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An interesting article comparing Madonna and Beyonce


xtaticboy82
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There’s one huge difference between Madonna and Beyoncé

Madonna is the artist every female pop performer wants to catch.

Her constant revolutionizing sexiness is her brand—a form of artistic self-expression. In the 1990s, she wore the infamous Jean Paul Gaultier cone bra with the dizzying spirals to emphasize sexuality, juxtaposing it with her Catholic upbringing (all while seducing a chair) during her Blonde Ambition tour. She reportedly grossed nearly $63 million which made her most successful tour at the time. A decade later, her Confessions tour, during which she sang Live to Tell hanging from a cross, earned her $194.7 million, according to Billboard.

Now it looks like Beyoncé has been studying the playbook. She wore a La Perla thong at the Grammy Awards’ audience to expose her “fatty” while performing Drunk in Love—also on a chair—as she seduced (and was seduced by) her husband Jay-Z.

Perhaps her Grammy performance and this saucier new side we’re seeing is a tribute to Madge (in her fifth, self-titled album, the song and video Haunted has been compared to Madonna’s Erotica). Or maybe she understands that starting a pseudo-sexual revolution for profit is how to maintain relevance.

Because sex still sells. And their businesses are booming. Forbes, for example, questioned whether Bey’s Drunk in Love performance was for record sales. The answer is, of course it was.

“I started my own company,” Beyoncé told Billboard, talking about Parkwood Entertainment, which she founded in 2008. ”When I decided to manage myself it was important that I didn’t go to some big management company. I felt like I wanted to follow the footsteps of Madonna and be a powerhouse and have my own empire and show other women when you get to this point in your career you don’t have to go sign with someone else and share your money and your success—you do it yourself.”

But if Beyoncé is chasing a Madonna-sized brand, the question is, will she catch her?

It won’t be easy.

After decades in the business, Madonna is the top-selling female singles artist of all time. At 55, she has sold more than 300 million records worldwide, she has made hundreds of millions on touring alone; she’s won 14 Grammy Awards from 26 nominations. Billboard ranked her second only behind The Beatles in its latest “Hot 100 Top Artists” list, making her the most successful solo artist in the history of the American singles chart. Just last year, Madonna topped Forbes’ list of celebrities making more than $125 million, and despite her MDNA album flopping, her tour grossed $305 million.

Beyoncé, 32, has been a solo artist since breaking from Destiny’s Child in 2005, and as a solo artist she has sold more than 118 million recordsand won nine Grammy Awards from 25 nominations in just nine years. In 2009, Billboard named her the Top Female Artist of the 2000s and she was its Artist of the Millennium in 2011. Forbes recorded Beyoncé’s earnings at $53 million last year. Her latest tour, the Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, consisted of 132 performances and had raked in $183 million as of March 12.

“Beyoncé has an amazing amount of control over her persona and what she puts out to the world. You never know if there are people behind the scenes who help put herself out,” says Kevin Allred, a professor at Rutgers University, who established a class on race, gender and sexual politics called “Politicizing Beyoncé.”

She put this control into action late last year, when Target choose not to sell her self-titled album after she gave iTunes one week to sell it exclusively. Bey took control. She went to a Wal-Mart store in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, and offered every customer in the store the “first $50 on [her]” during the Christmas shopping season, effectively giving Target the finger and artfully saying “here’s some extra money to buy my album.”

And being in control is what makes Beyoncé the businesswoman she is—a trait she’s learned to perfect. “I’m never satisfied,” Beyoncé told Forbes in a 2009 cover story. “I’m sure sometimes it’s not easy working for me… I’ve never met anyone that works harder than me in my industry.”

And while “Madonna could be seen that way, having a lot of control [over her image],” Allred told Quartz, “it just seems like there is an extra level [with Beyoncé]. If there’s an unflattering photo that goes out, it gets taken off the internet.”

Beyoncé set aside five months to prepare for the 2013 SuperBowl, which is the most watched musical show of the year (Madonna took four months for hers). She pulled out all the stops and pledged personal perfection. Gawker described her SuperBowl performance, noting, “Beyoncé exists to overwhelm us with perfectly executed, extraordinary work ethic and here she did it in a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle.”

