Beyonce Has the Power

Forbes has compiled a list of the “Most Powerful Black Women in the U.S. and guess who came in at #1? Did you guess Oprah Winfrey? Maybe Michelle Obama? Well if you did, you were wrong.

According to Forbes, 29 year old pop singer Beyonce Giselle Knowles is the most powerful sista in the country. Apparently Beyonce’s (you fill in the blank) is more powerful than the first woman, black or white, to OWN her OWN Network and the first African American First Lady combined.

Forbes doesn’t explain how they came to their conclusion and personally I find it a bit dismissive of black women in general. Lady Gaga, a mere singer, would never be named the most powerful woman in the country. She’d first have to get past real power brokers like Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton to be bestowed with such an honor.

Beyonce however, who influences no one that I know of over the age of maybe 17, somehow manages to be labeled more powerful than Oprah, a woman who had enough pull to get her OWN Network distributed to over 85% of American households.

To add insult to injury, our FLOTUS was also passed over for #1. Michelle Obama, by virtue of being the first black First Lady, has the ability to not only have her voice heard by all Americans, but especially young black women who can now see and picture themselves living a life they may have once thought impossible.

All of that however seems to pale in comparison to Beyonce’s ability to occasionally sell out concert venues.

I ask you- what can Beyonce get done- what real power does she have? Can she influence economic policy as say Michelle Obama can by virtue of being married to one of the most powerful men in the world? Can she get a network off the ground as Oprah did? Can she single-handedly change the mindset of a generation like Debra Lee, were she only willing to use her power as CEO of BET for good?

My answer is no. Beyonce, like Gaga and Rihanna, have power- but it is limited and ultimately only helps to serve those with even more power.

Forbes needs to rethink this list next year. Or maybe they got exactly what they were looking for- a bit of controversy to hype up their annual ‘Most’ this and that issue.


  1. Forbes is losing all credibility most of these list involving entertainers are compiled with info sent to them by publicists and managers. This is just as random as the Artist of the Millenium award.

  2. Well great job, expect ATLEAST 50+ comments.

    Congrats to ALL the women that made the list. This little list takes nothing away from any of these womens power statuses in real life. It seems like some people take certain things too personal. All of them are powerful, intelligent beautiful women. As I’m sure you are Sista.

  3. no of them black stars including Beyonce never help poor struggling black people. They never come to Philly to help $$$$ these dying young men and women..Give Back please


  5. What is power? The title, the prestige, the money or the influence?

    No one wo(man) should have all that power. There’s too many “types” of power to try pitting one against the other.

    And imo, the list should’ve just been a compilation of the most powerful WOMEN. Black not included. If I were Beyonce, Michelle or Oprah, I’d vie for being the most powerful woman regardless of race.

  6. @Beyoncepays4everything, you’re generic. Go sit down some where.

  7. “It seems like some people take certain things too personal.”

    EXACTLY. Oprah’s power…Michelle’s…etc are already evident, obvious and need not anyone’s validation. The magazine’s just that…a magazine.

  8. I love Bey, but I don’t agree. Thats it.

    @CIROC, Beyonce helps a lot of people and why does race matter.Black,White,Green,Blue. She helps people in general. She has given MILLIONS to charity’s and a few of her own.

    And her management bought this? People used to say that it was Matthew Knowles, he gone. Now it’s just “management” lol, this chick can’t have nothing without conspiracy theories. Just stop it.

  9. I am sure Beyonce wouldn’t agree either. Forbes is trying to turn people against her. I have my feelings about her but its all her the music (I cannot relate). As for Bey the person, she more humble then regular people I deal with on a day to day.

  10. Now you see what we have been seen and saying for YEARS , if beyonce racked understandable accomplishment people wouldn’t say nothing I.e her 9 Grammys for dangerously in love, she deserved it given how it was nothing short of a classic, but sometimes her accollade cone from the left field, like her live version of some song got a Grammy or the millenium award WTF? Her simple minded fans don’t even know their times tables let alone how to think for themselves so they buy anything about her, but this is BS straight BS but if it can help her sleep at night

  11. This isn’t about not Beyonce, but the marginalization of black women! It’s ok not to care or be bothered, it is only a magazine. It’s why we complain to no avail, too! Of course, this placement as with others are orchestrated. They know how gullible popular culture is and go for it. They list Beyonce as the most powerful black woman while we’re going through one of the most dismal economic landscapes since the great depression, when we have our first Black President and his chocolate brown First Lady, who’s gearing up for re-election…perception is everything!…not what we (black people) think, but the rest of the world. For the first time black kids can name role models who aren’t in the entertainment business and now many at want to attend Ivy League Schools like never before! Too many black recent college grads are underemployed and returning for advanced degrees, becoming fluent in foreign languages, traveling abroad and many choosing to come back and teach and work in the hood. More black women attend and graduate from college than black men, the competition is insane for jobs. How many people can become what Beyonce is or does…really?

