Media ownership is when a powerful individual/group has significant influence in a portion of the mass media. It can be someone who controls our newspapers or television networks, or a celebrity who has a substantial following and influence amongst society.
Now to discuss/fangirl over the one and only Queen B, and why she matters.
With over 100 million followers on Instagram and around 75 million followers on Twitter, it’s safe to say Beyoncé has the following to slay at media ownership, and she does. Being the CEO and founder of her own record label ‘Parkwood Entertainment’, she holds the power to release songs with a message she stands for.
In 2016, six albums later, Lemonade was dropped and honestly, you were living under a rock if you didn’t know about it. The album left Beyoncé’s mark on the music industry; being about her personal struggles on marriage with husband Jay Z as well as feminism, race, identity and political issues, or as others explained, ”’Lemonade’ is the product of a brutal tension: a woman who has been defied by the entire world and yet cannot secure the love of the person closest to her”. (Battan, C 2016)
The album title was inspired by the quote “if life gives you lemons, make lemonade”, a metaphor for overcoming adversity and hardship. (Hawkes, R 2016) Beyoncé embraced feminism throughout the album, voicing her opinions and sending out an empowering message to women on black female power. The music video for ‘Formation’ is an example of Beyoncé’s media ownership, as she addresses the Black power movement which aimed to protect the lives of individuals who were victims of police brutality.
The album was so well-known that the most iconic image from Lemonade was taken and transformed into a cover of a Marvel superhero book called ‘America’, illustrated by Joe Quinones. “America is a comic that is all about representation and fighting for what’s right. America Chavez hits hard, looks fabulous and makes no apologies along the way. I could think of no better parallel than Beyoncé”. (Hoffman, A 2017)
Just another example of Beyoncé’s power is shown through a group of employees at Elite Daily (an online news platform; the ‘voices of generation Y’) who were asked to share something Beyoncé has taught them. These were their responses:
This just goes to show Beyoncé’s influence and the impact she’s had on not only the music industry but society too, earning herself a spot in Fortune’s ‘Most Powerful Women’ list in 2016 and featured in Forbes’ ‘Highest-Paid Celebrities of 2016’ (Lynch, J 2016). Beyoncé is more than just a celebrity, she is a voice. A voice for self-love, equality, independence and feminism and for that I, like so many others, will continue to be a member of The Beehive.
Battan, C 2016, ‘Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” is a Revelation of Spirit’, viewed 28/3/18, https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/beyonces-lemonade-is-a-revelation-of-spirit
Boyle, K 2016, ‘9 Empowering Lessons Beyoncé has taught Real People’, viewed 29/3/18, https://www.elitedaily.com/women/beyonce-feminism-women-empowerment/1476445
Hawkes, R 2016, ‘Beyoncé’s new album: Why is it called Lemonade, what do they lyrics mean, plus all you need to know’, viewed 29/3/18, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/music/news/beyoncs-new-album-why-is-it-called-lemonade-plus-everything-else/
Hoffman, A 2017, ‘See the Far-reaching Impact of Beyoncé’s Lemonade’, viewed 29/3/18, http://time.com/4631309/beyonce-lemonade-impact/
Lynch, J 2016, ‘Why Beyoncé is one of the ‘Most Powerful Women’ in Business’, viewed 29/3/18, https://www.businessinsider.com.au/beyonce-most-powerful-women-in-business-2016-9?r=US&IR=T
Vicious, S 2017, ‘American Chavez, Queer Latina Marvel Superhero, Gets Beyoncé Makeover’, viewed 28/3/18, https://outlookohio.com/2017/01/american-chavez-queer-latina-marvel-superhero-gets-beyonce-makeover/