Singer, songwriter, award show record setter, highest-paid black musician in history, most awarded woman in the history of the Grammys... and she's Beyoncé.
"Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter is an American singer, songwriter, dancer, and actress. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Beyoncé performed in various singing and dancing competitions as a child. She rose to fame in the late 1990s as lead singer of the R&B girl-group Destiny's Child. Managed by her father, Mathew Knowles, the group became one of the world's best-selling girl groups in history. Their hiatus saw Beyoncé's theatrical film debut in Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002) and the release of her debut album, Dangerously in Love (2003). The album established her as a solo artist worldwide, earned five Grammy Awards, and featured the Billboard Hot 100 number one singles "Crazy in Love" and "Baby Boy".
Following the break-up of Destiny's Child in 2006, she released her second solo album, B'Day (2006), which contained the top ten singles "Déjà Vu", "Irreplaceable", and "Beautiful Liar". Beyoncé also continued her acting career, with starring roles in The Pink Panther (2006), Dreamgirls (2006), and Obsessed (2009). Her marriage to rapper Jay-Z and portrayal of Etta James in Cadillac Records (2008) influenced her third album, I Am... Sasha Fierce (2008), which saw the introduction of her alter-ego Sasha Fierce and earned a record-setting six Grammy Awards in 2010, including Song of the Year for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)". Beyoncé took a hiatus from music in 2010 and took over management of her career; her fourth album 4 (2011) was subsequently mellower in tone, exploring 1970s funk, 1980s pop, and 1990s soul. Her critically acclaimed fifth album, Beyoncé (2013), was distinguished from previous releases by its experimental production and exploration of darker themes. Her sixth album, Lemonade (2016), also received widespread critical acclaim, and subsequently became the best-selling album of 2016.
Throughout her career, Beyoncé has sold an estimated 100 million records as a solo artist, and a further 60 million records with the group Destiny's Child, making her one of the best-selling music artists in history. She has won 22 Grammy Awards and is the most nominated woman in the award's history. She is also the most awarded artist at the MTV Video Music Awards, with 24 wins. The Recording Industry Association of America recognized Beyoncé as the Top Certified Artist in America during the 2000s (decade). In 2009, Billboard named her the Top Radio Songs Artist of the Decade, the Top Female Artist of the 2000s (decade), and awarded her their Millennium Award in 2011. In 2014, she became the highest-paid black musician in history and was listed among Time's 100 most influential people in the world for a second year in a row. Forbes ranked her as the most powerful female in entertainment on their 2015 and 2017 lists, and in 2016 she occupied the sixth place for Time's Person of the Year. " (1)
"Beyoncé performed "America the Beautiful" at the 2009 presidential inauguration, as well as "At Last" during the first inaugural dance at the Neighborhood Ball two days later. They held a fundraiser at Jay-Z's 40/40 Club in Manhattan for Obama's 2012 presidential campaign which raised $4 million. In the 2012 Presidential election, Beyoncé voted for Obama. She performed the American national anthem at his second inauguration.
The Washington Post reported in May 2015, that Beyoncé attended a major celebrity fundraiser for 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. She also headlined for Hillary Clinton in a 2016 concert held the weekend before Election Day. In this performance, Beyoncé and her entourage of backup dancers wore pantsuits; a clear allusion to Clinton's frequent dress-of-choice. The backup dancers also wore "I'm with her" tee shirts, the campaign slogan for Clinton. In a brief speech at this performance Beyonce said, "I want my daughter to grow up seeing a women lead our country and knowing that her possibilities are limitless."
In 2013, Beyoncé stated in an interview with Vogue that she considered herself to be "a modern-day feminist". She would later align herself more publicly with the movement, sampling "We should all be feminists", a speech delivered by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at a TEDx talk in April 2013, in her song "Flawless", released later that year. In 2014 she performed live at the MTV Video Awards in front a giant backdrop reading "FEMINIST." She has also contributed to the Ban Bossy campaign, which uses television and social media to encourage leadership in girls. Following Beyoncé's public identification as a feminist, the sexualized nature of her performances and the fact that she championed her marriage was questioned.