    One thing these powers that be aren’t noticing, the falling/failing of “systems”…from climate control to the banking and financial centers to mega-preachers and churches, even Murdoch was brought to task…random violence seeping into their hoods or in the heart of their city…police officers are now an endangered species…gentrification and the ousting of black and brown families, many newly built or under construction properties abandoned when our economy crashed!

    Personally, I don’t take the award shows or titles seriously, they’re a joke. But, I will voice my concern since Sista raised this issue as she should have! Beyonce fans don’t have to not enjoy this win, it’s hers! She’s a brand, a commodity, so I get it!

    They come up with this after the two-day finale demonstrating a black woman who has and continues to impact millions of lives and who happens to be the wealthiest, not to mention other sistas, a woman who you can just say the letter O and people know the depth and breadth of her reality!

    These are just fake times we live in from Kim Kardashian’s wedding being covered like Will and Kate’s…pop culture in general…smoking mirrors, ponzi schemes, I get why we’re the wealthiest country in the world and not in the top ten for happiness…we’re just fakes!

  12. @ OTHER ‘LOL’, but it’s FORBES MAGAZINE. FORBES!!! lol 😛

    Also, I will concede one thing in defense of Beyonce. She has the power “currently” to get a movie greenlit in Hollywood. Yup. Thanks to that horrible movie “Obsession” and its unexpected box-office turnout… With the exception of “Cadillac Records”, her presence in films she’s in puts butts in seats.

    Maybe they’re taking into account her earnings…and the fact that Oprah “retired”…maybe that catapults her to the #1 position?

  13. Beyonce along with Spike Lee, Anton Fugua, Tyler Perry and a few others can do box office and nobody better than Will Smith…Jada is no slouch either…Debbie Allen is killin’em…Alicia Keys is a tremendous influence and powerful woman, many little girls have taken piano lessons thanks to Keys and don’t mention her “Keep A Child Alive”…Oprah has transitioned…to her own network…retired her show of 25 years, upgraded, seriously…she hasn’t been away 6 months…coming back with a new version of the Oprah Show…I know they use search engine searches and rankings, twitter followers, revenues, all things “popular”…as someone stated, if the accolades were genuine and not marketing ploys and the public wasn’t force-fed a bunch of crap, even with detractors, you would have to give credit where it’s due. In this case, as with the Billboard award, it seems fake!

    This accelerated super-stardom is a double-edge sword…it cuts both ways and people burn-out quickly of today’s stars and the money changers know it…when an artist like Adele can remain on top of the charts for this long with very little promotion or fanfare…the culture is hungry…people want more substance…but, keep people with the most elusive and you stunt growth!

  14. Lots of these black celebs have no power at all. Again, what some people consider power is really nothing at all.

    Will Smith can’t even get a movie made with a woman who looks like his wife as his leading lady.

    Most black actors and actresses have to play alongside white actors and actresses or risk having their movies labeled as black and thus not worthy of mainstream distribution.

    Beyonce’s career, like that of Janet Jackson’s, can be destroyed overnight with just a hint bad press.

    Beyonce’s popularity is not power. Will, Denzel and all the rest have absolutely no power at all.

  15. Well I guess Ali, I Robot, Independence Day, and Pursuit of Happyness all had white women as his “leading Lady” Just sayin. And Karate Kid which will didn’t star in but his son did. What was Jaden’s momma in that film Mexican?

  16. Liws lies lies and mre lies..she isn’t nothing more than a high priced hoochie who got lucky that white men are horny pervs and would except her “brand” of beauty(only because she sports her blond weave,has several nose jobs and claim to be anything but black)..negro please..she is aunt jemima with a weave and she shakes her a$$ like every man had her..jay come get ur wife!