But in some ways Beyoncé’s perfection is an Achilles heel. To revolutionize the music business, playing in the fast lane, being better than everyone, isn’t enough because everything changes in the blink of an eye. Artists must reinvent their brands to stay on top or they will be left behind.

That is something Madonna knows well. Recently, she shared a picture on Instagram of her hairy armpit. She wrote, “Long hair…… Don’t Care!!!!!!#artforfreedom#rebelheart#revolutionoflove.” But as one writer observed, Beyoncé will not allow herself that kind of freedom—she is always completely in control, flawless.

“Beyoncé has quite possibly never seen a single unflattering image of herself in any medium,” wrote Esther Zuckerman of The Wire about Beyoncé’s documentary. “She looks stunning when recording close-ups of herself in bad lighting. She looks stunning when she’s going into labor. Watching her perform flawlessly is a thrill. Watching her go through hard times without a hair out of place just makes you feel bad about yourself.”

Beyoncé is a boss, a hardworking, ambitious one. But bosses are not good at making revolutions: if Bey wants to start one—and a feminist one—wage war or put fake hair under her arm and Instagram it. She can get away with it. But until she understands this, she won’t catch Madonna, let alone overtake her—she’ll just continue to play in the fast lane.

A version of this post appeared on the author’s blog. Follow Rachael on Twitter @rcj7. We welcome your comments at ideas@qz.com.

Correction: A previous version of this post stated Beyoncé has won 9 Grammy Awards as a solo performer. She has won 14.

http://qz.com/193390/theres-one-huge-difference-between-beyonce-and-madonna/

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Of course thats the pic they choose for the article lol

I like Beyoncé immensely talented and stunningly beautiful. But like many people that talented I think she's not really capable of evolving or changing. It's like being "talented" is a handicap. Like Mariah, impressive voice but not really much variation in her output (visually or sonically). Whenever I hear any of her songs its pretty much "Yea that sounds like something she'd do"

Madonna on the other hand has a pretty limited singing range compared to those two but without having powerhouse vocals to rely on she thinks out of the box (although that might just be her personality). I can't count how many songs she's come up with where she doesn't rest on what worked before but does something completely new and unexpected.

Of course this is all biased and subjective but until Beyoncé stops relying on her beauty or her vocal range and tries something new, really new for her I don't see starting any revolutions or having the impact Madonna does/did. O/T: Are her songs that popular or is it HER people are interested in? I don't feel like her songs are as popular as the Taylor Swifts, Rihannas or Katy Perrys to the general public, that interest in her is based on her performances (she can take a meh song and kill it live) and her persona.

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Beyonce just doesn't have a deep, iconic back catalogue to compete with Madonna, IMO.

If anyone is overrated, it's her. But oh wait, she's younger and more 'of the times' so she's automatically better....

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Guest Rachelle of London

Why are female artists always penned up against one another? Why not have a Jay Z and Bruce Springsteen debate.

Madonna and Beyoncé are chalk and cheese. Beyoncé doesn't want to be Madonna. Ridiculous comparison.

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At least the article was not throwing M under the bus and was positive about her. Don't like bey personally, but think she has been a pretty good role model for young african americans.

Also, agree the constant comparisons of M to much younger female singers has been awful at times, but the media loves to stir up s**t.

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I think the thing that keeps Beyoncé so massive is that she's so popular on social media such as tumblr because she's really not that big on the charts compared to others. For example, 7/11 and it's video were big within popular culture but the single was a flop with only being in the top 20 in the US. I think she's different to other current artists because her albums tend to be more commercially successful than her singles. Her need for perfection could be her downfall in a way whereas Madonna's need to experiment has taken her to a place within music history that Beyoncé won't be able to reach.

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It goes far beyond than that. We are talking about a cheap bitch who got a songwriting credit on one of her shit songs just for replacing 'k' for 'h'. A fucking letter. And claims she 'wrote' songs even the actual writers denied. Not to mention she needs Jay-Z's money and that sham of a marriage to raise her profile. With M it was the other way around. It's not even worth to put this whore in the same sentence as M. The media wants YOU to believe she's great for something but truth is even her 'amazing' performances looks like a busted ass drag queen doing Tina Turner. She's like the black Gorgon in that sense. :lol:

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Hummm....what this article says about Beyonce is what people have been saying about Madonna for a long time : control freak, having ideas from a team and not herself, being more of a marketing and business genius.....I guess she is the new Madonna then :)

Just kidding, it's just terrible to diminish an artist to make another look good (except if the artist you put down is gaga since it's just reporting a fact in her case^^), i think Beyonce is over the top praised but it's not her fault, it's the medias (sometimes i even wonder if they are not taking the piss). Of course Beyonce is inspired by Madonna but so are many male and female pop stars because she wrote the book of the modern pop star and she keeps on writing new chapters. It does not mean Beyonce is not writing her own book now and that's the difference with some other popstar who take everything literally from madonna instead of just being inspired by her drive and art.

