Beyoncé: the steps of her amazing career
On the evening of March 14, the most important event of the music industry will be held – the 63rd edition of the Grammy Awards – but with some important changes. Some of the categories have changed their name (Best World Music Album has become Best Global Music Album, for example) and given the pandemic, which has postponed the ceremony by two months, the details regarding the audience in the hall or on the red carpet are still to be to define.
Fortunately, one thing that doesn’t change is the name of Beyoncé which recurs several times in the list of nominations. Indeed this year the artist is leading with nine Grammy Award nominations, for a total of 79 in career, in addition to 24 victories. But what is the secret of his Grammy dominance? Here, Vogue analyzes the enduring power of Queen Bey.
Beyoncé at the 59th Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 12, 2017
© Christopher Polk / Getty Images for NARAS
Beyoncé was a child when there was the first wave of pop megastars
In the heyday of the 1980s, the Grammy Awards were the ultimate status symbol for a pop star. They helped to consolidate the fame and credibility of a potential superstar, combining commercial success with recognition from the music industry.
For example, after Michael Jackson – who moonwalk home one evening in 1984 with eight Grammys – Prince also stepped onto the rather large megastar pedestal.three wins in 1985), Madonna (three nominations in the 1980s) and George Michael, who won Album of the Year in 1989 with Faith. This equation of Grammy plus megastar equal legend would have left its mark on the young Beyoncé – born in 1981 and former leader of her first female band, Girl’s Tyme, in 1990 – today one of the hardest workers in the music industry.
Prince and Beyoncé together perform a mix of Prince’s hits
© Michael Caulfield / Getty Images
It has never limited itself to a single genre
From the first Grammy nominations in 2000 – two nominations for Bills, Bills, Bills of Destiny’s Child, who lost to the equally powerful No Scrubs of TLC – Beyoncé has totaled 79 awards, an incredible number and the highest ever for a female artist. Of all these nominations – which include nine this year – he took home 24 statuettes.
Beyoncé’s awards are scattered across a career that includes Destiny’s Child (three wins, including two for Say My Name) and award-winning collaborations with characters like Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross, Shakira, Kanye West and of course her husband Jay-Z. In terms of musical influence, his transition from one genre to another has been recognized with nominations and awards in several Grammy categories, including pop, R&B, urban, rock and this year’s Best Rap Performance with Megan Thee Stallion for Savage (Remix).
Her vocal skills, coupled with songwriting and production from the beginning of her career, have placed her on a higher plane than some of her more pop colleagues who rarely venture into the world of writing and production ( Britney Spears, for example, also got her first nomination in 2000, but out of eight nominations she only won once – with Toxic).
Destiny’s Child performed on stage at the 43rd Grammy Awards on January 27, 2001 in Los Angeles
© Dave Hogan / Getty Images
He’s already passed on his prowess to Blue Ivy
Like all self-respecting superstars, especially those who evolve along with the web, Beyoncé understands the importance of visuals. This year sees her nominated to direct the film Black is King, a visual album for Disney + based on the music of his record The Lion King: The Gift, soundtrack of the remake of the film The Lion King. In the meantime, Brown Skin Girl is listed for Best Music Video.
The second nomination is perhaps the most interesting because it is the first at the Grammys obtained by Beyoncé’s daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, 9 years old – who appears in the video next to Mom, Saint Jhn and Wizkid. The first of many? Blue Ivy has already won a NAACP Image Award, a Soul Train Music Award and a BET Her Award. At the moment the Carter house has a staggering 160 Grammy nominations, and only the twins Sir and Rumi are missing.
Jay-Z, Blue Ivy Carter and Beyoncé at the 60th Grammy Awards at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2018 in New York
© Kevin Mazur / Getty Images
He still has a Grammy to win
Beyoncé’s journey to the Grammy Awards was not without obstacles. Despite having obtained six awards for the album I Am… Sasha Fierce at the 2010 edition, his most recent and critically lauded classics were relatively ignored when it came to the most coveted awards. 4, an album that is often little considered but which was a real turning point in building her own path after she separated from father-manager Mathew Knowles, received only two nominations. The follow-up of 2013, BEYONCÉ – an emotionally complex visual album launched unannounced that changed the way new records were released – won three of its five nominations, and one of those was for, ahem, Best Surround Sound Album.
Beyoncé poses with her six Grammys at the 46th Grammy Awards at Staples Center on February 8, 2004 in Los Angeles, California
© Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images
When Lemonade, the 2016 album on her marriage crisis, has definitively consecrated her one of the greatest icons of music, a nice Grammy haul was expected. Instead it only won two out of nine nominations, one of which pigeonholed it in the Urban Contemporary Album category (now renamed Best Progressive R&B Album). An oddity, given the wide variety of genres on the album, including country (Daddy Lessons) and rock (Don’t Hurt Yourself, in collaboration with Jack White). That was also the year Beyoncé was nominated for the third time in the prestigious Album of the Year category and lost. As Adele said, who won the prize with 25: “What the f … he still has to do to win Album of the Year?”
In a career strewn with successes, broken records and such an influence on contemporary culture as to be studied in university, maybe not having the Grammy for album of the year means there is still something to aim for. Even if she doesn’t admit it – music is much more than awards – you don’t get where Beyoncé has gone without wanting to be awarded the highest accolades in your industry. Let’s hope there’s another surprise album release on the horizon, so maybe he’ll be able to fulfill that last wish in 2022.