1. "Independent Woman" (2000). Destiny's Child's biggest single stays No. 1 for 11 consecutive weeks. Sure, they were bootylicious, but this bestselling female trio struck a blow for feminism with this empowering anthem.
2."Crazy in Love" (2003). From Beyoncé's debut solo album, it becomes a blockbuster, topping 8 million sales worldwide. Her solo career exploded with the album, leading to five Grammys. But it was her assertiveness, Jay Z's guest rap, and that catchy horn line that made the world crazy for this song.
3. Dreamgirls (2006). Beyoncé stars in the movie version of this Broadway musical, but Jennifer Hudson wins the Oscar for her role in the film. Playing the lead singer of the Dreamgirls trio, Beyoncé affirms herself as the Diana Ross for this century - a supreme singer who can carry a movie, too.
4. Sasha Fierce (2008). Beyoncé introduces her bad-ass alter ego, Sasha Fierce, and collects six Grammys on the strength of such hits as "Single Ladies" and "Halo." It's Bey's new version of feminism: Don't mess with Ms. Fierce, who is traditional enough to demand a ring before she'll mess around with a man.
5. Taking control (2010). Beyoncé fires her father as manager and takes over management of her own career. Janet Jackson talked about control, and Bey took control. Fierce, yes. Independent woman, indeed.
6. Opening the Grammy Awards (2011). After taking nearly a year off, Beyoncé teams up for a riveting medley with Prince, who didn't have any new music, either. Didn't matter. The Queen and Prince made for a most royal performance.
7. Beyoncé (2013). She debuts the self-titled album on iTunes without any advance notice, becoming the first superstar to execute the surprise drop. Others followed, including U2, Drake, Prince, and D'Angelo.
8. On the Run Tour (2014). Her first stadium tour, with husband Jay Z, is their best collaboration since daughter Blue Ivy. You can have Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton, Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake. Bey and Hova are showbiz's most potent - and richest- power couple, as this tour proved.
9. Super Bowl halftime show (February 2016). She used this massive forum to manifest her support for Black Lives Matter, not just with words but with a visual show of force.
10. Lemonade drop (April 2016). She delivers Lemonade with no advance notice an hourlong film on HBO, and an album on Tidal. Not even Prince's shocking death two days earlier could derail Queen Bey's new project. Prince may have sold a staggering 4.4 million albums combined that week, but Lemonade was the bittersweet victor, landing at No. 1 with 485,000 copies sold. Beyoncé became the first artist in history to have six consecutive studio albums debut at No. 1.
- Tribune News Service