There was a flamboyant pop star. A legendary singer. A TV star, some supermodels, and one of the world's most powerful philanthropists. Even a former secretary of state who may soon be running for president.
But of all the prominent women who appeared onstage Monday night at the Glamour Women of the Year awards, no one received more acclaim and adoration than a teenager whom no one had heard of little more than a year ago -- 16-year-old Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai."We love you, Malala!" shouted a group of young girls from a high balcony in New York City's Carnegie Hall, where the annual event was held. The teenager blew back a kiss, and proceeded to give an impassioned speech.
"I believe the gun has no power at all," said Malala, who caught the world's attention when the Taliban shot her in the head in October 2012 for criticizing the group's interpretation of Islam, which limits girls' access to education. She has since gained global prominence, has started The Malala Fund to support education for girls, and recently released a memoir, "I Am Malala.""I believe the gun has no power because a gun can only kill," she said. "But a pen can give life."
It wasn't just the crowd that was taken with Malala; her fellow honorees referred to her often as they took the stage, and the night's most flamboyant honoree, Lady Gaga, said she wished this month's Glamour magazine cover, which features her, had been devoted to Malala instead.
"If I could forfeit my Glamour cover I would give it to Malala," she said.
"I'm really, really very honored," Lady Gaga told Entertainment Tonight at the awards ceremony. "But the truth is they [the other honorees] are much more glamorous than I am. I am very grateful that I was chosen to be on the cover, but I think it's really an important time to look at the sphere of all the women that are being honored tonight. And to turn glamour into something that's not on the outside, but something that's on the inside."
Lady Gaga was just one of 12 women to be honored, including Yousafzai, Gabby Giffords, Catherine Martin, Kerry Washington, Liya Kebede, Christy Turlington Burns, Natalie Massenet, Carissa Moore, Streisand, and Melinda Gates.
The evening's Lifetime Achievement Award went to Barbra Streisand, who told the audience that she had been lucky enough to be born with a good singing voice. "That voice ultimately allowed me to speak out and have my opinions heard," said Streisand, 71.
Also in attendance were Lena Dunham, Hillary Clinton, Lily Collins, and Rose Byrne, who each took the stage throughout the night. After the Carnegie Hall ceremony, the honorees, presenters and guests attended a private dinner at the famed Oak Room at the Plaza Hotel.