  17. Rotfl @ aunt jemima with a weave , i spit out n’y Wine lol

  18. @Side_Eye. Is that you FED? No one puts the truth on display like you. LOL. I love it.

    Like some of said the Forbes list is purposefully misleading and is trying trying to distract our peoples from the issues that are effecting everday. Beyonce is fraud but unfortunately influential. And we should not support people with phony agendas whether they share our skin colour or not. It does more harm than good to our people in then. That’s another reason why I don’t support Oprah.

  19. Wow at these comments. Like Beyonce is the ONLY singer to wear blonde hair.

    Seriously, I can’t at the hidden agendas and conspiracy theories. Sometimes, it’s just not that deep.

  20. It really isn’t that deep. And some people need to stop acting as if they know these people personally.

    They got this..honor, nobody can change it, so move on with your life. No need to pout and whine.

  21. I totally disagree with Beyonce coming in @ 1 before Oprah and Michelle Obama but whatever it is obvious that she PAID FOR THIS OR JAY DID BOTTOM LINE!!!!!

  22. Is anything Ever “that deep” for beyonce fans? You ready for war if someone does not like her song, but surpassing more important and better suited for this title and it’s all of the sudden not dep anymore

  23. Melinda- Well I can’t speak for others, but nothing any of these celebs do/achieve is, important to me or hits me the wrong way because it’s their lifes, they’re not doing anything for me. And to I said it’s not that deep as an expression because everyone is throwing a hissy fits acting like it’s WW3. Sorry, I should’ve said it’s not that serious.

  24. Well the black community is in a deeper pit than i realized if she is our influence, Laughable Forbes is trying to sell some copies.

  25. @Sista: i like the way you present your opinion honestly and you don’t sugar coat and play favorites. you speak your mind. my opinion though is that one thought is that at one time black people, especially black women were not recognized for much and no matter how talented and what they had to offer they were shunned mercilessly. So it is like getting behind the lesser of two evils. At least a black woman is being recognized for something positive and for being beautiful and business minded. I am so tired of seeing polls of the most beautiful women and not seeing one black woman or if there is one on the list it will be less than 5 of them on a list of 100 or more women. thanks for the article though. always appreciate what you write.

  26. You seem more mad at Beyonce then Forbes!? Beyonce is still a African American woman that should be celebrated instead of being broken down by other black women!

  27. I’m not mad at either. I just know that Beyonce, like Halle Berry who also made the list, have absolutely no type of meaningful power.

    All of Halle’s movies are flops and Beyonce’s record sales are actually quite mediocre, especially when compared to her contemporaries.

    Celebrities are constantly walking on eggshells and having to watch what they say and do because at any moment all that fame and power they supposedly have can be yanked away by those who have actual power.

  28. Beyonce herself is only black when it suits her. She hardly ever wears her own clothing line and when she does she picks the worst possible outfits, you can definitely tell that she’s bleaching her skin and tweaked her face for a more Euro/Mulatto look. She is only a quarter Creole but she reps it like she knows all about it (clearly she doesn’t because having Creole relatives if they were her age with singing ability, they STILL would have gone to college and earned their education because that is what their culture FOUGHT hard for) and homegirl can barely speak English let alone a lick of French. And then whoever she talks to she’s wishing she was them or is all on their jocks. When Shakira was hot, she wanted to be Latina. Now that Lady Gaga is hot she’s loving the gays.

    I just think is a fraud who unfortunately has a lot of influence on where it SHOULD count the most: and that is our community. Our young girls (and some boys) think that she is everything and beyond and their parents are no better. This is a woman that doesn’t have an education, cannot speak proper English to save her life and makes her career off of p-poppin and singing faux girl empowerment anthems. She is all smoke and mirrors. And I would not care so much if she did not have the attitude that she is queen of everything when clearly she isn’t. I wouldn’t have a problem with it, if she didn’t have her daddy lie and steal his way shading out other very deserving black artists to get to the top.

  29. We should all “agree to disagree”!!

    However, think of the magazine we are talking about. Bey is a powerful woman and I’m sure she donates money to certain charities. But the question remains “is she more powerful than Ms Oprah, or Mrs Obama?” The answer to this question is certainly NO. Yes she has acheived a lot, but she is not in the same league as these women. We need to give credit where credit is due.

