The May issue of Elle honors the “Women in Music” who’ve made the biggest splash over the last few years. Gorgeous photos of Nicki Minaj, Willow Smith, Jennifer Hudson and Aretha Franklin mingle with the likes of Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine, Gwen Stefani and Adele.
Rocking a nude body suit and a knit minidress, Minaj explains why she loves running with the fellas. “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.”
Hudson tells Elle she got her start belting out tunes in gay clubs. “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.”
Representing for the newbies, mini-superstar Willow reveals that her debut album will make you dance. “It’s going to be a party beat. I think you’re gonna like it!"
Franklin is dancing for a different reason. She’s slimmed down to a size 16, and she tells fans to watch out for her newly hot bod on her upcoming 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.”
The issue hits stands April 12.
(Photos: Elle Magazine, May 2011)