Dionne Warwick: Beyonce has ‘a long road’ to becoming a true icon

Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Gala 2019

Even though I might not agree with them 100% of the time, I’m absolutely here for ageing musical icons telling the younger generations to take a seat. My only issue with this story is who Dionne Warwick chose to make an example of. Warwick, 78, is currently promoting a new album called She’s Back. During her promotion, she chatted with Essence about what’s happening in music today. I would not have blinked an eye if Ms. Warwick was like “enough with the Camilas, Arianas and Duas, people.” But no, Dionne Warwick chose to quibble about the icon status of… BEYONCE. Oh lord.

She’s baaaack! Dionne Warwick, the songstress who has given us 58 years of chart-topping classics such as “What The World Needs Now” and “Say A Little Prayer,” ain’t done yet. The singer has returned with a new album, aptly titled, She’s Back. The album is filled with timeless tunes that remind you of Warwick’s stellar and solid career. The singer tells ESSENCE she’s proud of building a musical career that’s based on music that have “a beginning, a middle and an end.”

When asked if today’s music also has classics, Warwick laughed and said firmly, “Not yet.” Warwick but questioned whether or not her career will reach the level of success that “classic” musicians from the ’60s have.

“I have an admiration for Beyoncé Knowles, Carter now. Watching her growth has been quite refreshing. It’s wonderful to see how she’s been able to create what and who she wanted to be and who she is… very proud of that, I really am…Now sustaining and becoming a big icon that Gladys Knight, or Patti LaBelle, or Johnny Mathis, or Frank Sinatra, or Sammy Davis Jr. is? I doubt that… And I love her to death and can appreciate her talent. But that iconic status? It’s a long road [ahead].”

“I don’t know if 10 years from now, anybody can actually sing the songs of our babies today. That’s not, as you guys say, ‘throwing shade,’ it’s looking at it with reality,” Warwick explained to Essence.

Nonetheless, Warwick is impressed by this generation’s talent. “The youngsters are doing it,” Warwick told the publication.

[From Essence]

I definitely feel like there’s so much music out there from the past 10-15 years which is so disposable, so “of it’s time,” music which will never be seen as a classic of the era or any era. But Beyonce’s not the example to use, right? I remember several years ago, Kid Rock made the observation that Beyonce doesn’t have radio hit after radio hit anymore, and while the Beyhive attacked him (for good reason), what he said has always stuck with me. At this point, I’m not entirely sure that Beyonce’s musical model is the “radio banger after radio banger” model. She knows that everybody will still know all of the words to her songs no matter what, and Lemonade was basically the culmination of that: an iconic work which, despite the lack of radio-friendly hits, will be remembered for a long time. While I love artists like Ariana and Dua and Cardi B, they’re better examples of what Dionne is saying here.

2019 Hollywood Beauty Awards

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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136 Responses to “Dionne Warwick: Beyonce has ‘a long road’ to becoming a true icon”

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  1. SuperStef says:

    Unpopular opinion: Beyonce is overrated.

    • VintageS says:

      Same. I think she reads her own press a little too closely.

      • (TheOG)@Jan90067 says:

        TOTALLY agree. (anyone have any anti-bee venom handy , just in case?? 🐝)

    • otaku fairy... says:

      That’s actually a super common opinion.

      • alyssa calloway says:

        Agree. A ton of people think Beyonce is overrated. I love her personally, and I can also see why certain people would idolize her and enjoy her even more than I do. But as a rule, it’s usually a POPULAR opinion to say something popular is overrated. As soon as something has a mainstream following, another group of people will pop up to say they shouldn’t have that following.

        I’m guilty of it too. The other day I was saying I never got all the fuss about Brad Pitt beyond him being a basic good looking white guy. But then I was like, “this is not an interesting take.”

    • Jb says:

      Same. She’s a talented artist but yea agreed.

    • Harryg says:

      Also, Beyonce didn’t create “Beyonce.” Someone else did. It was all planned like a long distance flight. And why, when she has hundreds of people writing music for her, it still sucks?

      • Stef says:

        I’ve wondered this too. I loved her when she was in Destiny’s Child, she seemed more authentic back then.

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        Give me a break…Beyoncé isn’t a 19 year old in a girl group anymore. She’s a 37 year old self actualized woman. And it’s such an insult to who she is and what she has created on her OWN to still be talking about her in tnose terms.

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        @Stef that’s funny because that was when she was her most inauthentic – even according to her. Her father controlled everything back then. To me now as a woman of 37 she seems more like herself than she’s ever been.

      • BlueOrange says:

        I’m sure that Beyonce has more involvement now in all of her work but she’s not creating this stuff by herself and never has. Beyonce doesn’t write most of her own material and has been known to pay ghost writers and have her name credited. She’s also changed a single line in a song written by others have been given equal writing credit. Got to love her game but she gives out a false and unreachable perception of perfection.

