Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards at Carnegie Hall Monday night drew star wattage of a magnitude rarely seen except at a Hollywood awards ceremony or an Obama-era White House Correspondents Dinner. Oprah flew in from Chicago to introduce Julia Roberts, Janet Jackson was on-hand for Donatella Versace and Kate Hudson sashayed across the stage to honor her pal Fergie. “Who else can wear a leather miniskirt and jump around on a pogo stick?” Hudson said of the singer.
Jackson struck a more somber tone when presenting Versace with the honor. “We share a close bond, we both lost our brothers too soon,” said Jackson. “We were dressed in Versace [at the Michael Jackson memorial], which means, we were dressed in love.”
The lovefest continued, as Oprah showered praise on Roberts. “It’s not just that she’s an Oscar winner, Hollywood royalty and the star and producer of films that have made over $5 billion,” she said of the actress. “She’s a different kind of powerful woman.”
“This is proof that I can play ‘Hot Cross Buns’ on the piano and still make it to Carnegie Hall,” Roberts said as she accepted the unusually shaped trophy. “Um, what the hell is this?” she asked. “Does it have do with women or Glamour? I’ll have a few drinks and figure it out.”
Roberts ended her speech with a little advice for the women in the room. “Know when to say yes; know when to say no; don’t tuck your hair behind your ears like this,” she advised, mimicking the motion on herself. “It never looks good.”
As Cher accepted her prize from her “Burlesque” co-star Stanley Tucci, she said, “I should have been a presenter, not a recipient, I’m just an entertainer.” Later, she finished her thought. “Don’t take no for an answer because no is just some bulls–t word that someone made up,” she said.
After the speeches, everyone walked over to the Museum of Modern Art, where Roberts got the entire crowd to sing “Happy Birthday” to her date for the night, “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy.
The party continued on Tuesday afternoon at the Waldorf-Astoria, as Ambassador Susan Rice and Cindi Leive hosted a luncheon to honor heads of state who received awards the prior evening: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of the Republic of Liberia; Iveta Radicova, prime minister of the Slovak Republic and Kamla Persad-Bissessar, prime minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.