The Winning Essay!

María Eir Magnúsdóttir 

Janet Calandra 



A person who should be remembered in history: Beyoncé Knowles Carter 

Who should be remembered as one of the greatest in history? Beyonce Knowles Carter should be at the top of the list. Beyonce Giselle Knowles was born on September 4, 1981, in Houston Texas. After singing in her mother’s hair salon and competing in talent shows with her childhood friends, Beyonce and Kelly Rowland formed the pop-diva band Destiny’s Child with two other additional friends. However, those two members left the group after a while and Michelle Williams joined as the band went on as a trio, the members remained the same until the group disbanded in 2006. Making their first record signed in 1997 Destiny’s Child rose to stardom for making amazing music, winning awards, and selling records and tours. Beyonce soon got recognized for her talent and gift for making music. After a successful time with Destiny’s Child, Beyonce began her solo career in 2003 with the album Dangerously in Love. Beyonce rose to fame fast and has stayed on top ever since, being the greatest performer of all time. For all of her amazing hits, and battles she has taken, and for being the artist behind “Crazy in Love” Beyoncé is the greatest artist in history.  

Music has been part of humans since the very first species could make sounds and beats with mouth or objects even before they learned to speak. It is a fact that everyone likes music and musicians are very appreciated and loved or even devoted to by people who are considered their fans. People have been head over heels with music throughout history, music will never die. People show up to venues and concerts in every weather just to hear the music. Music itself is something that will be forever in our story and how it has evolved and what meaning it has to people will always remain. People have their happy song, husband and wife have their song; everyone has their song. A person making songs and music should always be remembered as a big part of history, as Beyonce has been doing for the past decades.  

Beyonce’s music has lived through decades and still lives in people’s lives and will forever be known. Beyonce has been winning awards since she started making music with Destiny’s Child to present date having won 28 Grammys awards, 13 Billboard Music Awards, 9 American Music Awards, BET Awards, and 5 Golden Globe Awards. Overall, Beyonce has repeatedly won 102 awards, having been nominated over 200 times. Not making the awards being the only thing that makes this flawless artist the best in history, she has the biggest fan base in the world. Her fans have grown up listening to her and she has a fanbase all over the world. By selling out numerous of tours and even selling out venues in under a minute “Tickets for the first New York date on the ‘4 Intimate Nights with Beyonce’ tour sold out in just 22 seconds.” (“Beyonce’s Tour Sells Out In 22 Seconds”). It can be stated that Beyonce’s fans have always been crazy for her performances because nobody can put up a show like Beyonce does. According to The Good Guide, no one has had a better performance at Coachella in the 23 year history of Coachella “Her performance at Coachella was so astounding and netizens (citizens of the net – internet that is!) gave Coachella a nickname as “Beychella” (Lam, “TOP 10 COACHELLA PERFORMANCES OF ALL-TIME “). She not only made it historical by the show she put up, but she once again broke another glass ceiling in her career, Beyonce was the first Black female headliner of Coachella. She made the festival into her own concert in 2018. This is not the only time Beyonce has entered a show as a guest but ending up being the main character of the show “There’s no question Beyonce just stole that Super Bowl halftime show from its headline act, Coldplay. The only remaining question is, who didn’t see that coming?” (Bianco  Review: Beyonce upstages Coldplay in Super Bowl halftime show). Even though Beyonce was not the headline act in the Superbowl 2018 halftime show she made the headline for the show. With her tribute outfit to Michael Jackson and her amazing dance, it can be stated that Beyonce outshined Coldplay during the halftime show.   

Not only is she a miraculous artist, but Beyonce is also the one who uses her voice and platform to raise awareness about things that do matter in the world. It can be stated that Beyonce is a proud feminist icon and has several lyrics about feminism and she speaks up loudly to fight for women’s rights. Beyonce created a new wave of feminism according to Time “Beyoncé has managed to become the biggest female pop star in the world while cultivating her marriage, her role as a mother, and her sexuality. And in doing so, she’s ushering in a new wave of feminism,” (Dockterman “Flawless: 5 Lessons in Modern Feminism from Beyoncé”). There is no way to deny the fact that people in the past who express themselves as a feminist were not popular. Feminist has often been used as a term for ugly women with hair under their armpits and who are bitter towards men. Beyonce uses her music to promote feminism with encouraging lyrics that break the glass ceilings. She made a big hit with “Pretty Hurts” raising the awareness of how much pressure is put on women by society. She points out the problem that women are told that they need to be looking a certain way all the time with ambitious standards, Beyonce says it is a problem with our society but not their bodies.   

