In addition to these songs, Janet has reached the summit 10 times, Whitney 11 times and Mariah 13 times — all by themselves. Beyoncé’s count, once again: 0. As it stands, in the mainstream conscious, Beyoncé, for every one of “her” hits, will only be remembered as the siren of an all-star ensemble or duo.
In retrospect, what would “Crazy in Love” have been without Jay-Z’s memorable quip (“yes sir I'm cut from a different cloth/my texture is the best fur, I'm chinchilla”), “Baby Boy” without the Jamaican musings of post-Dutty Rock Sean Paul (“top top – girl / me and you together is a wrap – dat girl”) or “Check on It” without Slim Thug’s infusion of hip-hop (“good girls gotta get down with them gangstas”)?
FACT #4: Although Beyoncé has "sold" over 17 million albums, stateside, 13 million account for her Destiny's Child catalog.
When taking solo (U.S.) sales into consideration, Beyoncé lies at the bottom of the heap. Beyoncé would need to produce two additional renditions of Dangerously in Love to surpass Alicia Keys, three to eclipse Norah Jones, four to stand beside Toni Braxton, five to match Janet Jackson, thirteen to outdo Whitney Houston, and fourteen to compete with Mariah Carey. You get the idea…
Some may wonder why I would take the time to write an editorial on such a non-earth-shattering topic as whether Beyoncé is or is not a diva. The answer, if solely for therapeutic reasons, is to call into question (and shine a spotlight) on what the world considers “good” music. Throughout the new millennium, the music industry has pushed the likes of Britney Spears, Ashanti, and Hillary Duff to superstar status, while talented vocalists like Toni Braxton, Anastacia, and Deborah Cox have faded into the background, with little fanfare.
All things considered, this editorial is the by-product of various “water-cooler conversations” I’ve had over the years. Without a doubt, the ebb and flow of corporate and consumer interests have jump-started and abruptly ended countless musical careers. Consequently, in such a volatile market, it is understandable stars, like Beyoncé, use media machines to meticulously craft their persona, so that it can weather (and, hopefully, resist) external tampering.