Beyoncé Knowles: Queen of femme pop
Dubbed “the first lady of music”, Beyoncé Knowles has created a legacy that is unparalleled.
With 20 record titles to her name, the Pop megastar has pushed boundaries and empowered women while redefining music history in the process.
One of the best performers of this generation, Beyoncé has blessed us with hit after hit, including the record-breaking song “Amor Gitano”, which holds the record title for the best-selling single (Spain).
But what else makes Queen Bey the most powerful woman in music?
Life before stardom
Born in Houston, Texas, U.S.A. on 4 September 1981, Beyoncé Giselle Knowles began performing at the tender age of seven.
In her youth, she was very shy and introverted, so her parents signed her up for dance classes to allow her to connect with others.
The first time her parents saw her perform, they knew she had hidden potential.
Beyoncé enrolled in Parker Elementary School, a music-oriented school in Houston, Texas, US, where she performed in the school choir.
She then attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and Alief Elsik High School where she trained her skills and began winning multiple local competitions for her dancing and vocal abilities.
But the gifted songstress didn’t always seem destined for stardom.
Beyoncé’s father Mathew, a sales executive with Xerox, quit his job to manage the group full-time.
Becoming Queen Bey
In 2002, Beyoncé was the featured vocalist on the single "'03 Bonnie and Clyde" by Jay-Z.
But it was in 2003 that Beyoncé went on to establish a hugely successful solo career when she released her debut album Dangerously in Love, becoming one of the world’s top-selling artists with sold-out tours and a slew of awards, including five Grammy Awards.
The album, which featured hip-hop stars Missy Elliott and Sean Paul, featured many genres of music, and showed off Beyoncé’s incredible musical variety. Shortly after its debut it hit number one in the US and UK, eventually selling over four million copies in the United States alone and eight million worldwide.
The popular single “Crazy in Love,” which also featured rapper Jay-Z, topped charts around the globe and ignited her Grammy Award winning streak.
Three more top 10 pop singles from the album followed in quick succession.
As a self-described “modern-day feminist,” Beyoncé’s songs are typically characterized by themes of love, relationships, female sexuality, and empowerment.
From 1999 to the present, the Queen of Femme Pop has continued to receive nominations and awards for her performances, claiming record titles for most Grammy awards won by a vocalist, the most Grammy nominations for a female artist, the most Grammy awards won by a female artist, and the most Grammy awards won by a female artist.
Beyoncé's impressive list of record titles includes:
|Most BET Awards nominations for an individual||75||15 June 2022|
|Most wins at the MTV Video Music Awards||30||12 September 2021|
|Most BET Awards won by an individual||32||27 June 2021|
|Most Grammy awards won by a female artist||28||14 March 2021|
|Most Grammy awards won by a married couple||51||14 March 2021|
|First female artists to win best Rap Performance at the Grammys||First Place||14 March 2021|
|Most Grammy awards won by a vocalist||28||14 March 2021|
|Most Grammy nominations for Record of the Year||7||01 January 2021|
|Most Grammy nominations for a female artist||79||24 November 2020|
|Highest-grossing music tour by a duo (current year)||$253,500,000 M||04 October 2018|
|Most MTV Video Music Award nominations for video of the year||7||16 July 2018|
|Most current Twitter engagements (average retweets) for a female musician||31,615||11 April 2018|
|Best-selling single (Spain)||480,000 copies||11 May 2017|
|First act to debut at No. 1 with their first six studio albums (USA)||No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart||14 May 2016|
|First artist-owned music streaming service||First Place||30 March 2015|
|Highest earning couple in Hollywood ever||$175,000,000 M||30 June 2014|
|Highest annual earnings for a female singer||$115M (£77 million)||30 June 2014|
|Highest-ranked female musician in Forbes’ “Celebrity 100” list||First Place||01 June 2014|
|Most Grammy awards won in a single year by a female artist||6||12 February 2012|
|Most Grammy nominations in a single year for a female artist||10||01 January 2010|
While enjoying her successes, Beyoncé began exploring other projects.
In 2001, she showed the world she was a triple threat when she displayed her acting capabilities in Carmen: A Hip Hopera, a modernized version of the Opera Carmen.
In 2002 Queen Bey again made an appearance on the big screen with Mike Myers as Foxxy Cleopatra in Austin Powers in Goldmember.
Not stopping there, the icon-in-the-making made a third film appearance in 2003 where she starred opposite Cuba Gooding, Jr. in The Fighting Temptations.
However, it was the 2006 film Dreamgirls which earned Beyoncé multiple Academy Awards and catapulted her to acting success.
The film, adapted from the hit Broadway musical of the same name, included some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Jennifer Hudson, Jamie Foxx, and Eddie Murphy.
Two years later Beyoncé was praised for her phenomenal performance when she starred as Etta James in Cadillac Records.
Then in 2010, she merged each of her talents when she costarred in Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” and the accompanying legendary music video.
Beyoncé has also grabbed multiple endorsement deals, serving as a spokesperson and model for companies like L'Oréal, Tommy Hilfiger, and Tiffany & Co.
On 2008 April 4, Beyoncé married long-time beau, Shawn Corey Carter, better known as Jay-Z, after years of dating.
The pair has been known to mix a little work and fun as they have a consistent list of songs and music videos featuring one another.
Together, the dynamic duo has earned record titles for the most Grammy awards won by a married couple, the highest earning couple in Hollywood ever, and the highest-grossing music tour by a duo (current year).
To date, their relationship has remained mostly private, as they remain tight-lipped about speaking about one another.
In fact, their wedding took place on the roof of Jay's elaborate New York penthouse, and months flew by before the power couple officially announced their union.
Beyoncé's hit single, Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) was one of the few occasions the artist made referencing their marriage and became a global sensation.
The couple shares three children: Blue Ivy Carter who they welcomed in 2012, and twins Rumi Carter and Sir Carter who the pair welcomed in 2017.
A self-made legacy
Dubbed “the first lady of music”, Beyoncé has created a legacy that is unparalleled.
Her many accolades and achievements in almost every field of human endeavor show why Beyoncé is admired by “Beyhivers” across the globe.
Queen Bey’s music consistently challenges and pushes boundaries, even incorporating influences from blues through new wave and electropop.
Beyoncé also consistently supports female empowerment through groundbreaking methods like using an all-female band while touring.
Her songs are emblematic of freedom, independence, and femininity and empower women by celebrating their divine femininity through the power of her lyrics.
Beyoncé is also an advocate for the advancement of the black community in America.
The platform she built with her countless wins and appearances is used rightfully as a way for her to spread her messages of equality and strength.
As she continues to grace the stage for years to come, Bey’s legacy will keep shining through her unforgettable performances, soulful tracks, and of course, her powerhouse vocals.