Queen Bey Conquers the Charts
Caroline Stewart '14
In one fell swoop Beyoncé has upheld her status as one of the biggest and most influential women in the music industry. In her new song “Ghost,” she sang, “Probably won’t make no money off this, oh well.” How wrong she was! The self-titled album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and sold 617,213 digital copies in the first three days, making it the best-selling debut for a female artist in 2013. Within six days of its release more than one million digital copies sold worldwide. As of this month the album has sold over 3 million units worldwide. The most impressive feat of all must be the fact that she achieved all this with no promotion. A surprise release of the record (only a few short days before finals) sent the Internet into a tizzy, and rightfully so.
The opening track “Pretty Hurts” addresses the pressure society puts on women to fit the mold of stereotypical beauty. The gut-wrenching opening lines, “What’s in your head, it doesn’t matter...what you wear is all that matters,” get straight to the point of the longstanding stereotype that beauty is more important than brains. As a new mother and a role model to many young women, Beyoncé opens the discussion about the burdens of unrealistic ideals of beauty and reveals that even as a mega-star, she understands the struggle so many women face daily.
Other notable songs include: “Drunk in Love,” in which Beyoncé and Jay Z team up again for a collaboration to confirm their status as music’s power couple; and the power anthem “***Flawless” featuring Nigerian feminist author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie reminds listeners that they are naturally perfect and empowered. The heartfelt and raw video for “Mine” featuring Drake, directed by Pierre Debusschere, includes Virgin Mary imagery and an allusion to Rene Magritte’s famous work The Lovers.
A self-empowering album, Beyoncé set out to prove that getting married and having a child is not a death sentence to one’s career. People can still have dreams and aspirations at any point in their lives, and this album was a way for Beyoncé to find herself and embrace her life. This new and innovative album sets Beyoncé apart as a performer and artist, and its huge success without any form of promotion is a true testament to the quality of her work and the dedication of her fans.
Beyoncé makes bank.
Beyoncé racks up awards.
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