How Beyonce Became The Most Powerful Celebrity This Year: A Timeline
They call her Queen B for a reason. For the first time, Beyonce has topped Forbes' Celebrity 100 list, which ranks the most influential and important celebrities of the last year. The singer's inclusion on the list is no surprise, as she's been a high-ranking member for years; her number one spot, however, is a pretty big deal, especially because it means she dethroned none other than Oprah Winfrey to get the title. It's not as if we had any doubt before, but Forbes' list makes it clearer than ever that Beyonce is the entertainment world's biggest star.
But how did she actually make it to number one, after all those years a few spots from the top? A massive tour and a surprise album are only a few of the many reasons; Beyonce, seemingly without rest, has spent the last twelve-ish months on a journey to become the biggest superstar in music. Clearly, one didn't need a Forbes list to see that her efforts paid off. A look back at how Beyonce spent her crazy, impressive, history-making year:
April 2013: Began The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour
First announced in February, Beyonce's fifth tour commenced on April 15, 2013, and didn't end until March of this year. Besides being a stadium-filling, bestselling show (it made nearly $230 million, making it one of the highest grossing tours of all time), Mrs. Carter was widely praised for its energy, innovation, and general awesome-ness.
May 2013: Co-starred in Epic
Epic may not have been a critical success, but it certainly did well financially. The animated fantasy film, featuring the voices of Beyonce, Amanda Seyfried, Aziz Ansari and many more, earned $268 million, a figure one can assume that the star power of its cast had something to do with.
June/July 2013: Guest-appeared on other people's albums
We all remember Beyonce's cameo on Jay-Z's Magna Carta... Holy Grail, but she also provided vocals for Kelly Rowland's album, Talk a Good Game, and The-Dream's IV Play. Even when she had none of her own music to promote (that we knew of at the time, at least), Beyonce kept busy.
June-November 2013: Filmed videos for Beyonce
But we didn't even know the half of it. Also during that time, Beyonce filmed all 17 of the music videos for her secret album, shooting footage as she traveled the world on tour. And what did you do last summer?
December 2013: Released Beyonce
And then this happened. On December 13, Beyonce released her fifth album, without any warning, promotion, or marketing strategy. Yet because she's Beyonce, the album had no trouble finding its way to the top of the charts (an act that made her the first woman in Billboard's history to have her first five studio albums debut at number one), selling one million copies in six days. To date, Beyonce has tripled that number, and will likely sell even more as time goes on.
January 2014: Premiered Drunk in Love
We'd already heard and loved the single, but watching Beyonce and Jay Z perform "Drunk in Love" live in a unmissable, sexy, chemistry-filled show at the Grammy Awards was a whole other ball game. The performance helped the song go platinum, selling more than a million copies.
March 2014: Fought to "Ban Bossy"
Although this movement garnered some backlash, Beyonce teamed with other celebrities in a feminist call to arms to "ban bossy" from our vocabularies, saying that the term is detrimental to young girls' self-esteem. It was a strong statement, and welcome proof that the singer's views on feminism and gender equality have continued to evolve.
April 2014: Announced On the Run Tour, Covered Time, Etc.
April was a huge year for the singer. First, there was the announcement of the tour of music fans' dreams: Beyonce and Jay Z, together, across the globe. The tour wouldn't begin for another two months, but the April announcement gave people time to prepare themselves (and save up their money).
Also in April, Beyonce covered Time for its Time 100 issue, and was honored by Sheryl Sandberg. "She raises her voice both on- and offstage to urge women to be independent and lead," said the Facebook COO.
Later that month, Beyonce became the highest-paid black musician in history. Bet those concert tickets probably helped.
May 2014: Released "Run," Survived ElevatorGate
Does anyone really know what the point of "Run," the fake movie trailer released by Beyonce and Jay Z on May 17 actually was? Probably not. But it was fun to watch, thanks to the great music, celebrity cameos (Jake Gyllenhaal, Sean Penn, Blake Lively...) and overall ridiculous-ness of the video.
June 2014: Began On the Run Tour
It's only a few days in, but already, the On the Run Tour is breaking records. The average gross per show is an astounding five million dollars, a figure that, if it stays on track, will make it the second most successful tour in history. It doesn't hurt that the reviews have been great, too; whether with her husband or alone, Beyonce, it seems, is incapable of making a show anything less that spectacular.