Adele and Beyoncé - an unlikely friendship?

Why is there a need for rivalry between female artists in the music industry?

Adele and Beyoncé - an unlikely friendship?

In popular culture today, we have become accustomed to seeing women pitted against each other; whether that be in far-fetched American high school films, Twitter and Instagram or in name-shaming song lyrics. Feuds between female celebrities, their fan bases, and the media are all too common across many platforms and I feel as if this has, regrettably, become the norm. There are infamous spats - Katy Perry vs. Taylor Swift, Lil Kim vs. Faith Evans and even, jumping back to the sixties, Aretha Franklin vs. Diana Ross. The portrayal is that women can't accept each other's successes without there being an overbearing element of jealousy or resentment. How much of this is as a result of manipulation by news organisations and how much of it is true?

You can't have missed Adele's rejection of her Grammy for Album of the Year at the awards this year. It was huge news and has continued to spark much debate about white privilege, female support and attitudes within the music industry. Adele, who has been a huge Beyoncé fan since her days as a schoolgirl, was awarded the prize for her album '25'. However, the pop star said, "I can't possibly accept this award. The Lemonade album was just so monumental, Beyoncé. It was so monumental and well thought-out and beautiful." The admiration is reciprocated. It was reported that Beyoncé delayed the release of her sixth studio album to allow Adele to have her moment to shine in the charts.

This public display of respect by Adele, for whom the above award marked her fifteenth Grammy, is a perfect example of how women should be treating each other. Adele and Beyoncé are the two biggest artists in music at the moment and have unquestionable success but do not feel the need to see one another as competition but as friends. Before the awards, headlines read "Adele vs. Beyoncé: Who will win the Grammy Awards diva battle?" and were described as "two of music's biggest rivals." There has never been any suggestion of this supposed dislike for each other; why does the media presume that two, female, similarly aged musicians must be against each other, enemies even? As if there is room for more than one incredible lady in the Top 10.

As we celebrate International Women's Day today, it is important to remember that there is enough inequality brought on by factors out of our control. I'm talking about government policy (remember the Tampon Tax anyone?), company CEO's, and sexist insurance policies that make day to day differences in the modern woman's life. We, however, have total control over what we say to those around us. Don't bring other girls and women down. Despite trying to ignore it, it can be impossible to not overhear flippant comments girls make about, for example, someone's hair, outfit choice, or talent. Why say it? What good does it do to you? What good does it do to them? Do you think they will suddenly change their trousers because you have made a comment?

People thrive in conditions where they feel loved and supported and it is up to us create these conditions. Praise all the women around you in whatever they feel passionate about, it is exciting to think that, every day, new inventions, art, science and literature is thought about. These ventures need encouragement to succeed. We are all in it together. So, in the words of Beyoncé, "Who run the world? Girls."

Image composite courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and Flickr/DisneyABC


  • Luke Taylor

    On 9 March 2017, 10:14 Luke Taylor Contributor commented:

    The media have completed stirred up most controversies nowadays, and stuff like this just goes to show how silly they can be.

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