Beyonce’s legacy in music is unparalleled. From her days in the late 1990s as the lead singer of Destiny’s Child to her curation of The Lion King film soundtrack. Although she has always been regarded as a pop singer, Beyonce’s music transcends through different genres, encompassing blues, hip hop, R&B, and rock. Beyonce wants to be remembered for her great music that sparked emotions in people and initiated conversations among them. If you ever got a chance to be a part of her live shows, you can attest to the fact that they are not just a spectacle; they are an example of precision in art. Beyonce began her solo career in 2003 after Destiny’s Child went on a hiatus. Since then, she has released six studio albums, five live albums, three compilation albums, and one soundtrack album. Her first album, Dangerously in Love, is what launched her into international stardom. Her 2013 self-titled album, Beyonce celebrated her marriage and sexuality, while her 2019 album, Black is King, was a celebration of the African traditions at a time when the Black Lives Matters movement was gaining popularity. Beyonce has sold over 100 million records globally and is one of the highest-selling female musicians of all time. She has also won 22 Grammy Awards, making her the most nominated female in the awards history. In 2015 and 2017, she was ranked by Forbes as the most powerful woman in entertainment. Although we might not all completely agree with the rankings of Beyonce’s studio albums, we can all agree that she has had quite an incredible career within a very short time span. Here is our ranking of the six Beyonce albums.
This was Beyonce’s first album after separating from her manager father. The change gave her more artistic freedom and creative control over her musical talents. The album, which was released on 24th June 2011, featured the traditional rhythm and blues that were a bit different from contemporary popular music. The album showed Beyonce’s diverse vocal styles and had funk, hip hop, and soul music influences. The lyrics of most songs from the album emphasized on themes such as female empowerment, monogamy, and self-reflection. Despite her newfound freedom after splitting with her manager father, the album ranked as her lowest selling. The album debuted at position one on the US Billboard 200 while it also peaked at the top position in Brazil, South Korea, and the UK Charts. Although the album never produced any number one singles, it had some great tracks such as “Run the World (Girls)” and “Best Thing I Never Had,” which fared well on the national charts. In addition, the track “Love On Top” earned Beyonce the Best Traditional R&B Performance Award at the 2013 Grammy Awards.
5. Dangerously In Love
Dangerously In Love had some amazing singles, although the album seemed a tad messy. The album was released in 2003 after Destiny’s Child singers announced that they would produce solo albums. Beyonce should receive greater credit for her work on this album, where she co-wrote the majority of the songs and a major role in their production. Although Beyonce has never talked about the meaning behind most of the songs in the album, most of the songs seem to allude to her intimate relationship with Jay-Z. The album primarily features R&B songs that incorporate some soul, hip hop, and Arab music elements. According to Beyonce, the album was meant to showcase her range, and for this reason, the album had various musical influences such as Jay-Z, Lil Kim, and reggae artist Sean Paul.
4. I Am… Sasha Fierce
According to an interview that Beyonce did in 2005, Sasha was a stage persona that embodied her outgoing and aggressive personality. The album was recorded over eight months and featured some amazing tracks such as “If I Were a Boy,” which stands out for its lyrics and Beyonce’s outstanding performance of the song. Although the album received mixed critical reviews, it was a commercial success, with “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” and “If I Were a Boy” charting high on international charts. The album has over thirty platinum certifications in different nationalities, including a double-platinum certification by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America).
Beyoncé was released on 13th December 2013, and you can tell by its reception that Beyonce understood her target audience well. The album incorporated elements of hip hop, R&B, and gospel music into one package. The album confirmed Beyonce’s status as an international superstar. Although the album didn’t have the storytelling aspect of her 2016 album, Lemonade, the album had some incredible songs that were paired with high-quality videos. The audio and visual recordings of the album were done in absolute secrecy since Beyonce wanted an unexpected release. Her exploration of sexual themes, as well as the vocal performances in most of the songs, make it a masterpiece. The album was ranked tenth among the best-selling albums of 2013 by the IFPI and was ranked position 81 by Rolling Stone on their 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Although the album is relatively short, Lemonade contained some of the most adventurous and best Beyonce songs to date. The album features vocals from Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, and James Blake, as well as samples and interpolations from various rock songs. The album is a masterpiece in storytelling and is the most acclaimed Beyonce album. The album also contains some great visuals, and the album is beautiful from start to finish.
B’Day is my personal favorite Beyonce album. It also contains some of the best vocal performances by Beyonce, and it is the album that solidified her status as a solo star. The acapella on “Get Me Bodied” and “Suga Mama” are incredible and make this album a must-listen. The album does not stop there; however, every song in the album is a masterpiece. Although it’s pretty hard to choose my best song from the album, I would go for “Suga Mama,” “Irreplaceable,” and “Upgrade You.”