“Pretty hurts  

Shine the light on whatever´s worse  

Perfection is the disease of a nation  

… It´s the soul that needs a surgery”  

“Pretty Hurts” is a song telling women that it is the problem within our society and being obsessed about looks is destructive. During this time, she spoke about how Beyonce had body image issues before performing at the Superbowl. Calling out people in the industry, she made a statement with “Pretty Hurts.” Beyonce also made “Partition” and “Blow” on the same album in 2014, those songs send strong message to the world about feminist. In “Partition” Beyonce fights the box feminist are put in about not liking sex and both songs send that message that men are not entitled to be the only one liking sex and that women can be sexual beings on their own terms as well as having the freedom to express their own sexuality.   

On the same album Beyonce made a song that was a cultural reset. The song “Flawless” is song inspired and including the words of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a feminist author from Nigeria that has been advocating for women’s rights for a long time. She takes out a part from Chimamanda speech “We should all be Feminists”   

We say to girls: “You can have ambition, but not too much  

You should aim to be successful, but not too successful  

Otherwise, you will threaten the man.”  

Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage  

I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is most important  

Now, marriage can be a source of joy and low and mutual support  

But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same?  

We raise girls to see each other as competitors  

Not for jobs or for accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing  

But for the attention of men  

We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way boys are  

Feminist: a person who believes in the social,  

Political, and economic equality of the sexes (Adichie, “We Should All Be Feminists”). 

This verse is emphasized in the song how women are told to bow and obey to males and marriage as well as how women are given rules for the one reason only not to outshine the men in their lives.This big feminist verse fits perfectly in the song is absolute brilliance. The song is slowed down and it ends with the strong definition on what feminist is “Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes” (Adichie, “ We Should All Be Feminists”). This song is the most empowering song for feminism, having the song itself being amazing helps. She does not only represent feminism in her songs and lyrics in masterpieces like “Flawless,” “Diva,” “Partition,” “Irreplaceable,” “Run the World (Girls,” and more but in her performances and using her platform to spread out the important message and influence. Furthermore, Beyonce is the CO-founder of CHIME FOR CHANGE, which is a big global campaign that promotes global gender equality and made it her theme for the 2016 “Formation” tour.   

Feminism is not the only big activist activity Beyonce stands for, Black people’s rights are a big matter to Beyonce, by having it also included in her music. According to the Complex Beyonce puts in a lot of money towards the movement. “She and her husband Jay Z have also donated thousands of dollars to post bail for several Black Lives Matter activists who were arrested during protests against police brutality,” (Hassan, “6 times Beyoncé proved she was a low-key activist”).  

Using her voice, it was obvious that Beyonce’s historical Coachella performance was full of feminism and celebrating black people’s history by singing “Lift Every Voice,” which is seen as the black national anthem that she uses her platform to send out the best message. The stage was full of beautiful dancers, backup vocals, and instruments in all sizes and Beyonce quotes that it was important to her in the documentary Homecoming “I wanted a black orchestra, I wanted the steppers, I needed the vocalists I wanted different characters,” she states her beliefs in the power of diversities in every form and find them beautiful in their own unique way “like the things that these young people can do with their bodies and the music they can play and the drumrolls, and the haircuts and the bodies. It’s just not right, it’s just so much d— swag.” (Beyonce, “Homecoming”). Paying tribute to her culture and to everyone who came before her, she highlights how she wants people to be grateful for all their gifts even though they do not fit in the boxes set by our narrow-minded and disturbing society. “Thankful for the beauty that comes with a painful history and rejoice in the pain, rejoice in the imperfections, and the wrongs that are so damn right. And I wanted everyone to be grateful for their curves, their sass, their honesty. Thankful for their freedom,” (Beyonce, “Homecoming”).  

