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Katy Perry & Carly Rae Jepsen Honored at "Billboard" Women of the Year Gala in NYC

Image courtesy of Andrew H. Walker/WireImage (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of Andrew H. Walker/WireImage (via ABC News Radio)

Katy Perry and Carly Rae Jepsen walked the red carpet at New York's Capitale club Friday afternoon at the annual Billboard Women of the Year Awards gala, where both singers were honored for their numerous accomplishments.  Katy was crowned Billboard's Woman of the Year, while Carly Rae received the Rising Star Award.

At the luncheon in their honor, Katy accepted her award wearing a rose-colored, Oscar de la Renta, knee-length dress with ruffles on top and bottom.  She told the crowd, "I'm not a feminist, but I believe in the strength of women...I hope I'm an inspiration to young women." 

The chart-topping star thanked all the women who had supported her, including her mother, who was present, as well as her sister and her cousin.  She also mentioned Jodie , an 11-year-old autistic girl she recently sang a duet with at a benefit event.  "She showed me the true meaning of being a firework," said Katy.

The star closed by joking to the crowd, made up of top music industry female execs, "I hope we don't all start our cycles together now."  After her remarks, Katy was interviewed by The Daily Show' s Jon Stewart , who said he'd been knocked out by Katy when she performed with Jodie at the autism benefit, which he hosted.

Carly Rae Jepsen, in bright blue, dedicated her award to her mother and stepmother, and said this past year had "made me realize that childhood dreams really can come true."

On the red carpet, Carly told ABC News Radio that the "Rising Star" honor was "amazing," adding, "I'm walking down this carpet right now and thinking of all the women who walked before me and it gives me a shiver down my spine.  It's a really cool moment." 

Speaking about her status as a "new" artist, Carly said, "I think it's an amazing first step, and it's my first year...getting some worldwide exposure.  It's sorta one step at a time and it's an honor that I definitely wasn't expecting, so I'll take it with a smile!"  Carly, who's friendly with Katy, said her fellow honoree is "an incredible woman, but a really kind spirit too," with a "really warm heart."

Explaining why Katy Perry was chosen as Woman of the Year this year, when last year was really the pinnacle of her career, Billboard executive editor Bill Werde told ABC News Radio that it was watching Katy's 3D movie Part of Me that convinced him she was deserving of the award.

"I went in there expecting a lighthearted hour or two," said Werde of seeing the film.  "What I didn't expect was to be honestly, credibly inspired by a very real story of a woman who had to overcome [many obstacles]."  He added, "And I just walked out that movie feeling -- when I think about the spirit of this event and the message of this event, and what we're trying to accomplish -- that Katy would just be a fantastic choice."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio