Dionne Warwick is on a roll.
First she lamblasted her family for the ideas around Whitney Houston, her deceased and iconic cousin, becoming a hologram for future tours, and now she is coming for Queen Beyoncé. Beyoncé is arguably the most commercially successful vocalist- male or female. But commercial success does not seem to be enough to secure ICON status.
“It’s not given to you, you earn it.” Warwick tells CBS’s Entertainment Tonight.
“It is wonderful to see how she’s been able to create what and who she wants to be and who she is.” she informs Essence, the premier Black women’s cultural mag. “I am very proud of that. But sustaining and becoming the Icon… I doubt, I really do.”
She further told ET that it took her decades to arrive at that status and that one must pay your dues.
With a career that dates back to the early 60s and a musical pedigree that boasts strong roots in laying down the foundation for popular music, she herself being one of the first Black women to really cross over to the pop charts, Warwick may know a little something about paying dues.
But is she correct?
Has not Beyoncé had at almost 30 years to establish her icon status? In 1992, when she performed on Star Search prompting a signing with Elektra records and then later to Columbia, did she not endure the highs and lows, and grunt work that all artists go through to achieve star status.
Let’s look at all her accomplishments that might make her iconic status.
1. Beyoncé was the first Black women to be the headliner at the popular Coachella festival.
2. She is the most Grammy-nominated women in history.
3. She has had six records debut at number 1 on the Billboard charts and is the only artist ever to do so.
4. She is not only the highest paid Black musical artists ever… you hear me? ever… but also the world’s highest paid musician.
5. She is has sold over over 178.5 million records in her career, making her one of the most bankable singers ever to touch the mic.
This leads us to ask, what else does she need to do to be an icon?