Beyoncé publicly endorsed same sex marriage on March 26, 2013, after the Supreme Court debate on California's Proposition 8. The singer has also condemned police brutality against black Americans. Beyoncé and Jay-Z attended a rally in 2013 in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the shooting of Trayvon Martin. The film for her sixth album Lemonade included the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner, holding pictures of their sons in the video for "Freedom". In a 2016 interview with Elle, Beyoncé responded to the controversy surrounding her song "Formation" which was perceived to be critical of the police. She clarified, "I am against police brutality and injustice. Those are two separate things. If celebrating my roots and culture during Black History Month made anyone uncomfortable, those feelings were there long before a video and long before me".
In February, Beyoncé spoke out against the withdrawal of protections for transgender students in public schools by Donald Drumpf's Presidential administration. Posting a link to the 100 Days of Kindness campaign on her Facebook page, Beyoncé voiced her support for transgender youth and joined a roster of celebrities who spoke out against Drumpf's decision.
Forbes magazine began reporting on Beyoncé's earnings in 2008, calculating that the $80 million earned between June 2007 to June 2008, for her music, tour, films and clothing line made her the world's best-paid music personality at the time, above Madonna and Celine Dion. They placed her fourth on the Celebrity 100 list in 2009 and ninth on the "Most Powerful Women in the World" list in 2010. The following year, Forbes placed her eighth on the "Best-Paid Celebrities Under 30" list, having earned $35 million in the past year for her clothing line and endorsement deals. In 2012, Forbes placed Beyoncé at number 16 on the Celebrity 100 list, twelve places lower than three years ago yet still having earned $40 million in the past year for her album 4, clothing line and endorsement deals. In the same year, Beyoncé and Jay-Z placed at number one on the "World's Highest-Paid Celebrity Couples", for collectively earning $78 million. The couple made it into the previous year's Guinness World Records as the "highest-earning power couple" for collectively earning $122 million in 2009. For the years 2009 to 2011, Beyoncé earned an average of $70 million per year, and earned $40 million in 2012. In 2013, Beyoncé's endorsements of Pepsi and H&M made her and Jay-Z the world's first billion dollar couple in the music industry. That year, Beyoncé was published as the fourth most-powerful celebrity in the Forbes rankings.
MTV estimated that by the end of 2014, Beyoncé would become the highest-paid black musician in history; this became the case in April 2014. In June 2014, Beyoncé ranked at number one on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list, earning an estimated $115 million throughout June 2013 – June 2014. This in turn was the first time she had topped the Celebrity 100 list as well as being her highest yearly earnings to date. In 2016, Beyoncé ranked at number 34 on the Celebrity 100 list with earnings of $54 million. Herself and Jay-Z also topped the highest paid celebrity couple list, with combined earnings of $107.5 million. As of May 2017, Forbes calculated her net worth to be $350 million, and in June of the same year, ranked her as the second-highest earning celebrity with annual earnings of $105 million. This tied Beyoncé with Madonna as the only two female artists to earn more than $100 million within a single year twice. As a couple with Jay-Z, they have a combined net worth of $1.16 billion. In July 2017, Billboard announced that Beyoncé was the highest paid musician of 2016, with an estimated total of $62.1 million.
Forbes magazine’s 2017 list for the highest-paid women in music
Beyonce has jumped from number 5 last year to clinch the top spot (number 1) in Forbes magazine’s 2017 list for the highest-paid women in mus Beyonce’s most praised album “Lemonade,” her sixth No. 1 hit, and her subsequent Formation World Tour accounted for the bulk of the estimated $105 millionshe has earned between June 1, 2016, and June 1, 2017. This is nearly twice her $54 million last year or her $54.5 million the year before that. English singer Adele has secured the second position for the second year in a row, with an estimated $69 million. Last year’s topper, Taylor Swift, has scored $44 million and reached the 3rd position.
In The New Yorker, music critic Jody Rosen described Beyoncé as "the most important and compelling popular musician of the twenty-first century..... the result, the logical end point, of a century-plus of pop." When The Guardian named her Artist of the Decade, Llewyn-Smith wrote:
Why Beyoncé? [...] Because she made not one but two of the decade's greatest singles, with 'Crazy in Love' and 'Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)', not to mention her hits with Destiny's Child; and this was the decade when singles – particularly R&B singles – regained their status as pop's favourite medium. [...] [She] and not any superannuated rock star was arguably the greatest live performer of the past 10 years.
