and rock, Daryl Hall and John Oates, got the good news that they’d be inducted into the Rock Hall on April 10th at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. With six number-one hits to their name and a grand total of 34 songs in the Billboard Top 100, no one is doubting their rightful place in the 29th class of the respected musical institution (expect for Victor Fiorillo). They’re in good company, too: Nirvana, Peter Gabriel, KISS, Linda Ronstadt and Cat Stevens will be honored as well. It was the first time the duo was nominated, and popular votes helped–fan votes pushed them into a Top 5 category, a list the Hall of Fame powers-that-be vowed to honor in their consideration of new inductees. The Temple alums not only have never forgotten where they come from; they’ve also conducted themselves with unwavering cool. They’re said to have not really cared whether or not they were bestowed the title, but we’re pretty sure they’re as proud as we are today.