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International Women's Day

10 women who inspire us on International Women’s Day

Let’s hear it for the girls! To celebrate International Women’s Day we’re reflecting on strong women from all genres of entertainment who empower and motivate us.

It’s International Women’s Day and in honour of the occasion we’re thrilled to celebrate the feminine world – specifically fierce ladies with loving hearts in the live entertainment sphere. From musical to theatrical, sassy to sporty, young to old, real to fictional, here are 10 extraordinary women who, when faced with challenges, have refused to give up.

They represent girl power to us – and that’s something we’re big on! So this is not only a shout out to their achievements, but also meant to convey gratitude for all the countless smart, talented, passionate sisters out there who are paving the way for the rest of us.


Heather Knight

Playing host to the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup from 24 June – 23 July, this is sure to be a big year both for women’s cricket in the UK and for Knight. Last year she was announced as the new captain of England women, taking over the reins from Charlotte Evans who’d led the team for 10 years.

Tasked with leading the young and inexperienced squad, this 26-year-old allrounder who started out playing cricket on boys’ and men’s teams is more than up for the challenge. In fact, she marked her first game as captain with five wickets and an unbeaten 50 to seal a seven-wicket win over Pakistan in the opening match of the one-day series.

In recent years Knight has had an active role in the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation, which aims to build the first dedicated international cricket ground in the country’s capital city of Kigali. In 2014 she even hiked up Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for the charitable organisation by taking part in the highest game of cricket ever. With Knight’s drive and level of competitiveness, we know some thrilling matches lie ahead.


P!nk

No singer is more deserving of an exclamation point in their name than P!nk. Not only does she knock us out with her powerful voice, but at live arena shows she’s known for soaring high above audiences in jaw-dropping acrobatic performances. During the past 17 years, P!nk has built a catalogue of songs that send our spirits soaring, from the soul-baring ballads Just Give Me a Reason, Sober and Try to the fist-pumping anthems So What and Trouble.

She’s won three GRAMMYs and two BRITs as well as sold over 43 million albums worldwide. And although she’s softened a bit since becoming a mum-of-two, she’s never lost her edge. We can’t wait to raise our glass to the fabulously loud P!nk who’s f***in’ perfect to us when she headlines Virgin V Festival on 19 – 20 August.


Laura Muir

Following her European 3,000m and British 5,000m indoor records earlier this year, just last weekend Muir won double gold for Great Britain in the 1,500m and 3,000m at the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Belgrade. Not only did she secure her first two major senior titles, but the Scottish middle distance runner, who’s been tipped to succeed Jessica Ennis-Hill as the nation’s poster girl, also broke Doina Melinte’s 32-year-old 1,500m championship record with her time of 4 minutes 2.39 seconds.

Muir has a lifelong passion for animals, so when she’s not running she’s studying to be a vet. We think whatever she wants to do, Muir will have world at her feet! Watch her in action from 4 – 13 August at the IAFF World Championships in London.


Sara Pascoe

Thanks to this gloriously silly, self-deprecating comedian, women everywhere can feel more at ease in their own skins. Pascoe, who’s been performing stand-up for about 10 years, wrote her first book called Animal – How a Woman Is Made. It came out last year and she’s currently touring the UK with the show Sara Pascoe: Animal.

Known for being original, honest and fearless, she talks about everything from body image, pubic hair and sexuality to God and selfies. In addition to 2009’s Girl Friday, an all-female sketch show that she co-wrote, Pascoe has a host of TV credits to her name. She’s also a patron of the British Humanist Association. Whether appearing live or on telly, Pascoe is always endearing and has the uncanny knack of making us think and howl with laughter.


Wonder Woman

With a major motion picture hitting cinemas this summer as well as a work of art created from LEGO® bricks on display in The Art of the Brick: DC Super Heroes, this Amazon warrior princess has never been hotter. Wonder Woman made her DC Comics debut in 1941 and has been an empowering female figure ever since. Not only is she beautiful, but this superheroine comic book character is also strong, wise and can fly.