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        @BlueOrange. Ghostwriters?? Lol. They are just writers. Credited as such on the songs. It’s not a secret. Lol. PS – changing a single line – however small is considered writing. Which is why when you look at the liner notes of albums you will see multiple names. Because guess what? They all contributed a line or two or a verse. That’s how it works. 🙄

      • A says:

        “she’s not creating this stuff by herself” Wow, what a shocker, turns out that the process of creating an album is actually a collaborative one that involves multitudes of people who work on it all at once. Wait till you hear about how movies are made!!!!

    • Stef says:

      Glad I’m not alone on this one! (listens carefully for buzzing in the distance and eyes the skies for approaching swarms of bees…)

    • jen says:

      lol agreed!

    • Mumbles says:

      I’m with you. When I read this I thought, at least Dionne can carry a tune. I know I’m gonna get hell for this but I find Beyonce “pitchy” as they used to say on American Idol. Just my opinion.

      She’s not my jam. I know she’s a lot of other peoples’ jams. We can all co-exist.

    • lucy2 says:

      I think she is gorgeous and I’m very impressed by the work she puts into her performances (and the deals she has made for them), but I’m not the biggest fan of most of her music. But art is subjective.
      I’m a little weirded out by the 24/7 documenting of everything she does though, I wonder if she ever just has a normal day.

      But Dionne has the advantage of time – she’s been able to watch her and others work hold up for decades. We don’t know yet how the work of Beyonce or other current artists will hold up. Some of it will last for sure, others will fade away, just as it did in Dionne’s time.

    • TrixC says:

      Yeah, I’m with Dionne on this. I think Beyoncé’s a talented singer and performer, but I’m not sure her music will stand the test of time.

    • SK2 says:

      Totally agree.
      I also just don’t like her voice

    • buensenso says:

      she is an amazing performer, singer and dancer. however, she will never be an icon. she lacks the charisma, an interesting personality and her music is mediocre. however, she is still wildly successful, has tons of money and fans and her life still makes sense even though she’s not an icon.

    • Lilly says:

      Totally agree! Not only that, but all the old ladies she mentioned like Gladys Knight (and herself!) were all ladies that once had a music career, and in their older years they made appearances singing their old songs. Very few of the ladies she mentioned as being “classic” continued to create, record, or perform new music into their old age. So it that what a “classic” or an “icon” is? Someone who had hit songs at one time in history, and continues to live off the status of those old songs? I’m happy for someone to tell me I’m wrong.

    • Cynthia says:

      Only white women ever think Beyonce is overrated.

  2. Mox says:

    Everyone loved to shit on Beyonce. Unpopular opinion but you are not an icon Dionne. You have a a few “classic” songs that newer generations don’t even know that you sing. Oh and stop supporting rapists and child abusers and bad men. Women piling on women for no reason other than jealous—go the hell away.

    • Lala11_7 says:

      @Mox: Thank you for typing that…so I don’t have too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Naddie says:

      BURN!! Now that’s an unpopular opinion for sure, lol.

    • Lilly says:

      True. I’m not a Beyonce fan either, but for Dionne to insinuate that she’s a classic or an icon and Beyonce has not yet reached her status is just beyond. As I said upthread, is an icon or a classic someone who once had some hit songs on the radio, and continues to perform the and record those same old songs decades later to make some $$ ?

  3. ME says:

    Oh sh*t, oh f*ck…Beyhive is approaching…

  4. Tx_mom says:

    I think Bey is already an icon. She’s creating a body of work that is an incredible expression of Black culture in America, especially for Black women. Her work is not just a bunch of hits, it’s a thoughtful, deep reflection on and performance of the history of Black culture in America. AND her voice is an amazing instrument!

    • otaku fairy... says:

      She’s still huge and has already enjoyed about 20 years of success in this industry, so I think it’s a massive stretch to say she has a long way to go to be an icon. Someone can accurately say she’s not the most gifted artist who has ever lived, but I do think she’s icon material, she’s definitely talented, has shown herself to have staying power, and brings more than one thing to the table.
      Also, it doesn’t make people edgy, revolutionary, non-conformist, or the last intelligent free-thinkers left in America to think artists and trends popular with a lot of millennial women are garbage and go on about The Beatles, Kurt Cobain, etc. It’s trendy AF to do that, actually. Thank u, Next. :)

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        Agreed.

      • WTW says:

        I doubt Dionne is trying to be edgy, and I’m someone who disagrees with her about Beyonce. I’m not the biggest Beyonce fan, but I do think she’s reached icon status simply because of her length of time in the industry and sheer popularity and influence. That said, I don’t find her to be the best singer, but neither was Madonna, and she’s an icon, too. I think singers aren’t as impressive as they were in the past because of technology. The development of autotune and so much more has allowed singers who are average, at best, to be superstars. It’s one of the reasons Prince hated this stuff. There have always been so-so singers who made it big, but this shift in technology has allowed much more mediocre talent to come through. So, I don’t think people who complain about the singers of today are doing so just to trash young artists. I think it’s credible to say younger singers aren’t as gifted as their predecessors in just about every musical genre.

      • A says:

        @WTW, except vocals alone don’t make a gifted artist. You can have incredible vocals and be really limited in your creativity. You can have an incredible voice, but use it poorly, or choose poor vehicles through which to showcase it. “Talent” doesn’t come down to just one thing. Beyonce is good at what she does because she does four or five different things well at the same time. That’s a lot of talent also.

