36: M.I.A. – Powerful Women of 2013
She released 'Galang,' which she she recorded in her London apartment with a 4-track tape machine, the MC-505 and a radio mic, via Showbiz Records in 2003. The mixtape soon went viral, and M.I.A. gained a strong following through college airplay, file sharing and club rotation.
In 2004, she was signed to XL Recordings and soon released 'Arular.' In 2006, she released 'Kala,' which boasted 'Bird Flu' and 'Paper Planes' as its major hits.
M.I.A. released 'Maya' in 2010, and then started signing artists to her own label, N.E.E.T., recruiting acts like Blaqstarr, Sleigh Bells and Rye Rye. Now signed to Roc Nation Management, she will be dropping 'Matangi' on April 15, which she teased fans with by releasing a mixtape in March.
Although M.I.A. has not won a Grammy for her solo work, she walked away with the prize in 2009 for 'Swagga Like Us' in the Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group with Jay-Z, T.I., Kanye West and Lil Wayne.
She continues to dominate music festivals in 2013, like Pitchfork's recent event, and tours on the regular. This fall, she'll debut her fourth LP, 'Matangi,' which will features tracks like 'Bring the Noize.'