20 Black Voices for the New Century: Beyoncé’s musical onslaught of pop culture began before the new millennium with Destiny’s Child.  

When the trio parted ways after her highly successful 2003 solo debut, music fans became even more enamored with the “Crazy in Love” singer.  Beyond the multiple awards this trailblazer has won, she managed the currently near-impossible feat of putting out her latest high-profile album on December 13th with no leaks, no preceding announcement. Just, bam! – a bunch of new songs and videos.  

And in the time that has followed, she has been hotly debated as a feminist icon: refusing the label in an interview, then penning an essay called “Gender Equality Is A Myth!” Her new lyrics have been scrutinized, from sampling feminist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and The Challenger  disaster to some of the more sexual content.

But no matter what you think, Beyoncé has every right to demand that we bow down to all she has accomplished.

Read more in the series: Twenty Black Voices