  30. Forbes Magazine thinks The Fierce One is the most powerful Black woman in the USA…Congratulations Beyonce G. Knowles. Continue to master your craft and excel. May many many more blessings and recognitions come your way HoneyBey until they’re through with you :).

    It’s always interesting whenever I get a chance to view King B’s, the supporters’, and the naysayers’ reactions to the acknowledgments she receives. Looking at the Forbes Magazine list, there is so much power there. What I must love the most is the fact that Oprah, Michelle Obama, and Beyonce, women from different age groups & professions, so openly celebrate and respect one another. I think of King B honoring Oprah’s legacy at the Oprah Show Finale and Oprah’s delight at the performance. I recall Oprah introducing Michelle Obama and the Obama family on her show prior to the 2008 Presidential Campaign. Oprah and Bey continue to openly support the Obamas today so proudly. Bey usually does it in her concerts and interviews nationally and overseas. I also remember Michelle Obama and her daughters attending B’s concert, and complimenting her at the Billboards Awards Tribute. I love it so much.

  31. I personall don’t pay attention to these bulls**t list of status, money, power and beauty. I’m not knocking Beyonce but for Forbes to list her as #1 most powerful black woman when she done for civil rights, education, or the social equality of black women in general. When has Beyonce taken a stand for education, teen pregnacy, black proverty, or racism? When has she spoken out on any issue involving the black community? And yet she’s named #1 most powerful BLACK woman. That’s just more a$$ backwards brain washing by the out of touch white media. This is the type of mess that dumbs our children down, that makes them want to be entainers as oppose to going to college and being teachers, doctors, engineers ect. I think this list is more about popularity and money than true influence.

  32. beyonce sings with no soul and her album is not the greatest .

  33. “I’m not mad at either. I just know that Beyonce, like Halle Berry who also made the list, have absolutely no type of meaningful power.”

    Sista, this the most best 2 lines you have written in the years of me visiting this blog.

    Listen- those of you who are mad about this because of Beyonce’s weave/haircolor/creoleness you’re totally missing the point. The issue is bigger than Beyonce.

    The point Sista is trying to make is that *the corporate mainstream white media* is showing an R/B singer as the most powerful Black woman in society when we have other truly powerful individuals.

    Cynthinia also hit the nail on the head too.

    Maybe it’s because I’m paying attention to this political landscape that this struck me as jarring.

    It’s one thing if it was a People’s magazine list , but this is Forbes!

    Guys, in 2011 we talk about how history has been whitewashed to not include how blacks influenced society (whether rock n roll and music, or scientific inventions in the late 1800s-1900S etc etc).

    Well, guess what. In 2111, ‘we’ will be talking about how no one talks about Oprah Winfrey the first female black billionare, and that Michelle Obama was the first black FLOTUS who helped steer the US away from the obesity crisis. Oprah’s name will be like the name of guy who discovered all the uses for peanuts.

    But that’s okay! Because we sure did produce some great singers and dancers! !

  34. I find it funny how “sista” wants to complain, when she herself has done more beyonce posts than any other black females including oprah & michelle. And i also find it funny how when she does do a post on them, which is rare, there is only a few comments. But bey can walk down the street & there are 5452178 comments. This site name should be changed, because there is nothing “sisterly” about this site. All i see are a bunch of hateful comments. Its 1 thing to disagree with forbes decision, but to talk about beyonce skin, face, album sales, etc all of which are IRRELEVANT to the topic, is just ridiculous. I was once a fan of this site but it is now on the level of mediafakeout IMO. I dont care who dont like my comment either. Just calling it like i see it.

  35. I see my comment didnt go through. I guess the truth hurts. “sista” has the nerve to complain when she got 3 beyonce posts alone on here today. How many oprah or michelle posts do u have today? And all this talk about her skin, face, body, album sales, etc are not only irrelevant to the topic but pure hatred. Last time i checked beyonce is the first black woman to headline glastonbury so when are her “contemporaries” gonna do that? This site name should be changed because there is nothing “sisterly” about it. Smh.

  36. I agree with smh, why does beyonce get so much hate from the black community, its ok for you to disagree with here being number one but talking about her skin hair etc is taking it too far

  37. First off, I am not a beyonce fan and I agree with the writer to a degree but overall I think its not right to attack bey so harshly. As I read this I could comprehend the pure bias and hatred of beyond spewing off the screen and thats not right. Just saying.