Wonder Woman stands for peace, justice and equality – and she wields awesome gadgets like an invisible plane, the Lasso of Truth, bullet-proof bracelets and a razor-sharp golden tiara. Our favourite personality trait: once she’s in a fight, she never gives up!


Emeli Sandé

Being an R&B singer-songwriter requires a lot of grit and vocal prowess – and those are two things this soulful Scottish artist has in spades. Since releasing her debut album, Our Vision of Events, and winning a Critic’s Choice BRIT Award in 2012, Sandé has been showing us just how crazy talented she is. She wowed the whole world with her rich, soaring pipes at the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics.

Late last year she released her second album, Long Live the Angels, to critical acclaim and next week she’ll set out on a UK tour to promote it. From penning songs for stars like Rihanna, Leona Lewis and Alicia Keys to studying neuroscience, there’s nothing Sandé can’t do. You can put that in all of the papers!


Matilda Wormwood

Smart kid alert: The heroine of Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s novel and Matilda The Musical is a clever girl. Even though she’s been dealt a bad hand in life – with the worst parents ever and a cruel headmistress – nothing can lessen her love of learning. She even teaches herself how to read!

While shaping up to be a brainiac, Matilda finds she has some magical powers. Loyal to her friends, a kindly teacher and others who are mistreated, Matilda uses her special abilities to help set things right – by turning the tables on the wicked grown-ups of her world. And what’s more empowering than a young girl who outwits all the baddies? So although she’s not yet a woman, we’re sure Matilda will grow up to become an indomitable one.


Katy Brand

We just think she’s hysterical. If you didn’t see Katy Brand’s Big Ass Show, a sketch show that ran on TV from 2007-09, then you missed out. Brand performed a mix of celebrity spoofs (Kate “Normal” Winslet, a neurotic housewife) and characters of her own creation (Caroline “Little Treats”, who is constantly calculating calories). She always finds the right balance between showing us truths about everyday life while at the same time making them hilarious.

In 2014, Brand wrote a novel called Brenda Monk Is Funny about an alter-ego character on her journey to comedy superstardom. This May she’ll be heading off on a UK tour with her acclaimed show I Was a Teenage Christian, and we can’t wait to hear what she’ll say as she relives her evangelical adolescent years.


Carole King

Proficient on the piano by the age of four and prolific in songwriting by her early teens, King sold her first hit Will You Love Me Tomorrow? to The Shirelles in 1960 at the age of 17. She spent the next decade co-penning a string of chart-toppers with her then-husband Gerry Goffin for the biggest acts at the time including The Drifters, Bobby Vee and Little Eva. As it turned out, King’s greatest challenge was to find her own voice.

With the release of her second solo album, Tapestry, in 1971, she finally got the chance to step into the spotlight. Not only did that record receive four Grammys and sell more than 25 million copies worldwide, but it’s packed with all the songs we know and love to this day: You’ve Got a Friend, It’s Too Late, I Feel the Earth Move and, of course, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.

Although she rarely makes appearances outside of charitable or political fundraisers, last year King performed here in London at Hyde Park, where she was joined on stage for a song by the talented West End cast of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Simply put, she’s forever a legend.

Jayne Ludlow

Here’s someone who is making strides for women’s football. Serving as Wales coach since 2014, Ludlow has been appointed as the ambassador for the UEFA Women’s Champions League Final which will be held for the first time in Cardiff on 1 June. The daughter of a professional footballer, she’s always loved the sport. At the age of 21 she signed with Arsenal, playing as a midfielder and netting over 200 goals for the team before retiring in 2013. To this day, Ludlow remains Arsenal’s all-time record goal scorer.

Having won the UEFA Women’s Cup with Arsenal 10 years ago, she recognises what a fantastic opportunity the event will be in raising the profile of women’s football and increasing participation numbers both in Wales and beyond. “For me, there’s an added bonus: our younger national team players will be inspired seeing firsthand the pinnacle of women’s club football,” said Ludlow in a press statement for UEFA.com. That’s another goal scored for her in our record books!

Who are the women in entertainment that inspire you? Tell us at @TicketmasterUK #BeBoldForChange  #InternationalWomensDay