A&E Opinion: Queen B of Pop? Not yet

Illustration by Casey Kleeb
Illustration by Casey Kleeb

The shadows are full of whispers. The loyalists and the rebels are restless for confrontation. In light of a stunning victory in the nation’s greatest arena, a question has arisen: Is Beyonce Knowles the queen of pop?

OK, so it isn’t as historic as King Henry VIII’s religious reformations and the deaths of most of his wives, but that doesn’t change the fact that some people really, really care about pop culture perceptions and titles. In light of Beyonce’s epic Super Bowl halftime performance, has she overthrown Madonna as the Queen Bee of pop, as many fans in web forums are claiming?


Beyonce’s got a set of lungs, but she’s nowhere near Madonna’s level. Not yet, anyway. Give her a few more years, and then we’ll talk. She’s more than got the potential.

Here’s the deal: Madonna is the Guinness World Records’ “Top-Selling Female Artist,” with 78 million records sold domestically and a whopping 200 million records sold abroad. That’s 278 million records sold worldwide. Oh, and Guinness hasn’t updated the numbers for that record since December 2009 because it has remained unstopped. She is also the “Oldest Art- ist to Simultaneously Top the UK Singles and Album Charts” (Nov. 2005) and is also has the “Most No.1 Music Videos” (April 2010) in the world records.

According to UKmix.org, Beyonce has sold approximately 95.5 million records worldwide, and she has zero world records.

Though I prefer Beyonce to Madonna any day, the numbers speak for themselves.

- Advertisement -

But don’t despair, fellow Beyonce-loving rabble-rousers. She’s well on her way to overthrowing the established monarchy.

Madonna has been in the entertainment game since 1983, and making music for 30 years is bound to earn some sales and world records. Beyonce has only been in the biz since 1997, and some of that time was spent with Destiny’s Child instead of pursuing her solo career. Madonna has 14 years of concerts, radio time and sales over her.

Don’t count Beyonce out of the game yet; if she keeps producing quality new work, there’s a huge chance that she could overthrow Madonna in a few years.

Madonna is on the decline in popularity.

Her “MDNA” album tanked — with good reason, because it was awful — and she’s not on the radio as much as she used to be, which reduces her exposure.

After the Super Bowl halftime show, sales of Destiny Child’s albums rose an astonishing 600 percent, and Beyonce’s solo albums and single sales rose roughly 230 percent as well.

Together, the ringleader of Destiny’s Child’s sales spiked a whopping 447 percent after the show, according to the RIAA.

Madonna may have had 8.5 million more viewers when she rocked the big game’s halftime show in 2012, but Beyonce’s estimated 104 million viewers shouldn’t be ignored.

So, no, Beyonce isn’t the new queen of pop, and she won’t take the title for a few more years. But that’s nothing to get upset about. She still has time.

Merely earning a few million fans doesn’t earn someone a title that impressive.

It is something that must be worked toward for a long, long time — longer than most think it’s worth working for. It takes years to cultivate a fan base, image and musical sound.

A star must continually prove that she in command of the industry — and while she’s on her way there, Queen B really is still just a princess.

Stick with her though, and eventually she’ll take the throne.