For the girls! Fans celebrated Women’s History Month at Leading Ladies concert at Kings Theatre

leading ladies concert
Elle King, Kelsea Ballerini and Meghan Trainor gushed over one another’s sets during the annual Leading Ladies concert at Kings Theatre.
Photo by Manny Carabel/Getty Images

In honor of Women’s History Month, the Kings Theatre became a home for queens at the annual Leading Ladies concert showcase on March 20. A star-studded lineup, including Kelsea Ballerini and Meghan Trainor, took the stage to perform an acoustic set list between personal storytelling.

Powerhouse performers Ballerini, Trainor, chart-topping Elle King, Christina Perri, and Rachel Platten took turns playing hit songs like Trainor’s “All About That Bass” and Platten’s uplifting “Fight Song” before sharing what these tunes meant to them and what it means to be a woman in the music industry.

Christina Perri performs onstage during Audacy's Leading Ladies 2024 concert
Christina Perri performs onstage during Audacy’s Leading Ladies 2024.Photo by Manny Carabel/Getty Images

The fourth annual celebration hosted by Audacy, a multi-platform digital content company, is truly a “girls-girl” event as each act focuses on uplifting female voices and highlighting their experiences.

Perri, known for her ballads “Jar of Hearts” and “A Thousand Years” — the unofficial anthem of the “Twilight” series — said that growing up she never thought she’d stand in front of crowds celebrating her womanhood.

“I was born in the eighties. I feel like it wasn’t as celebrated to be a woman back when I was little. I didn’t know how cool it was to be a girl,” she told Brooklyn Paper. “When I was little I thought you had to be a boy to be cool so I wanted to be tough and I never embraced my femininity or thought that was a superpower when it is. Women are amazing.”

The singer-songwriter has always been open about her mental health journey, her pregnancy experiences of delivering her stillborn daughter Rosie after miscarrying in 2020 and her journey to sobriety. She used these life experiences to create vulnerable songs like her 2022 tune “Blue.”

“There’s so many cool things that I learned a little bit later in life that now if I went back to me as a kid, I’d never believe you,” Perri said. “But I’m so proud of the way it’s gone and how it keeps changing.”

Along with her most popular “Fight Song,” Platten pounded out her latest song “Mercy,” leaving the audience teary-eyed and on their feet. 

Platten shared her popular hit "Fight Song" with fans and cried as they cheered for her at the concert
Platten performed her popular hit ‘Fight Song’ with fans and cried as they cheered for her. Photo by Manny Carabel/Getty Images

“I dug for these songs. They were kind of medicine when I was going through really dark times that I was pretty public about. All of them were freeing and healing to write but also painful,” Platten said. “I was in really hard moments when these songs came out and they were kind of me crawling my way out of the dark.”

Trainor, King and Ballerini all shared the stage, taking turns leading songs, sharing love and singing along to one another’s break-up hits. 

Kelsea Ballerini a self-professed "girls-girl" sang tunes of friendship and love.
Kelsea Ballerini, a self-professed ‘girls-girl,’ sang tunes of friendship and love. Photo by Manny Carabel/Getty Images

Trainor talked to Brooklyn Paper about how she never thought she’d be a pop star growing up, let alone one who could encourage an entire generation.

“I just knew I loved writing songs and I got into that and I learned about being a songwriter, being behind the scenes and I thought ‘Oh, I’ll do that’ because there’s no way I can be a pop star,” she said.

meghan trainor on stage at leading ladies concert
Meghan Trainor graced the stage. Photo by Manny Carabel/Getty Images

After being in the industry for years, Trainor took a hiatus from touring to have her two children Riley and Barry, however she recently announced she’ll be going on tour with the whole family this fall. Her newest album, featuring a song with T-Pain, will be released on June 14.

“You can do anything if you really work hard enough and believe in yourself,” she told Brooklyn Paper.

Karen Carson, the radio host of Audacy’s NEW 102.7 in NYC, celebrated the event’s dedication to bringing female voices to the forefront in such a collaborative way.

“That’s what makes the Leading Ladies so unique. It’s so much fun to see all of them up there,” Carson told Brooklyn Paper. “Women in music like many other performers or anyone, have worked in a male-dominated industry and there are a lot of challenges to overcome and they did it with strength and grace. We want them to shine. Their stories are amazing.”

Leading Ladies started as a women in country music event but, as popularity grew and they started to see more crossovers in genres, organizers branched out to include pop artists. This was the first time the event was brought to Brooklyn’s Kings Theatre.

“There’s so much crossover these days between the two genres,” Carson said. “They all go together in a way.”

The women in the room walked out of the Flatbush venue with smiles from ear to ear — and the belief that they could do anything they set their minds to.

Additional reporting by Lauren Rapp