        And anyway, things change. Tastes change as time goes forward. Just because something isn’t to your particular taste doesn’t mean that the people creating it aren’t talented. Just because you may not understand why something is popular and beloved doesn’t mean that it isn’t good, or that the people making it aren’t gifted. I’m not the biggest fan of country music. But that doesn’t mean that the people who create it are talentless hacks. I can appreciate that they’re good at what they do while also accepting that it’s not something I’m into.

    • Gigi La Moore says:

      Only in a superficial world.

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        Only in a superficial world…what?? Please elaborate. I’d like know what you mean by this.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        That is the exact OPPOSITE of Tx_mom’s post, and reality. Beyonce doesn’t have just superficial accomplishments. She’s created art that is reflective of and representative of the black female experience in America. She includes both history and visions for the future in her work.

        Even if you don’t like Beyonce or her music, to say her success is superficial is revisionist.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      This. And Dionne and people of her generation don’t get to decide who is or isn’t an icon for younger generations. That’s not how it works.

      • Neners says:

        I’m glad I’m not alone in feeling this way. We said the same thing at the same time!

    • STRIPE says:

      I also find that she “doesn’t write her own songs” seems to be the chief complaint. Ok. She certainly is not the first to not write 100% of her own songs, including those that would be considered Icons by any definition. It’s a weak argument to say the least.

      • lucy2 says:

        And Dionne didn’t write either song mentioned above as what she’s known for.

        My personal taste trends towards singer/songwriters, but I think you can certainly be iconic recording songs you didn’t write.

    • kerwood says:

      Beyonce didn’t create that body of work. She hired a bunch of people to go out and dig up imagery from artists from around the world (see: Dash, Julie), stitch it together and put her name on it. She just showed up at the studio and was told where to stand.

      • MariaS says:

        If that’s your measuring stick for who is or isn’t an icon (and btw, you just described Beyoncé as a teen in Destiny’s Child, not the solo artist she is who dumped her controlling manager/father), then you’ll be disappointed to learn just how tightly controlled the 60s artists like Ms. Warwick herself were.

      • kerwood says:

        No, I’m describing Beyonce today. Do you really think that she was familiar with Julie Dash’s film?

      • STRIPE says:

        Are opera singers and actors who don’t write and direct also untalented then?

      • Ann says:

        If its that simple/easy why aren’t there more people who’ve managed to achieve the same success?

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Do you realize that Dionne Warwick isn’t a song writer? That she is just a singer that “showed up at the studio and was told where to stand”?

      • Carol says:

        So actresses cannot be icons if they didn’t write all their scripts? And direct all the movies, too, I guess? I must admit that I assumed Diana Ross was the person decreeing the rules for becoming an icon. I am shocked to see it is Dionne Warwick? She’s an icon?? Things that make you go hmm. . .

      • A says:

        I mean, setting aside the obvious dig in this comment (so much indifference), the whole process you described is exactly how people create art. They go find things that inspire them, use those elements, put their stamp on it, and create something new. Julie Dash drew the narrative structure for Daughters of the Dust from traditional Gullah story telling. She drew further inspiration from the works of writers like Toni Morrison. The fact that creating art is a collaborative process is barely a criticism.

      • anon says:

        FFS… “was told”!!!

  5. Neners says:

    Here is the thing: it’s not up to older generations who this generation chooses as its icons. This isn’t even about Beyonce. I get tired of these statements, in general.

  6. zee says:

    I think Beyonce is a popculture icon, or a media made icon, but she is not an iconic musician. It’s more about her performance than her music. Most people who aren’t her fans could probably not name a single song of Lemonade.

    • Becks1 says:

      I think this is a good way to put it. I think in 20, 30, 40 years – Beyoncé will still be remembered, but it might not be for her specific songs. She will be more of a cultural icon. Maybe I’m wrong and we’ll be singing her songs for decades to come, but I think she’s going to be remembered for other things. time will tell I guess.

    • Elkie says:

      Agreed. She’s an amazing PERFORMER, easily without equal among her contemporaries, but I’m struggling to think which of her songs are classics that will span generations of fans.

      They still play old Destiny’s Child more than her solo stuff on our local radio.

    • Kk2 says:

      This is probably accurate. I think she is and will be an icon, but will her songs be iconic? I don’t know. But it’s a different era of music and I don’t think you can really compare the pop artists of today to those of Dionne’s era. It’s just so different. The closest contemporary musicians to those icons are Mariah and Whitney, who were/are known for their voices primarily. Beyonce is a different kind of icon but she is definitely an icon. Beyonce is way more interesting to me than just a good singer would be. I’ve loved her evolution over the past few years and I am interested in what she does next- she’s only in her mid-thirties!

