Lol, I'm not even gonna correct the gramatical errors. Its too late and I'm on my phone.
Someone above said performing at the Super Bowl can be seen as a marketing platform for new material, or as an acceptance that you are no longer 'relevant' (whatever that means). This was a point of discussion in the case of Madonna, but I think it can equally be a point of discussion for Beyoncé. How 'relevant' is she, still? She hasn't had a Top 10 singles hit in the US since 2009, and her last album sold markedly less than her previous two. It think this performance is an attempt to kickstart her career. I hope it works, because I certainly peg her a level or two higher than most current pop stars.
I think alluding to an idea that Beyonce needs any sort of career jump start is a little ludicrous. It's absolutely true that the singles from '4' largely underperformed, but she's still right near the top of the game and, more importantly, as respected as ever.
I really don't see the Super Bowl as anything other than a huge honor.
I won't even acknowledge the asinine idea that she won't be relevant or remembered in 20 years. At this rate, she'll probably still be a force.
I agree with Aurelius! Even Madonna got one of her worst songs into the Top 10 more recently than Beyonce! I'd like to see Beyonce make come shite like Nuclear a top 10 hit.
Listen, there's no denying she is a level down from the Rihanna's and Katy Perry's of this world (success-wise, obviously; quality-wise, she's on a whole other level). When your last Top 10 hit was 3 years ago, and none of the singles of your last album made a dent, you need to either get back on track and release chart-topping pop again, or take a step back from the charts and release quality pop-R&B like she did with 4. That album contains quite a few great songs, but it also moved away from the slickly produced type of R&B that does hit the charts. I'd prefer it if she did the latter (in fact, I'd love it if she went even further away from pop), but we'll see. Again, this is not about her artistry, which is beyond discussion, it's about the fact that she's no longer on top of the game like she was around the Single Ladies era (oh my god, now I start using this term myself!)
Lol at "kick start her career".
First of all, looking at Billboard chart performance is not always a particularly accurate way of gauging popularity/success. "Run the World (Girls)" was actually a big hit in 2011 (despite it only peaking at no. 29 on Billboard; this is especially silly when you see that "Best Thing I Never Had" peaked at no. 16, but that song is much less well-known. There are more extreme examples, still, of how misleading Billboard chart performance can be, but that's another discussion). Run the World was popular on its own, but Beyonce's performance of the song at the Billboard Awards in 2011 became an instant classic and still ranks as one of, if not the, best Beyonce performance ever.
Although she reportedly borrowed conceptually from an Italian singer, this video really highlights why Beyonce is such an incredible performer. You can tell she just puts absolutely everything in to it, and loves singing, dancing, and entertaining. "Single Ladies" is really an iconic moment for Bey (and the song's popularity wasn't confined to 2009), and is still referenced ("put a ring on it") often in popular culture today. So, to say that she hasn't been relevant since 2009 because that's the last time she had a top 10 Billboard hit is certainly inaccurate. Plus, this ignores non-musical news about Beyonce -- she and Jay-Z are in the press pretty regularly, for various things (often Obama-related, which makes them hardly irrelevant), but obviously her pregnancy and the subsequent birth of her daughter was a massive news story.
In terms of her legacy, I think people are grossly underemphasizing how much she is and will continue to be adored, respected, and loved in subsequent generations. In highlighting this legacy I think it's important not to neglect her days with Kelly, Michelle, and the other members of Destiny's Child at her side, because the success of Destiny's Child is actually a pretty monumental and incredible (perhaps unprecedented) story. They're indisputably one of the biggest R&B girl groups of all time, and their popularity in the late 90s and early 00s was, as any American alive and well during that time period knows, huge. Obviously, not everyone likes Destiny's Child type of music -- if you don't like R&B club music, you won't like most of DC's output -- but this is true of any artist. "Say My Name", "Survivor", "Independent Woman", and "Bootylicious" are DC/Beyonce classics, that will (and have) stand the test of time. Allusions to these songs, and their videos (equally iconic), are not uncommon today.
-- which I think brings up the important point: if you're not someone who likes R&B, hip hop, or soul, then you're likely not going to consider DC/Beyonce as such an iconic artist, or at least not a favorite. You can't really divorce the identity of DC and Beyonce as African-American female from the music, because that identity is so much a part of the music and a reason that Beyonce is not exactly in the same category as a Madonna type. To say that they're both pop artists who can be directly compared is a silly and superficial comparison. Of course, all artists will be ranked, compared, contrasted, and scrutinized relative to all others to some extent, but I think it's remiss to pit Beyonce vs Madonna (or vs whomever). Madonna's music simply is not all that comparable. I guess it's more comparable to Beyonce's music than, say, the music of the Dixie Chicks is, but it's vitally important to recognize the distinctions (i.e., the hip hop influence of Beyonce's work).
This is what, I would say, will make Beyonce one of the most cherished artists in future generations (as she already is). She is the pioneer (from the 1990s, through to the 2010s, and still going), of R&B/R&B-pop. She's not the dance-pop of Madonna or Lady Gaga, or the country-pop of Carrie Underwood. R&B, hip hop, soul (whatever it is/you wanna call it) is crucial to Bey's identity as an artist, and she is going to be remembered as one of the defining figures of this genre, and the defining figure of this genre in the context of the turn of the 21st century. There is always the inevitable Rihanna comparison, which I hate (two blacks girls in mainstream music! must compare them!), but Rihanna is not going to achieve the levels of clout that Beyonce will, when examined from future generations (or, even now, I would argue). Again, they sing pretty different types of music, but Beyonce really is more of a cross-over, mass appeal, type of artist, which is probably why she'll rank higher than Rihanna in these inevitable black girl vs black girl showdowns.
