Archive for the ‘beyonce’ Category


Beyonce Knowles (1981- ) is an American pop and R&B singer who made her name as the lead singer of Destiny’s Child. She has sold over 60 million records and won ten Grammys.

Here are her number one songs to date on the American charts, both as part of Destiny’s Child and, since 2003, on her own:

  • 1999: Bills, Bills, Bills
  • 2000: Say My Name
  • 2000: Independent Woman, Part I
  • 2001: Bootylicious
  • 2003: Crazy in Love
  • 2003: Baby Boy
  • 2006: Irreplaceable
  • 2008: Single Ladies

No, “Survivor” (2001) never made it to number one. Her music since Destiny’s Child has sold much better in Britain and Black America than in White America.

Her songs are good, but they are the kind that ring in your head and then a year later you forget about them. “Irreplaceable” is the only song that rises above that.


While she is rich and famous and beautiful and has a great singing voice, many do not like her but cannot quite say why. The Black Snob says it is because, unlike Lauryn Hill, she is not being herself. Instead she presents a perfect image of herself that nobody is, not even her. She does not let us into the pain of her broken heart like great singers do.

Every radio round the world know me
‘Cause that’s where I be
I’m a, a diva, hey

Na, na, na, diva is a female version of a hustla

She has been singing and dancing since she was a little girl in Houston, Texas. When she was 12 she appeared along with Kelly Rowland as part of Girl’s Tyme on “Star Search”, a television talent show. They had practised for six months straight but came in second.

It was such a huge blow to Beyonce that her father, a Xerox salesman, stepped in and took over Girl’s Tyme to set it on course to get a recording contract. In time it would become known as Destiny’s Child (from a verse in the Bible).  He was a strict taskmaster who made sure the girls practised, practised, practised. He gave up being a salesman and worked on it full-time. Kelly Rowland even moved in and lived with them.

In time he did land a contract. First a short-lived one with Elektra, then one with Columbia Records in 1996. With Wyclef Jean as their producer they became a huge crossover success.

Destiny’s Child lasted till 2005, but by 2003 Beyonce had begun to  sing on her own.

She is trying to become a Hollywood star too but lacks depth and experience as an actress. She played Etta James (badly) in “Cadillac Records” (2008) and has been picked to play Angela Davis!

She is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful black women in America. She is one of the few black women who has appeared on the cover of white American Maxim. In at least one L’Oreal ad she seems strangely white looking.

Beyonce has been with rapper Jay-Z since 2002. They married in 2008.

She is part Creole on her mother’s side. Solange Knowles is her younger sister.

– Abagond, 2009.

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To: Rachid Bouchareb

We, the undersigned, are opposed to the idea of R&B singer/actress Beyonce Knowles playing the role of Angela Davis in any biographical film portraying Dr. Davis’ life. On February 5 2009, the online version of Hollywood Reporter (an esteemed print publication that follows the film business) quoted French/Angolan producer/director Rachid Bouchareb as considering Beyonce Knowles for the lead role in his planned Angela Davis biographical film. We believe this is a mistake that Rachid Bouchareb must reconsider and avoid. Dr. Davis is an iconic figure in the struggle for equality for all and against the forces of oppression that would exploit divisiveness for profit and control. We would like a serious actress with significant training in the art of acting to portray this powerful role and we feel Beyonce lacks the gravitas to successfully portray Dr. Davis. Further, we feel the music of Ms. Knowles is in large part not in line with the feminist tradition of Dr. Davis’ life and work (with due acknowledgement of elements of Ms. Knowles’ work that arguably attempt to empower women and challenge patriarchy, where some may debate that such themes are present).

Of equal importance, we feel there are many talented but “undiscovered” black actresses who would do a wonderful job in this role who deserve an opportunity to showcase their talent in such a historic film, should we all be blessed to see this story brought to the screen.


The Undersigned

Click here to go to the petition and sign it (requires name and email address. You can keep the email address private).

I found out about this petition from the Invisible Woman.

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Here is Christina Aguilera, Beyonce Knowles and Etta James singing “At Last”.




Postscript: A few weeks after I posted this Beyonce wound up singing this song for Barack Obama when he took his first dance with his wife as president. Etta James, who is still alive and still singing, was understandably upset.

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I just read the Black Snob’s rant about Beyonce. It was great stuff. It put into words why I love Lauryn Hill but find something not quite right about Beyonce. Here is some of it:

It’s not that I don’t think Beyonce has inner drama. Everyone does. Everyone has doubt and failings and pain. My argument is that Beyonce does not want you to know of this drama, any real drama, that is. She’s closely guarded with an even more tightly guarded image. She is more about being the fantasy of what she thinks you want her to be (cue “Sasha Fierce!”) rather than revealing anything of character….

A true artist brings the pain.

I don’t have to convince you that original Fugee’s member, musical genius and lost child, Lauryn Hill has issues. We all know, homegirl has issues. But often, when I wanted to think of a modern song, like Etta James’ classic “I’d Rather Go Blind” or Issac Hayes’ cover of “Walk On By” that makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry, I think of Hill’s “Ex-Factor.”…

Hell, you don’t even have to be a woman to cry during Ex-Factor. Just be from the land of broken toys. Be the neglected. Be the rejected. Once you get to the end where Hill pleads, “you said you’d be there for me” over and over she could be singing Pslams for all I know, wondering where is God and why He abandoned her. That’s how universal, yet specific, her vocal pain is.

And what does Knowles have? “If I Were A Boy?” a song, I HATE WITH EVERY FIBER OF MY BEING. It’s a nice enough song. But it’s not particularly deep or painful. It basically entails that if Knowles were a man all she’d do is drink and hang out with guys without question….

Read the whole rant.

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Look at what L’Oreal has done to Beyonce to make her “beautiful”. It is not just her hair that they changed. Read about it at Womanist Musings.

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