    • Snowslow says:

      Yes I’d agree with that take: as much as I don’t like her music or her kind of big stadium fierce dancing on stage performance type of show, Beyoncé is a a pop culture icon, which means she is an unavoidable reference whether you like her or not. An icon is not someone who writes his or her own lyrics or someone who is original, it’s simply a person who somehow gained world-wide recognition and represents something very specific and sometimes a bit tragic like Marilyn Monroe or Michael Jackson. It doesn’t have to mean quality and actually sometimes is quite divisive: you still have debates about Monroe’s acting abilities (MJ is another debate altogether but well, sigh).
      People who say that she stole things from artists are correct (in my field she stole from a visual artist who was actually really pissed off and sued but not much is said about that because she is not, well, an icon) but I find that a pop culture icon is someone who takes the feel of a time and presents it in a more palatable way. Monroe certainly responded to a time of sexual ambiguity (restrain and desire walked hand in hand) and seven year itch is definitely that film that encapsulated that.

      • ClaraBelle says:

        Snowslo, you articulated your view beautifully and described the definition of an icon perfectly. It’s not really about whether we like or don’t like her or her music (I don’t), but she is definitely an Icon.

  7. Originaltessa says:

    Beyonce doesn’t have a hit song. She’s had hits, sure, but not a hit hit. She doesn’t have Whitney or Mariah’s catalogue of all time classics. It’ll be interesting to see who even knows her in 30 years.

    • Harryg says:

      True, and I’m so tired of hearing how she’s the queen of everything.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      LOL. Music is VERY different from when Whitney and Mariah hit. So to compare is silly. Beyoncé is already an icon. Icon means aomeone who surpasses their own genre, industry etc. and Beyoncé has already done that.

    • STRIPE says:

      To be fair I think that era of DIVAS and other omnipresent bands is over. There will never be another Whitney, Celine, Diana, Cher, Mariah, *NSYNC, BSB even Johnny Cash etc. There’s too many options, too many ways to get/discover new music. We’re not dependent on a few select outlets, and who they’re pushing, anymore. Same as what’s happening in TV. What is considered a hit now would be nothing compared to a hit in, say, the 90s. These entertainers do not exist in a vacuum and I think you are missing a lot of context in this assessment.

      • lucy2 says:

        True. I grew up at the dawn of MTV, and everyone watched that ONE channel all the time, and listened to a small handful of radio stations, so hits were monster hits. There’s too many options now.

    • GirlMonday says:

      What is a hit hit?

    • Julieta says:

      I do think Beyoncé is missing that thing that would put her on the same level as MJ or Prince or even Madonna. Her performances are right up there, but her discography isn’t as strong.

      She’s had a handful of big hits, but they were all some of her weakest work and they sound dated now. I can’t see future generations thinking Halo is a classic the way something like Billie Jean or Purple Rain is.

      Lemonade was amazing, but it was really the fantastic combo of the film and album that made it resonate so much. When the music is taken on its own in future decades, which it will be, I don’t think it’ll be quite the confirmed classic it seems now. It’s a great album, but there’s definitely more than a few tracks that were lifted by the visuals.

      If she can create a couple of timeless hits or a couple more albums on Lemonade’s level she’ll definitely be right up there, but right now I think she’s a tier below the most legendary artists. Which isn’t a knock on her, only a tiny handful of artists have gotten to that level, but I do think she really wants that kind of MJ legacy.

      • Becks1 says:

        Re: the visuals, that’s true for so many songs though, we just forget about it since we have left the era of MTV. Was Like a Prayer such an amazing song, or do we remember the video? Or Vogue? Would Don’t Come Around Here No More be such a classic if it weren’t for the iconic video that accompanied it? and so on.

        Like I said above I’m split on what Beyoncé will be remembered for, but I don’t think the fact that Lemonade was a visual album is going to hurt her.

  8. Johannita112 says:

    +1

  9. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Icon: a person ot thing regarded as a representative symbol or as worthy of veneration.

    Sounds like Beyoncé to me.

  10. GirlMonday says:

    Out of respect for the banger that “You’re Going to Need Me” still is, I am going start with ONLIEST way I can kinda, sorta, maybe salvage even a half a little piece of what she is saying, and that is with regard to longevity. If longevity just only means years on the scene, then yes, by Dionne’s standards, Beyonce has to live, be somewhat recognizable without being culturally relevant, and have at least one Harrah’s residency in the next 40 years in order to be an icon. In the meantime, someone needs to go get Auntie Dionne’s shawl, put it around her shoulders and gently escort her from the room, so she can lay down. She’s having one of her spells again.

  11. DiegoInSF says:

    I remember seeing her in Celebrity Apprentice, years before the Orange menace was a thing, I regret giving him ratings. Dionne was a complete and utter nightmare! Rude and condescending and insulting. OTOH, LaToya Jackson was the sweetest that same season!

  12. Sunshine says:

    Beyoncé can’t play an instrument, and doesn’t write her own music or lyrics. She is controlling of anything she releases (interviews) because she has a history of sounding uneducated and ignorant. Even though she went to the college of, “Destiny’s Child.”
    And I don’t like Lainey telling me I am living in the time of Beyoncé.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      Neither did Whitney and nor does Mariah. So what’s your point??
      And let’s put that code speak about sounding “”uneducated and ignorant”” in the trash bin where it belongs

      • Harryg says:

        Whitney and Mariah have tons of hits though.