  38. To be honest it does sound like there is some personal jabs thrown in there. And SMH kinda hit the spot with right on. I’m actually a little disappointed at this article, with this site being called Brown”sista” and all.

  39. Whether you want to admit it or not, in today’s world celebrities have the most influence because they are who the young generation and that generation is our future. So be glad that someone as positive as Beyonce, regardless of what she does on stage, is #1. Just b/c you’re married to the president, who I honestly feel no one respects except black folk, does not make you powerful. What has she done besides the let’s move campaign in which she used Beyonce in? And Oprah is for white housewives. Her school in Africa had a scandal did it not? Her channel is not that successful is it? But I bet a lot of kids get help from the community center Beyonce and her family helped build in Houston. Let’s not forget the transitional housing. Oh or the cosmetology center for recovering crack addicts. Or the support she gives to young girls who are trying to get out of being pimped out.

  40. wow SHANICE, you had me until…

    “Just b/c you’re married to the president, who I honestly feel no one respects except black folk, does not make you powerful. What has she done besides the let’s move campaign in which she used Beyonce in? And Oprah is for white housewives. Her school in Africa had a scandal did it not? Her channel is not that successful is it? But I bet a lot of kids get help from the community center Beyonce and her family helped build in Houston. Let’s not forget the transitional housing. Oh or the cosmetology center for recovering crack addicts. Or the support she gives to young girls who are trying to get out of being pimped out.”…really???? read that to yourself (out-loud)again, and again. smh. truly ignorant.

  41. oh and “….So be glad that someone as positive as Beyonce, regardless of what she does on stage, is #1” so you agree that what she does on stage is not positive? yes?

  42. @get real, thank you im glad that there are a few people on here who have some sense. These people act like beyonce is the devil or something. There are murderers & rapists walking around, yet people hate little ol beyonce….a singer?! I bet they’re more mad at this than the casey anthony verdict smh.

  43. asquez/Getty Images
    Artists in this Article
    Lil Wayne
    Keri Hilson

    Even as she continues to ride herd on her sophomore album, “No Boys Allowed,” Keri Hilson says she’s already decided on the title and a bit of the concept for her next album. But, of course, she won’t tell us.

    “No, I can’t do that,” Hilson tells with a laugh. “It may actually change, but I think it’s the one. I’m starting conceptually to figure out how I want to bridge the gap between my second and third albums… but that’s as far as I’ve gotten. I haven’t begun working on it, and I really can’t because I’m still all about ‘No Boys Allowed.’ But even when you’re promoting your album and still releasing singles, you still have to think about your future. You have to prepare because so much goes into it. So I’ve got that little bit of an idea, which is a start.”

  44. Take that ish to a keri post! This post is about Queen Bey.

  45. This is not about hateration, this is about realization.

    Beyoncé puts herself out there as someone who is this innovative and genius who does it all on her ow when that’s not true at all. And she acts like everything she does is world changing, earth shattering, revolutionary stuff when all it is faux feminist sheez. Our young girls, with young mother’s themselves and even some of the older women think it’s cute to walk around someone else’s hair on their head and tossing it left to right. They think it’s pkay to listen to someone talking about being a single lady and acting a fool in the clubs when that child has almost never been single and is talking out the side of her mouth. It’s her phoniness and lies that are dangerous because celebrities have a lot of influence in our culture whether you want to believe it or not.

    You don’t hear any other artist out there in her field acting as if their music will change someone’s life. Because they realize they are peddling BS to the youth and general public to keep us even more distracted and caught up in material possession, sex, and ill-gotten fam as opposed to opening our eyes and learning the truth about government, this country’s true history, the economy, etc. And when I hear people’s rebuttal of “oh ya’ll are just haters,” my point has already been proven.

    I don’t support and will forever call out the Beyonces, Oprahs, Jay-Z’s and and anyone else who is working to keep out eyes closed to the truth. That is my job as a black woman who loves her community and as a Christian who is trying to do at least one thing right.


  46. Forbes EMPLOYEES need their pockets filled to a net of 80 Million like beyonce. That would leave her with what!!! half BROKE I would say. Forbes just knew who to get that cash from, and who else better than our sister B.


  48. Obviously you don’t hang around white people or visit their blogs.

    Black people should not support anything just because it’s “black”, especially if it’s negative stuff.

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