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i think madonna actually has 8 grammys.. one for revolver i believe.

The "Revolver" Grammy was in the Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical category, so technically, it was won by David Guetta and Afrojack, not Madonna. :)
So it's 7:

1992

Best Music Video, Long Form - Blond Ambition World Tour Live

1999

Best Pop Album - Ray of Light

Best Dance Recording - "Ray of Light"

Best Short Form Music video - "Ray of Light"

2000

Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media - "Beautiful Stranger"

2007

Best Electronic/Dance Album - Confessions on a Dance Floor

2008

Best Long Form Music video - The Confessions Tour

I bet Rebel Heart will win something at next year's Grammys. I feel it in my bones! :laugh:

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the errors on known facts in this article make it difficult to be taken seriously...btw I thought that haunted video was compared with justify my love and not to erotica...however it can go that way as well...

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MDNA was hardly a flop. The journalist should have stated "Madonna's lowest selling record" but ok whatever

and lowest selling is relative to the current sales climate

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Guest Rachelle of London

Still don't see the need to compare the two. They both have mutual respect for one another. I don't understand articles like this at all. All it does is it causes militant fans on both sides to go psycho.

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Guest Rachelle of London

Hummm....what this article says about Beyonce is what people have been saying about Madonna for a long time : control freak, having ideas from a team and not herself, being more of a marketing and business genius.....I guess she is the new Madonna then :)

Just kidding, it's just terrible to diminish an artist to make another look good (except if the artist you put down is gaga since it's just reporting a fact in her case^^), i think Beyonce is over the top praised but it's not her fault, it's the medias (sometimes i even wonder if they are not taking the piss). Of course Beyonce is inspired by Madonna but so are many male and female pop stars because she wrote the book of the modern pop star and she keeps on writing new chapters. It does not mean Beyonce is not writing her own book now and that's the difference with some other popstar who take everything literally from madonna instead of just being inspired by her drive and art.

Agree 100%!

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Still don't see the need to compare the two. They both have mutual respect for one another. I don't understand articles like this at all. All it does is it causes militant fans on both sides to go psycho.

Amen. Sick of articles comparing every female singer to Madonna. We hardly ever see the same types of articles comparing modern male singers to Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Elvis, Prince etc. It is just baiting and pointless. Plus I bet both Madonna and Beyonce would personally hate being compared like this and find it somewhat degrading up to a point.

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Amen. Sick of articles comparing every female singer to Madonna. We hardly ever see the same types of articles comparing modern male singers to Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Elvis, Prince etc. It is just baiting and pointless. Plus I bet both Madonna and Beyonce would personally hate being compared like this and find it somewhat degrading up to a point.

I agree! Furthermore, I adore Beyonce but I'm sick of Madonna being compared to those that quite frankly haven't achieved a fraction of Madonnas accomplishments.

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Guest Rachelle of London

I agree! Furthermore, I adore Beyonce but I'm sick of Madonna being compared to those that quite frankly haven't achieved a fraction of Madonnas accomplishments.

The worst thing is Beyonce wouldnt even want to be compared to Madonna. At her album press release she stated that she would love to be like Madonna and achieve HALF the stuff she has professionally and in business. We all know theres one singer that thinks shes on Madonnas level, but when the other girls talk about how much they respect Madonna and see her career as a goal there is no need to pit them against each other. They were trying to do the same with Rihanna. Its sad.

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Amen. Sick of articles comparing every female singer to Madonna. We hardly ever see the same types of articles comparing modern male singers to Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Elvis, Prince etc. It is just baiting and pointless. Plus I bet both Madonna and Beyonce would personally hate being compared like this and find it somewhat degrading up to a point.

Agree! Beyoncé respects and admires Madonna and vive versa. No need for this at all.
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