      • Boxy Lady says:

        Valiantly Varnished Mariah writes all or nearly all of her songs. She’s done that since her debut album and she’s VERY serious about her songwriting. And she plays enough piano and guitar to write but not enough to perform on it (according to her).

      • Tiffany :) says:

        “Hits” is such an antiquated term that is used by people who are still clinging to terrestrial radio.

    • Scal says:

      Her instrument is her voice. Same as Celine Dion or Pavarotti-icons in their own musical genres and they don’t play instruments or write songs either.

      • lucy2 says:

        I remember a group of us in college having a huge debate about whether Celine Dion was a musician or “just a singer” – this was around the Titanic era, LOL.

        IMO now, lots of people can hit notes, but it takes a musician to make a song their own, to make it special and convey the meaning of it through singing.

    • kerwood says:

      There are a lot of singers that don’t play instruments or write their own music so it doesn’t make a lot of sense to slam Beyonce for that.

      But I will slam her for taking from real artists, sticking it in a blender and throwing the goo that comes out at people and calling it ‘art’. Poor Beyonce probably wouldn’t know art if it hit her in the face because she’s been working since she was a child. But ignorance is in fashion nowadays, so I can’t really slam Beyonce for that either. She’s certainly not the only one.

    • Iknow says:

      I find this so weird. Where does it say a singer has to be a musician? Her voice is her instrument. A pianist, who doesn’t sing, isn’t less of a musician. A violinist, who doesn’t sing, isn’t a musician. As said above, her VOICE is her instrument. That’s what makes a musician. Now, if I were a professional singer, would I at least learn basic piano? Yes, I would. But I’m not one.

    • A says:

      Brb, I’m gonna go tell some people that Maria Callas and Umm Kulthum aren’t talented anymore, because neither of them wrote their own music or played an instrument.

      “she’s controlling of everything she releases because she sounds uneducated” This is just such a strange criticism to make. We’re legitimately living in a time where far too many celebrities have too many platforms through which they can spew their rubbish takes at people, and we’re going to criticize a woman for not doing that and being careful with what she says? Really? In the same week that Kanye West chose to defend his support for Donald Trump for the eight millionth time? Educated people don’t run their mouth, and they think before they speak.

    • Grant says:

      There’s so much more to being a musician or an artist than being able to play an instrument or write music. Being a legitimate vocalist is HARD, harder than playing an instrument or writing music IMO.

  13. STRIPE says:

    By reading these comments I am I to understand that opera singers are not talented then? They don’t write their own music or lyrics. They’re directed in shows. Are actors who don’t write and direct untalented?

    Oh no? Because that’s a totally unreasonable take?

    Beyoncé may not play an instrument or write her own music but a talented entertainer SHE IS.

    You don’t have to like her. I don’t like the music of a lot of talented people. But just because you don’t like her doesn’t mean she’s not talented or deserve her position in music today.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      Thank you! Finally some common sense…

    • Iknow says:

      Thank you! Such a weird argument to make against Beyonce.

    • Becks1 says:

      Yes, I agree completely. I said above I’m not sure how her songs will stand the test of the time, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think she’s a good artist/musician/whatever term is acceptable to people to use to describe her and it doesn’t mean that I don’t think she deserves praise for her work.

      Lots of entertainers don’t write their own material, it doesn’t make them less talented.

      Look, I’m just saying. My work computer auto corrects Beyoncé to add the accent. If that’s not icon status, what is?

    • Bosandi says:

      Disclaimer: I am not a Beyonce fan and I break my fingers changing the station when I hear her voice. BUT, I cannot deny that she is a phenomenal entertainer – not musician. To compare her vocal talent to opera singers (I’m thinking Leontine Price and others) is a serious stretch here.

      Beyonce is a fantastic example of someone who developed their raw, but moderate talent into the powerhouse entertainer she is today.

      Beyonce is an icon to the younger generations who have redefined the definition of icon. She may never be an icon by Warwick’s standards bc she’s of a different generation. The question of whether she remains an icon even when she stops performing decades from now remains to be seen.

      • A says:

        But people aren’t comparing her vocal talent. Beyonce has never claimed to be an opera singer. The comment is pointing out the fact that the standards by which people choose to judge Beyonce’s talents (she doesn’t write her own lyrics, she doesn’t play an instrument) are flawed. There are plenty of incredibly talented musicians and performers who do neither, but no one questions their skill or their status.

  14. Vanessa says:

    just because someone doesn’t write their own music or play a instrumental doesn’t mean their not talent . Beyoncé instruments is her voice and her stage presence please their no other Artist beside maybe Bruno mars who has that type of stage presence. I’m not surprised how many people here want to take shots at Beyoncé calling her untalented or uneducated but in the same breath wanted to hail the mediocre songwriter of Taylor swift . The music business is fuel with mediocre artists like Camilla cabello who for some reason is popular yet she can’t sing she can’t dance she doesn’t write her own song either and is riding on her friendship with Taylor swift to the top of the chart yet i don’t see anyone saying about her .

