She says she’s a “black Bill Gates in the making” who “ain’t never seen a ceiling in my whole damn life”.
So it’s hardly surprising that Beyoncé has been named music’s most powerful woman by BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.
The superstar came first in a list of the industry’s 40 most influential women, thanks to her feminism, activism and empowering musical messages.
Taylor Swift, Adele and Dua Lipa were also included on the power list, which was unveiled as part of BBC Music Day.
The top 40 didn’t just recognise big-sellers and global stars, making room for the unsung heroes who work behind the scenes to champion women.
Third place went to Vanessa Reed who, as director of the PRS Foundation, has persuaded dozens of festivals to sign up to a 50:50 gender balance on their line-ups by 2022.
The top 10 also includes Marin Alsop, who became the first female conductor to lead the Last Night of the Proms in 2013, and Chi-chi Nwanoku, who founded Europe’s first professional majority black and minority ethnic orchestra, Chineke!
Gender diversity in the music industry is notoriously poor, especially in technical jobs like engineering and production. And even with artists like Cardi B, Adele and Dua Lipa devouring the charts, recent research shows that men account for 78% of hit singles.
Woman’s Hour said it hoped publishing the power list would lead to better representation.
“It’s a celebration of 40 incredible women but hopefully it doesn’t stop there,” said broadcaster Tina Daheley, who led the panel of judges.
“A lot of the people on the list are coming on to the programme, and I think that’s where the conversation will start.”
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