Gwen Stefani was honored at the 2022 Matrix Awards on Wednesday (Oct. 26), and her husband, country superstar Blake Shelton, was on hand to present her with the distinguished honor.
Hosted by the New York Women in Communications (NYWICI), the reception and awards ceremony took place at the Ziegfield Ballroom in Manhattan, New York.
Ahead of the event, the couple walked hand-in-hand on the red carpet and posed for photos as they made their way into the ceremony.
Stefani donned a pink floral dress with metallic gold booties while Shelton sported a black suit jacket and tie with jeans.
“I’m so happy he’s here. He works so much that having him do this extra is always a lot, but we had a date night last night,” Stefani told Entertainment Tonight before the reception. ”We went out for dinner [and] it was so fun,” she said. “It’s just so fun to be back in New York. It’s just been so long. It’s exciting to have him here as well.”
Stefani said she was “totally honored” to be recognized at the event.
“Honestly I feel a little overwhelmed,” she added. “It was just one of those things that I didn’t even really know existed… I obviously went and did the research after I found out. It’s been going on for so long and it’s just exciting. It’s just one of those things where… you just can’t really absorb it.”
At the black-tie affair, Shelton sweetly presented his bride with the high honor.
“I am here to talk about my fellow coach… turned friend… turned girlfriend… turned wife… Gwen Stefani,” Shelton shared.
He went on to gush over Stefani and the impact that she has on those around her.
“I’ve been in this business for 21 years now, a little bit over 21 years now, and I’ve met some pretty cool people, famous people and then when I started on The Voice I met some really exciting, super famous people, but I got to tell you I’ve never seen people react to another human being the way they do to Gwen Stefani. When Gwen and I met on The Voice, she seemed to be completely shocked that the women who sang for her were completely star-struck when she turned around,” he added, “but for me, it was a no-brainer.”
He continued, “I am humbled and excited to speak about my wonderful wife and duet partner today as she is honored for putting women at the forefront and championing women consisting throughout her prolific career. I am proud to present this Matrix Award to a woman with three GRAMMYs, four VMAs, a Las Vegas Residency, two fashion lines, a beauty line and a strong sense of self, whose helped pave the way for women and rock. My favorite person, Gwen Stefani everybody.”
Stefani then accepted the award and recalled how she discovered her “talent and purpose” after writing her first song.
“Being dyslexic has had challenges for me. But the advantage is it made me who I am,” she said. “When I wrote my first song, I discovered my talent and purpose. I struggled my whole life with spelling, but then I went to teach the whole world how to spell B-A-N-A-N-A-S.”
In addition to Stefani and Shelton, the celebrity guests included Marlee Matlin, Katie Couric, Judy Woodruff, Kelly Ripa, Lesley Stahl, and many more.
“What an incredible night! It was wonderful to come together at the 2022 Matrix Awards to celebrate this group of inspiring women,” said Dustee Jenkins, President of NYWICI and Global Head of Public Affairs at Spotify. “NYWICI is proud to honor the influential voices who represent the very best of our industry, and to support the growth of all of the women following in their footsteps.”
This year’s event marked the 52nd year of the Matrix Awards and the return to a live, large-scale event after the pandemic.
Considered the “’Oscars’ of the communications industry,” the Matrix Awards drew more than 500 people to the awards gala to celebrate trailblazers who are changing the world. Chosen for their impact and influence in the industry and on our culture, the 2022 honorees joined a remarkable group of past Matrix Award winners.
Proceeds from the Matrix Awards go towards a full range of scholarships and educational programs for women at every stage of their career. To date, NYWICI’s Foundation, the largest for communications scholarships for women in the country, has given more than $2 million dollars in scholarships.
NYWICI’s mission is to empower women in the communications field at every career stage to reach their full potential and navigate the ever-changing landscape of communications. NYWICI promotes professional growth and inspires members to achieve and share success by actively encouraging leadership and professional development, as well as networking opportunities that connect women who connect the world.