    • A says:

      I mean…”writing your own music” is just not a great standard to judge musicians? If that’s the case, then a lot of the people that Dionne Warwick quoted as “legends” don’t count, because a lot of them didn’t write their own lyrics either. So many of the pop artists today don’t write their own lyrics. Swifty is a notable exception, and while she has a lot of lyrical talent, but as an artist, there hasn’t be a lot of growth in her work, and she’s not nearly as creative as some of the folks out there. Even her lyrics tend to be really repetitive in its themes, even though she’s quite talented with her words.

  15. Walking alive says:

    Beyonce is a performer more than a musician .. just like Madonna .. they put a good act on stage with dancers and energy around them..

  16. kerwood says:

    I find it interesting that a musician who has payed her dues and made it possible for people like Beyonce to have a much easier time than she ever did, is treated with so much disdain and disrespect for daring to criticize a mediocre at best performer.

    Dionne Warwick didn’t say Beyonce was untalented or smelled bad. All she said was she didn’t think Beyonce was an icon. YET. The torrent of abuse that has been rained on her (and on anyone who dares to agree with her) says something about Beyonce, who never says a word when her fans ‘swarm’ on people.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      We get it. You don’t like Beyoncé. But considering that Dionne threw pretty obvious shade in a public forum people have the right to criticize her for it. There is no “torrent of abuse” lol. Having said that…what are your thoughts on Dionne’s public support of known sexual abusers and assaulters??

      • kerwood says:

        I’m indifferent to Beyonce, as I am to many others like her.

        I don’t know what Dionne Warwick has said about known sexual abusers.

      • anon says:

        Who are those “others” who happen to be like Beyoncé, by the way? Curious to know what they have in common…

    • Diane says:

      Dionne’s thoughts and opinions are hers. Doesn’t make them a fact, just makes them her thoughts and opinions which she is entitled to. As are others to dispute those. I have seen no torrents of abuse spewed at her, just people stating why they disagree.

      It is widely known that Beyonce doesn’t comment on anything that anyone, fans or otherwise, say in relation to her. So expecting her to thought police this is expecting a lot and is a reach.

    • otaku fairy... says:

      Nothing said here so far about Dionne is abusive or disrespectful, just critical. People on the internet aren’t obligated to accept whatever random opinion she offers the public just because she’s an older person with an opinion. We’re allowed to give out opinions about her opinion. It’s funny how on the one hand, these women are expected to silently put up with any and all criticism as penance for the job they took and the attention they seek because they put themselves out there and free speech, but on the other hand, they’re expected to automatically rush to the defense of each ‘critic’ inside or outside of their industry any time their fans get mouthy back. That’s not how any of this works.
      If anyone is so Beyoncé-obsessed that they’re actually verbally abusing or threatening Dionne Warwick over this opinion instead of just expressing disagreement with it, then yes, they’re out of control. That’s still on them individually though, and not Beyoncé. But people just having critical things to say about Dionne’s take isn’t the same thing.

      • AryasMum says:

        Well there is that ageist comment implying Dionne is suffering from dementia, and needs her shawl and to be sent off to bed.

    • anon says:

      I’m starting to think that attacking Beyoncé online is your full-time job…

  17. Dee Kay says:

    This is laughable. OF COURSE Beyoncé is an icon. Icons are so popular they are unavoidable, everyone knows their name and some of their work, and therefore, because hundreds of millions of people are exposed to them, there are wildly differing opinions about them!!!! Icons are people that everyone knows and not everyone likes (but there is no such thing as a universally loved star/performer/group). As far as I’m concerned, there is no more iconic person working today than Beyoncé. She is one of the most famous people in the world, not only today, but of the last 20 years!

  18. Alexandria says:

    I’m not a stan but I definitely think Beyonce is an icon.

  19. JanetFerber says:

    I think Dionne Warwick just chose Beyonce to get some buzz for her own album. I’ve read that Warwick doesn’t pay her taxes and is a close friend of O.J. Simpson. So she’s cancelled for me anyway (solely for the second reason).

  20. mycomment says:

    pbs recently ran a documentary on warwick’s career… damn, i’d forgotten what an insane collection of hits she’d had in the past. and that voice. no caterwauling … just flat out singing. she’s such an astonishing talent; and has every right in the world to say whatever the hell she wants about today’s ‘talent’…

    • bella says:

      I love Beyoncé and I love Dionne Warwick; they are not mutually exclusive. I just find when anyone says that Beyoncé is not the most perfect person in the whole wide world, everyone goes bananas! All I think that Dionne is saying that Beyoncé will be an icon when is older. Like Madonna, Cher, MJ etc. all of them are/were older when they became icons.

  21. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    Beyonce is an icon. She is also not very talented. The two don’t always have to go together. My biggest “beef” with Beyonce’s image is that she tries to sell herself using the image of feminist power, but her actions don’t match (I truly believe she faked her first pregnancy instead of being honest about it; she felt compelled to photoshop thigh gaps on herself and then lie about it; etc.). But yeah, she is a modern-day icon, at least the closest to one of her generation.

    • otaku fairy... says:

      Revoking women’s feminist cards over physical appearance choices and how they handle their reproductive rights is antifeminist in and of itself. Feminists are allowed to not be upfront about their reproductive choices and medical procedures (I still kind of question if that’s what she actually did, but it’s none of our business), and feminists are allowed to have their insecurities about their bodies.

