All the Winning History-Making Moments Women Had This Year

From Rihanna to WNBA star Candace Parker, 2023 is already shaping up as a year of accomplishments for women across all realms including sports, music and more. Read on to celebrate their moments.

By Kisha Forde Mar 08, 2023 5:00 AMTags
Watch: Black Panther's Angela Bassett on Making History at Golden Globes

Sure, the Kansas City Chiefs may have emerged as champions but we all know Rihanna was the Super Bowl's biggest winner.

Not only did the "Umbrella" singer return to the stage for the first time in nearly seven years in the biggest way for the 2023 Super Bowl Halftime Show—but she also managed to make history in the process, becoming the first female billionaire to perform at the big game solo, as well as the first-known pregnant person to slay the football field.

But she isn't the only woman already shining bright like a diamond this year. Let's not forget, "Unholy" co-collaborator Kim Petras made history at the 2023 Grammys in February when she became the first openly transgender woman to win in the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category in the Recording Academy's 65-year history.

As the 30-year-old noted during her emotional acceptance speech, she "grew up next to a highway in nowhere, Germany," adding, "My mother believed me that I was a girl and I wouldn't be here without her and her support."

Stars' International Women's Day 2022 Tributes

Like Rihanna and Kim Petras, a slew of stars have taken a bow this year. On this International Women's Day, join us in raising a glass to their accomplishments. 

Wondering who else has been crowned with making history? Keep reading to find out…


Renaissance may have dropped last year but in 2023, Beyoncé truly ushered in a new era of winning. In February, the "Church Girl" singer officially became the most awarded artist in Grammys history when she collected her 32nd trophy for Best Dance/Electronic Album. A superstar of alien proportions, indeed.

Alex Morgan

Soccer star Alex Morgan recently proved she is truly life goals when she became the highest-scoring mom in U.S. Women's National Team history. The two-time Olympic medalist—who welcomed daughter Charlie in 2020—earned the impressive title during the SheBelieves Cup championship game against Brazil on Feb. 22.

Michelle Yeoh

Though her impressive acting career stretches back nearly 40 years, Michelle Yeoh received widespread recognition everywhere all at once in 2023. Not only did the 60-year-old actress win a Golden Globe in January for her role in the 2022 film, Everything Everywhere All at Once, but she also nabbed a SAG Award the following month, too.


But her winning streak doesn't stop there since she's up for an Oscar, making her the second Asian woman to be nominated for Best Actress in the Academy's history.

Mandy Walker

For her work on Elvis, Australian cinematographer Mandy Walker had everyone all shook up when she nabbed a 2023 Oscar nomination, becoming the third woman in history to be recognized in the cinematography category.

Candace Parker

WNBA star Candace Parker's career continues to be nothing but net 14 years after she debuted her skills on the court. In February, the Las Vegas Aces star became the first woman to call the NBA All-Star Game. During the Feb. 19 broadcast, the 36-year-old acknowledged her feat, noting that "representation and opportunity matters."


Rihanna was undoubtedly the biggest diamond (lifted into the night sky, nonetheless) during her historic 2023 Super Bowl Halftime Show performance. The Fenty Beauty founder made history during the Feb. 12 event by not only becoming the first female billionaire to perform at the big game solo, but the first-known pregnant woman to score such a proverbial touchdown.

Justina Miles

It's worth noting that Rihanna wasn't the only woman making history on the field that day, as Justina Miles became the first female deaf performer at the 2023 Super Bowl Halftime Show, completing the American Sign Language version of the singer's Feb. 12 performance.


After the big game, the 20-year-old reflected on how much the moment meant to not just her, but a community at large.


"I was thinking, before like getting there, 'I just hope that I pop off on a big scale, I hope I reach a big scale for the Deaf community," she told CBS Mornings during a Feb. 17 interview. "That's what I do and how I got in my zone."

Nicole Lynn

Another woman who intercepted history during the 2023 Super Bowl? Nicole Lynn, agent of Philadelphia Eagles standout Jalen Hurts, became the first Black female agent to represent a quarterback in the Super Bowl, per The Philadelphia Tribune.


And as she previously revealed, her game-changing move began when she sent Jalen a direct message about becoming his agent—and the rest would of course reach beyond the end zone of history.

Quinta Brunson

Another woman who's also in the (school) zone? None other than Abbott Elementary creator and star Quinta Brunson. Her ABC comedy may have taken off—and earned her three Emmy nominations—in 2022, but she's already acing 2023, scooping up two Golden Globes and several NAACP Image awards.

Kim Petras

By the end of the night at the 2023 Grammys in February, everyone knew that Kim Petras was one of the lucky, lucky girls in the building.


The "Unholy" singer became the first openly transgender woman to win in the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category in the Recording Academy's 65-year history—and to top it off, she and co-collaborator Sam Smith put it down slowly when the duo performed their hit on stage.

Missy Elliott

After more than three decades of working it as a musical icon, Missy Elliott was recognized in an even bigger way as she became the first female hip-hop artist nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in February 2023.

Angela Bassett

Let's face it: Seven-time Emmy nominee Angela Bassett really did the thing when she reprised her role in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. So much so that for her work in the 2022 film, Angela received an Oscar nomination, marking the first time an actor earned an Academy Award nomination for a Marvel film.

Carly Pearce & Ashley McBryde

After their 2023 Grammys win, everyone wanted to be these girls.


At this year's award ceremony, Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde won Best Country Duo/Group Performance for their duet, "Never Wanted to Be That Girl." With their win, the pair became the first pair of women to earn the honor since the category's 2012 inception.


SZA's sophomore album, SOS, not only made waves five years after therelease of her successful debut, Ctrl—but it continues to make strides in the nearly three months after its launch.


Not only did SOS break the record for the largest streaming week for an R&B album on the Billboard 200 charts, but her sophomore project has also become the longest-running number-one female album of the decade. That said, we have a feeling SZA has had plenty of good days to celebrate lately.

Viola Davis

Viola Davis kicked off 2023 in the best way we can ever think of: By achieving EGOT status. After the Finding Me author scooped up a 2023 Grammy Award win for Best Audio Book, Narration and Storytelling Recording for her memoir, she officially became the 18th recipient of the honor (and cemented her place at the top of the game, too).


Another moment from the 2023 Grammys worthy of its own trophy? Nigerian artist Tems—who is also up for an Oscar thanks to her co-writing credit on the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever song, "Lift Me Up"—became the female Nigerian artist to win an award in the Recording Academy's history. (She, along with Future and Drake won for Best Melodic Rap Performance for their collab, "Wait for U.")

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