I'm not sure how many are actually aware of the pure power of Beyonce's voice on its own, too. Someone (in another thread? earlier in this thread?) made a comment that Beyonce's voice isn't that great, or that it's not Whitney/Celine, or something like that. I'm not going to attempt a Whitney/Celine comparison, but Beyonce's voice is incredible. Maybe people don't realize it because many of her songs aren't exactly power ballads, but if you wanna talk about an inferior voice, this is where Rihanna comes in. That girl would never be able to make it as a pure, powerhouse singer. She relies on other distinctive attributes that she has to be successful, which is perfectly fine, but let's recognize who one of the best vocalists of this generation is, and it's Beyonce.
In 2010, VH1 made a list of the 100 greatest musical artists of all time. Surely, one can find several versions of this type of list, but they're all more or less the same. Beyonce came in at no. 52. (The Beatles and Michael Jackson hold the top two spots, to give a semblance of context). Considering the girl is only 31 years old and showing no signs of letting up (despite marriage + motherhood!), she can obviously only continue to rise up the ranks. So, to those who say she won't be remembered in the same breath as XYZ in 20/50/# years down the road, I encourage you to reexamine. As mentioned, she will be remembered as the leading pioneer of R&B in the context of early 21st century music, and to ignore this achievement would be an affront to her legacy.
Oh, and Beyonce Sasha Fierce will always be a beloved and much-imitated icon within LGBT culture, another community that will be hard-pressed to let Bey's legacy fall by the wayside.
Aurelius, you're absolutely right. I just don't get the sense that she cares? I really think she's reached the point where she prefers quality over quantity, which is something most artists will say but hardly adhere to. I certainly think she can do both at the same time (I suppose this is more reliant on the audience than anything else), but I don't think Beyonce is losing sleep over failing to have a big hit record in a while. I'm sure she would love the commercial success to come along with the critical, but she'll take the latter first.
I agree with wov too on that post actually. Both he and Au can actually be right about this at the same time, really! Beyonce is still making good songs and most importantly still getting major radio airplay. When the radio airplay for her new songs stop, that's when we can really make the digs at her we now sling at Madonna, who I freely admit basically had to resort to the worst payola charade in decades to get her last Top 10 hit, and that was with the Super Bowl press. I'm her biggest fan but I totally admit that a combo of not good songs and radio just not wanting to play her new stuff for a variety of reasons such as her age and her non-cool factor contributed to her team using those unsavory tactics to get her that hit. Beyonce is certainly a long way off from that kind of desperation, even if she has waned a bit from her previous heyday.
By the way, I grew up on soul, R&B, and hip-hop, and I followed Destiny's Child from the very start. I actually prefer their collaborative output over most of Beyoncé's solo efforts (my favorite probably being their very first single, lol). I also wouldn't exactly call Beyoncé a pioneer of R&B-pop (a certain Ms. Jackson came before her, and there's also La Houston), but she has certainly perfected it. As a current artist moving in pop circles, she's above and beyond anyone else. It's just her popularity that is down from what it was before. Will her legacy live on from now? Probably, though that also depends on where she's going with her career now that she's a mother and all, and how that will influence her longevity. If she maintains an output for at least another ten years on a somewhat popular level, than she become one of the great ones. If not, her legacy will be comparable to, say, a Janet Jackson. Meaning, well regarded enough, but not one of the truly great ones (like Madonna).
In short: fantastic artist, who I hope turns back to less popular, but better quality music. She should really go soul, because I think she has the voice for it.
Beyonce could go in the studio tomorrow and get sent more songs from today's top producers than Rihanna and Britney get combined but she clearly isn't going for that.
She has a very specific taste level which is why she is going to choose to work with Frank Ocean over Dr. Luke. In the end, I think her legacy won't be that she's a radio artist that Rihanna is and that Madonna is desperately trying to be again but she just wants to be an album artist that makes timeless music.
And Aurelius, have you even listened to 4?
Beyonce is, i think leagues ahead than Rihanna and even Britney and Mariah (i personal see no legacy or influence of her no matter how many #1s she had), in terms of influence and legacy. This is irrespective of my personal choices (i prefer B quite easily among all them).
As far as Madonna is concerned, i think Beyonce is never going to be that big and she,i think, doesn't want and need to either. She is a different kind of artist. I think she was never in the running like Gaga or Britney.
I think Mariah's voice stands as this sort of influential, iconic presence, but I don't think any of her actual music lives up to it. Lol, her most lasting song will forever be All I Want for Christmas.
Beysus remains unbothered by the haterz.
Mariah Carey has a lot of songs that are still played on the radio and that I consider timeless. Vision of Love, Emotions, Cant Let Go, Always Be My Baby, her rendition of I'll Be There, Fantasy to name a few. And her influence as a vocalist is obvious. Nearly every one of the newer vocalists including Beyonce have mentioned her as their favorite artist, an icon and her style is imitated more than anyone else I can think of. I think it's easy to dismiss her because of how ridiculous she has become, but she was a truly gifted singer for the first ten years or so of her career. Her debut and Unplugged albums are some of my favorites.
Last edited by clearwatergirl; 02-02-2013 at 08:17 PM.