      • Mrs.Krabapple says:

        Physical appearance choices and how someone handles reproductive rights are their business. The anti-feminist part is when the person feels compelled to LIE about them. There’s nothing wrong with using a surrogate . . . but if Beyonce thought there was nothing wrong with it, then why lie? The lie indicates that SHE thinks there is something wrong with it.

      • otaku fairy... says:

        Being deceptive or secretive (toward the public in general, not with people who have the right to know something) about personal choices and experiences doesn’t always mean the person really believes that thing or situation is wrong. Sometimes it’s a way of minimizing the unfair consequences that come with existing and exercising bodily autonomy in a still unequal society. Other times, it’s because there are other painful, complicated thoughts and feelings associated with that thing that they aren’t ready to or just don’t feel comfortable explaining to the public. Maybe she wanted to avoid the blowback over surrogacy (a controversial decision) because she already gets ott, unnecessary crap over every little thing. Maybe she felt it was unfair that she had had miscarriages in the past and wanted to live out a fantasy of literally carrying her first child, since she didn’t get to. Maybe it was a combination of both of those factors. Or, maybe all of those theories are wrong, she did carry Blue Ivy, and because she wasn’t showing very much with that pregnancy, she decided to wear that padding under her clothes to look like she was showing more for dramatic affect. There is a video clip from around that time where she’s in nothing but a bikini, Jay-Z has his hand on her belly, and it looks like there’s a small bump. Who knows? None of those situations would disqualify her from being a feminist.

    • A says:

      I don’t think being a feminist means that someone is infallible. Beyonce has always been open about her struggles with her body image as well as her fertility issues. Feminist power doesn’t mean you’ve gotten over those types of insecurities. It means you gain the strength to hold society accountable for imposing these standards so that you can do the work to get beyond them.

      • otaku fairy... says:

        “I don’t think being a feminist means that someone is infallible.” It definitely doesn’t. One of the many uncomfortable things I’ve learned over the past decade is that many everyday feminists- both past and present- have been caught up in some very vile, violating, abusive behaviors and bigotries. We’re not talking just temporary little confusions and slip-ups that people learn from and change. Things way more serious than allegedly photoshopping a thigh gap, getting plastic surgery, or other controversial physical appearance-related things that have been discussed around certain women lately. It’s why I think even as feminists, we shouldn’t be too quick to dismiss or be offended by women of all races, ethnicities, ages, and sexualities for not wanting to identify as one. We should wait to hear the ‘why’, first.

  22. I can’t be the only who couldn’t get into Lemonade? The album doesn’t stand on it’s own without the visuals, in my own opinion.
    She’s a very talented performer.

  23. Miss Gloss says:

    Couldn’t agree more. And. An unpopular opinion I’m sure, but her music sucks! She’s not talented.

    • A says:

      This isn’t an unpopular opinion at all.

      • otaku fairy... says:

        It’s also usually an opinion from people who have only heard her most popular radio stuff and haven’t listened to her best vocal performances. She’s not vintage Mariah or Christina, but she is NOT a talentless singer by any stretch of the imagination. Plus, as an artist she has things that those two lack, not that they weren’t two of my favorite singers too.

  24. Naddie says:

    Had she said anything about music or vocal technique I wouldn’t dare to say a word, since it’s not my field, BUT as part of the audience, I say she’s dead wrong. Beyoncé is an icon, and I don’t say this because I’m a fan. I despise most of the soccer players in my country, but that doesn’t stop them from being icons, since it’s not about liking or finding the person talented. I just disagree with the writer (and that’s subjective) about Arianna, Dua and Cardi B, what they do is not art at all.

    • Grant says:

      I just got back from seeing Ariana live in San Antonio and honey, let me tell you–that girl’s voice is incredible. I went with my boyfriend who is an Ari stan, I’ve always been on the fence, but I have mad respect for her immense vocal talent, which I was largely unaware of until last week. So I think it’s kind of unfair to lump her in a category with Dua or Cardi B.

      • Naddie says:

        It takes more than a great voice to be an artist (and I understand it’s highly subjective ). PJ Harvey doesn’t have a wide voice range, still i think she’s a real artist. Tricky, Kurt Cobain, Beth Gibbons are other examples.

  25. mk says:

    you know what happens to some good music? it becomes a jingle to sell insurance or credit cards or fill in the blank ____________. I heard a Prince song for Capital One a while ago and thought to myself how much Prince would have hated that.

  26. Udi says:

    To the people who call Beyonce a mediocre vocalist need to educate themselves because she is ten times the vocalist their fave is. And is certainly a more technically proficient vocalist than Warwick. And caterwauling?? If belting, piannismo are caterwauling to you guys then you better stick to your oatmeal country radio. Such insularity and ignorance. Her catalogue maybe weak, her tone may be meh but her skill is up there, superlative.

    • otaku fairy... says:

      “If belting, piannismo are caterwauling to you guys then you better stick to your oatmeal country radio.” All of this.