Nevertheless, making a song that will live forever in people’s lives is without a doubt a big step towards making history, not only making a song that climbed lists and billboards during the time it was released. “Crazy in Love” is the greatest song in history. According to NME no one has made a song as legendary as Beyonce, “Bey’s first single was a sink or swim moment. But instead of doing either of those, she released ‘Crazy in Love’ as the lead single from her hotly anticipated debut album ‘Dangerously in Love,’ and it totally soared” (Mylrea,” Happy 15th birthday to Beyoncé’s ‘Crazy in Love’ – here’s why it’s still the best pop song of the millennium”). This upbeat rhythm makes everybody dance to the lines that people sing on the top of their lungs. Writing a song about love without being too corny and boring we see how Beyoncé is the main character in it which is empowering for everybody. “How I’m feeling, and my pride is the one to blame (Beyonce, “Crazy in Love”). She clearly has her pride and is being herself. Having Jay-Z rap his verse is a great part of the song as well, as the beat gets sped up and Jay-Z has great rhymes and lines. “Crazy in Love” is meaningful, since it is Beyonce’s and Jay-Z’s love story. After dating in 2002 they released “Crazy in Love” in 2003. Being still married today fans care more about this song than others for its true love story.  

This amazing artist has influenced numbers of people, myself included. Being born between the years of 1980 and early 2000, I had the privilege to grow up with the music of Destiny’s Child’s by singing them on Singstar. Then, getting to listen to Beyonce’s albums on CD and iPod every moment was filled with joy. I remember playing with my sisters, making dances to her songs and singing the lyrics from the top of my lungs. As you get older you know that this generation goes wild if they hear her song “Crazy in Love” when going out. Getting to grow up with her music is a reason  to see her grow not only as an artist, but as a person as well. When Beyonce released “Pretty Hurts,” I was 13 and I had not been aware of the issues in the world happening and did not understand the beauty standards put on young women. I am now aware of what was considered beauty back when I was 13 and now, times are different and that is thanks to feminism and Beyonce has been singing this kind of message to my generation. Growing up, feminists were looked at as noisy and ugly women who were bitter towards the world and did not like the roles they were getting. Sending the message with her lyrics that it is all right for me to take up space, to be loud, demand things, and pursue dreams outside the gender space, even though I am a woman. She is one of the amazing ladies that use their platform to encourage females that promotes feminism in many ways. Beyoncé is an exceptional role model for me, and she will always be my favorite female artist not only for her music but how she has been there for me growing up and getting to live with her music in my ears for a number of situations; fun moments, angry moments, and sad moments. She is one of my generation’s greatest role model and for me she is the most amazing person on earth.   

With her amazing work of art, her music and performances, Beyonce will always be remembered as the greatest artist in history and her consistency proves how long she will be in our hearts. According to the Indian Express “She is called ‘Queen Bey’ by her fans and has a three-decade career that has changed the direction of pop music. And it goes beyond hair, makeup, and some brilliant music. She is one of the most significant cultural icons of our time, a cult figure who speaks for a generation. A look at why Beyonce is “music’s most powerful woman” and the undisputed queen of pop,” (Khurana,” Explained: Why is Beyonce one of the most significant pop stars of our time?”).  

People will always remember this strong and smart woman who will forever be the greatest artist of all time. Having a number of awards such as Grammy’s, Billboards, American Music Awards, and more for her case. Making top hits after hits consistently like “Crazy in Love,” being the flawless role model she is as an activist, but also her forever lasting fanbase the “Bey Hive,” it cannot be argued that Beyonce is the greatest artist in history.  


Works Cited 

“Happy 15th Birthday to Beyoncé’s ‘Crazy in Love’ – Here’s Why It’s Still the Best Pop Song of the Millennium.” NME, 18 May 2018,  

“How Many Grammy’s Does Beyonce Have?” The US Sun, The US Sun, 23 Dec. 2021,  

“Beyoncé.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.,  

Bianco, Robert. “Review: Beyonce Upstages Coldplay in Super Bowl Halftime Show.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 8 Feb. 2016,  

Chval, Lauren. “I Just Don’t Think Beyonce Is Good.”, Chicago Tribune, 16 June 2018,  

Dockterman, Eliana. “Beyoncé: Lessons in Modern Feminism.” Time, Time, 17 Dec. 2013,  

Hassan, Huda. “6 Times Beyoncé Proved She Was a Low-Key Activist.” Complex, Complex, 20 Apr. 2020,  

“Homecoming: Lyrics: Homecoming.” Beyoncé,  

Kent, Naomi. “Beyonce’s Tour Sells out in 22 Seconds.” Capital, 16 Aug. 2011,  

Khurana, Suanshu. “Explained: Why Is Beyonce One of the Most Significant Pop Stars of Our Time?” The Indian Express, 22 Mar. 2021,  

Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley and Caitlin O’Neill. “Beyonce’s ‘Formation’ Is Activism for African Americans.” Time, Time, 8 Feb. 2016,  

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