Joan Baez Existed Before Beyoncé and Taylor Swift Ruled the World

While Beyoncé and Taylor Swift are not the first women to achieve significant artistic and financial success in pop music, it’s safe to say that none of their predecessors have the same level of influence as these two megastars. Taylor Swift became the most-awarded artist in history for Album of the Year last month when her album Midnights won her her fourth Grammy Award. During the awards ceremony, she also revealed that she would be releasing a new album soon. Act II, Beyoncé’s upcoming album, will be released on March 29. Beyoncé made sure that Swift did not take center stage in the lead-up to the Super Bowl by utilizing the most watched event on television to make her announcement. She released the album’s first two singles as soon as the commercial ran.

The level of artistic autonomy, financial independence, and cultural “market share” that Beyoncé and Tay command is unparalleled, regardless of whether you look at sales of records, concert tickets, branded merchandise, or the more difficult-to-quantify metric of influence. That trail wasn’t blazed by them alone, though.

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