  27. A says:

    I don’t think this was actually that shady or dismissive of Dionne Warwick to say. But I disagree with her regardless. I think that Beyonce is striving for a type of cultural relevancy that extends beyond just radio hits, and she’s achieved a great deal of it already. If she hasn’t achieved that “legendary” status yet, it’s because we’re still living in the moment that Beyonce has created for herself. She’s still writing her legend. Warwick might have had a point if this were the beginning stages of her solo career, and she’s more on point when it comes to people like Ariana or Cardi B for sure.

    • Grant says:

      I don’t think she’s on point re: Ariana. That girl has massive pipes as I learned last week when I saw her live in San Antonio. I say that as someone who went into the concert just expecting a few bops and a good time (went with my Ari stan boyfriend, I’ve always been largely indifferent about her) but I was truly blown away by the vocals. Ariana put on a great show and you could tell she was 100% live from start to finish (could hear the breathing, lots of ad libs, etc.) and she all but blew the rafters off the AT&T Center. I don’t say this lightly, but she reminded me of a young Mariah Carey. So, so, so impressed so I just felt compelled to step in and defend her a bit; don’t really think it’s fair to act like Ariana is a flash in the pan when she has so much natural talent.

  28. Catherine Page says:

    Beyonce is the Queen of anthems that scream, “I love being a woman, I love being Black, and no one can change that.” Lemonade is an empowering artistic achievement.

    She’s mainstreamed the message “Brown girl magic is unstoppable” for a generation young women. My students can quote every word of every song on Lemonade. I think these kids will play her music to their children because it had truly inspired and shaped their sense of worth. If you ask many young Brown girls if Beyonce is an icon, they’ll like at you like you’re moron because it’s such an obvious GIVEN to them.

    • kerwood says:

      I remember when Beyonce made a point of saying that she was ‘Creole’ to anyone who would listen. I’m not a fan so I must have missed when she became ‘Black’.

  29. Jane says:

    Yes in 20 years we will still be singing “all the single ladies” 🙄 Come on. Beyoncé is talented (you hear that Beyoncé Stan’s! I said she’s talented) but her song choices are not iconic. They are pop song that are popular for the moment and for the generation that grew up with it but in another 20 years, UNLESS she is still popular, ( which I doubt) most people won’t know who she is. Unlike Michael Jackson, the Beatles, Whitney Houston, Celine Dione, and others Beyoncé doesn’t really have an iconic hit song that is a pop culture phenomenon.

  30. Patty says:

    She’s 100% correct. Beyonce is too manufactured to be a true legend and icon. Beyonce is still with all of her success way too concerned about what other people think of her – does anybody even know who the real Beyonce is?

  31. Snowflake says:

    She reminds me of my stepfather, who reminisces about the past and everything was so much better back then according to him. To Dionne, I think no one will ever compare to the icons from her generation.

  32. Catherine Page says:

    “… big icon that Gladys Knight, or Patti LaBelle, or Johnny Mathis, or Frank Sinatra, or Sammy Davis Jr.”

    I think public name recognition is difficult for even “icons” to sustain. Ask the average kid under 15 who Johnny Mathis or even Sammy David Jr. is. “Icon” does not mean forever, even by her standards.

  33. Nic919 says:

    Beyonce and Britney Spears are the same age and got famous around the same time. Over 20 years later Beyonce is the one still breaking new ground and creating cultural moments, like Formation or Homecoming. I don’t love every song that she’s done, but Beyonce is known across generations. Few current pop stars can make that same claim. Beyonce will be around at least another 20 years.

    • Reeta Skeeter says:

      Beyoncé has the success, but IMO Britney is more of the icon. Britney has that Marilyn Monroe/Princess Diana tragic quality that I think will always make her magnetic even though she was technically just an auto-tuned 90s singer.

      • HK9 says:

        While I sympathize with Britney’s struggles she will never be anywhere near Marilyn Monroe/Princess Dianna-ever. “Tragic quality” or otherwise.

  34. Tashiro says:

    Beyonce is very popular but hasn’t reached Icon status yet. We’ll see in 20, 30 or 40 years.

  35. Myrtle says:

    Fame is fleeting. It’s hard to say whose reknown will really endure over time, especially in pop culture where one hot superstar is quickly replaced by the next. From the 20th century, I’d say the Beatles have a shot at lasting fame. Who else? Frank Sinatra? Probably not. Elvis? Also slipping. MJ? Tainted. Aretha? Too soon to tell.

    It seems that most pop icons are for their own generation and that generation’s children, and then they surely fade. We do have some visual artists and writers of great enduring fame (Shakespeare, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, etc), some philosophers and scientists (Socrates, Newton, Einstein) but as for actors and singers…we can’t know for another hundred years or so which ones, if any, held on to their crown.

  36. Suzanne says:

    What does it take, Dionne? Shilling a scam psychic pay by the minute phone network?

  37. Nikki says:

    I’m surprised Dionne Warwick would make such ungracious, patronizing comments about Beyonce. I think it’s totally classless of her, frankly; it’s almost like “I’LL be the judge of when Beyonce accomplishes enough to even be compared to me and my dead friends!”