100 Women We Love 2011

The 100 Women We Love – out artists, elected officials, business leaders, athletes, community activists – are role models for us all. Many are up-and-coming movers and shakers; some are at the zenith of their careers. Some of their achievements change our world and, just as importantly, others improve the world’s perception of out women. They all strive tirelessly to increase our visibility and continue our incredible progress toward equality and justice.

We proudly present the class of 2011, in random order, so each gets her well-deserved turn in the spotlight.

LADY SOVEREIGN

British rapper Lady Sovereign’s first single, “Love Me or Hate Me,” sold more than a million units. She was signed to Def Jam by Jay-Z, toured with Gwen Stefani and recorded with Pharrell and The Beastie Boys. But the five-foot-one dynamo soon felt caught in the trappings of fame, her every step scheduled and her every interview edited. Lady Sovereign decided to leave Def Jam and start her own label, Midget Records, in partnership with EMI Music. She teamed up with producer Medasyn to release her second album, Jigsaw, and she publicly came out as lesbian. While branching out on her own, Sovereign remains optimistic about her future as a performer and a record producer. “I’ve always felt that I’ve got this weird spiritual energy around me that means I’ll be okay, like having a guide. Everything has always happened for a reason, things always worked out in the end,” she says. –CM