In 2013, Beyoncé made the Time 100 list, with Baz Luhrmann writing:
No one has that voice, no one moves the way she moves, no one can hold an audience the way she does... When Beyoncé does an album, when Beyoncé sings a song, when Beyoncé does anything, it's an event, and it's broadly influential. Right now, she is the heir-apparent diva of the USA – the reigning national voice.
In 2014, Beyoncé was listed again on the Time 100 and also featured on the cover of the issue.
Beyoncé's work has influenced numerous artists including Britney Spears, Adele, Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga, Ellie Goulding, Rihanna, Kelly Rowland, Sam Smith, Nicole Scherzinger, Jessica Sanchez, Cheryl, JoJo, Meghan Trainor, Grimes, Rita Ora, Zendaya, Alexis Jordan, Bridgit Mendler, and Azealia Banks. American indie rock band White Rabbits also cited her an inspiration for their third album Milk Famous (2012),friend Gwyneth Paltrow studied Beyoncé at her live concerts while learning to become a musical performer for the 2010 film Country Strong...
Her debut single, "Crazy in Love" was named VH1's "Greatest Song of the 2000s", NME's "Best Track of the 00s" and "Pop Song of the Century", considered by Rolling Stone to be one of the 500 greatest songs of all time, earned two Grammy Awards and is one of the best-selling singles of all time at around 8 million copies. The music video for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)", which achieved fame for its intricate choreography and its deployment of jazz hands, was credited by the Toronto Star as having started the "first major dance craze of both the new millennium and the Internet", triggering a number of parodies of the dance choreography and a legion of amateur imitators on YouTube. In 2013, Drake released a single titled "Girls Love Beyoncé", which featured an interpolation from Destiny Child's "Say My Name" and discussed his relationship with women. In January 2012, research scientist Bryan Lessard named Scaptia beyonceae, a species of horse fly found in Northern Queensland, Australia after Beyoncé due to the fly's unique golden hairs on its abdomen. In July 2014, a Beyoncé exhibit was introduced into the "Legends of Rock" section of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The black leotard from the "Single Ladies" video and her outfit from the Super Bowl half time performance are among several pieces housed at the museum. Architects credit Beyoncé's look in her "Ghost" music video as the inspiration of the design of the Premier Tower under construction in Australia.
Honors and awards
Beyoncé has received numerous awards. As a solo artist she has sold over 17 million albums in the US, and over 100 million records worldwide (a further 60 million additionally with Destiny's Child), making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) listed Beyoncé as the top certified artist of the 2000s decade, with a total of 64 certifications. Her songs "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)", "Halo", and "Irreplaceable" are some of the best-selling singles of all time worldwide. In 2009, The Observer named her the Artist of the Decade and Billboard named her the Top Female Artist and Top Radio Songs Artist of the Decade. In 2010, Billboard named her in their "Top 50 R&B/Hip-Hop Artists of the Past 25 Years" list at number 15. In 2012 VH1 ranked her third on their list of the "100 Greatest Women in Music", behind Mariah Carey and Madonna. Beyoncé was honored with the International Artist Award at the 2007 American Music Awards. She has also received the Legend Award at the 2008 World Music Awards, the Billboard Millennium Awardat the 2011 Billboard Music Awards, the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, and the Fashion Icon Award at the 2016 CFDA Awards.
Beyoncé has won 22 Grammy Awards, both as a solo artist and member of Destiny's Child, making her the second most honored female artist by the Grammys, behind Alison Krauss and the most nominated woman in Grammy Award history with a total of 62 nominations. "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" won Song of the Year in 2010 while "Say My Name", "Crazy in Love" and "Drunk in Love" have each won Best R&B Song. Dangerously in Love, B'Day and I Am... Sasha Fierce have all won Best Contemporary R&B Album, while Lemonade has won Best Urban Contemporary Album. Beyoncé set the record for the most Grammy awards won by a female artist in one night in 2010 when she won six awards, breaking the tie she previously held with Alicia Keys, Norah Jones, Alison Krauss, and Amy Winehouse, with Adele equaling this in 2012.
Beyoncé has also won 24 MTV Video Music Awards, making her the most-awarded artist in Video Music Award history. "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" and "Formation" won Video of the Year in 2009 and 2016 respectively. Beyoncé tied the record set by Lady Gaga in 2010 for the most VMAs won in one night for a female artist with eight in 2016. She is also the most awarded and nominated artist in BET Award history, winning 24 awards from a total of 54 nominations." (2)