Whenever one asks me about women who I find inspiring, my answer quite frankly changes every time. After all, there are so many women out there who are doing incredible things and are breaking the glass ceiling every day. However, Beyoncé has always been on my list of inspiring women who push me to do better every day. I truly admire Beyoncé’s unstoppable work ethic and her drive for success, which can partially be attributed to the fact we’re both Virgos.
Beyoncé had a childhood filled with various singing and dancing competitions. At twelve, she appeared on a talent show as a member of the band Girl Thyme. However, as we see in her “Flawless” music video, Girl Thyme ended up placing second place. But, this was only the start of Beyoncé’s music career. She truly rose to fame during her time as a lead singer in the group Destiny’s Child in the late 1990s. Destiny’s Child eventually became one of the best female R&B groups of all time.
When Destiny’s Child went on a hiatus in 2002, Beyoncé released her first solo album titled “Dangerously In Love.” It ended up selling over 11 million copies and winning her 5 Grammy awards. Her success as a solo artist was one of the factors that drove the members of Destiny’s Child to go their separate ways. She would then proceed to be the only artist to debut at number one with her first six solo albums on the Billboard 200 charts.
These achievements, which are frankly only a fraction of her successes, were rightfully deserved. Over the span of her career, she has dropped multiple albums, films, tours and has even performed for the Obamas twice. However, what makes Beyoncé stand out as an artist is the way she openly advocates for the things that matter to her. With the sampling of the TEDx talk, “We Should All Be Feminists” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, we see how Beyoncé is using her platform to educate others on the importance of women’s rights. Beyoncé has also openly condemned police brutality against African Americans. She attended a rally in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the shooting of Trayvon Martin and even included the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner holding pictures of their sons (who died due to police brutality) in the “Freedom” music video for the “Lemonade” film.
When it comes to philanthropy, Beyoncé donated her $4 million salary from acting in “Cadillac Records” to Phoenix House, a non-profit organization dedicated to drug and alcohol rehabilitation. She and her husband, Jay-Z, also donated thousands of dollars to bail out Black Lives Matter protestors in Baltimore and Ferguson. During Hurricane Harvey, Beyoncé launched an organization called BeyGOOD Houston to support those affected in Houston, which was where she was born. In 2020, BeyGOOD helped provide resources such as water, food, face masks and mental health resources to communities of color during the pandemic. More recently, with the increase in Black Lives Matter protests that were happening last summer, Beyoncé established the Black-Owned Small Business Impact Fund in partnership with the NAACP, which offered $10,000 grants to black-owned small businesses in need following the George Floyd protests. Furthermore, all proceeds from Beyoncé’s single “Black Parade,” which was released around that time, were donated to the fund.
Beyoncé said it best herself when she said she “might just be a Black Bill Gates in the making.” With all that she has done (and is continuing to do) in both her career and giving back to the community, it is safe to say that Beyoncé is a female powerhouse to be reckoned with.