Beyoncé is paying tribute to the revolutionary Black women who have shaped the music industry.
On Friday, Aug. 5, the singer released a remix of “Break My Soul,” the lead single off her seventh studio album “Renaissance.” The new version — titled “Break My Soul (The Queens Remix)” — is a collaboration with Madonna that samples the pop legend’s 1990 hit “Vogue.”
During the song's iconic bridge when Madonna names numerous luminaries of dance, Beyoncé instead honors the many Black female singers who have influenced multiple genres of music in the past —and a few in the present
“Jilly from Philly, I love you, boo / Don’t just stand there, get into it / Strike a pose, there’s nothing to it / Vogue!” Beyoncé belts during one verse, referencing Jill Scott.
“The Queens Mix” also highlights fellow Destiny’s Child members Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, as well as Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin and Rihanna. Grace Jones —who is featured on the “Renaissance” track “Move” — gets two mentions.
Take a look at the 29 Black female musicians that Beyoncé celebrates on 'Break My Soul (The Queens Remix)':
Deemed the “Princess of R&B,” Aaliyah combined pop, R&B and hip hop with her smooth vocals to create hits like “Are You That Somebody” and “Try Again.” The singer tragically passed away in a plane crash in August 2001 at the age of 22.
Anita Baker has blessed us with some of the best ballads of all time. Her vocals in “Sweet Love” and “Giving You the Best That I Got” reach the octaves that make any professional singer jealous.
Since her breakthrough release of “Songs in A Minor” and first single “Fallin” in 2001, Alicia Keys has captivated fans with her incomparable piano skills. In 2009, Keys and Beyoncé teamed up for the roaring track “Put It in a Love Song” on Keys’ fourth studio album.
The “Queen of Soul” is undoubtedly one of the greatest artists and vocalists of all time. She dominated the radio for multiple decades. Franklin, who died in 2018, delivered hit after hit with “Respect,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “You’re All I Need To Get By” and so many more.
Bessie Smith, also known as the “Empress of the Blues,” became synonymous with the blues during the Jazz Age. Some of her most well-known songs are “Summertime” and “Down Hearted Blues.”
Betty Davis was a trailblazer who impressed listeners with her risque lyrics and her sound, which included funk, soul and rock influences. The “Nasty Gal” singer died in February 2022 at the age of 77.
As one-half of the Grammy-nominated R&B duo Chloe X Halle, Chloe Bailey and her sister have been mentored by Beyoncé throughout their careers. Older sister Chloe Bailey has recently released a few solo singles like “Have Mercy” and “Treat Me” and plans to drop her debut album soon.
Halle Bailey, just like her sister, has worked closely with Beyoncé. The duo are signed to Parkwood Entertainment–the “Halo” singer’s management company and record label. Halle Bailey will portray Ariel in the upcoming live-action “The Little Mermaid.”
A living legend, Diana Ross began her career as the lead singer in the Motown-era group The Supremes. After being in one of the most successful girl groups of all time, Ross went solo and released songs like “I’m Coming Out” “Upside Down” which kept her on top of the charts for years.
There will never be an artist as effortlessly cool as Erykah Badu. The songwriter is the face of neo soul and the vocalist behind earworms like “Bag Lady” and “On & On.”
As a model, singer and actor, there is nothing Grace Jones cannot do. The Jamaican native started as a successful model before launching her music career. She embodied the Studio 54, disco eras.
Janet Jackson is cemented in history as one of the best live performers of all time. Her choreography and elaborate music videos have impacted every generation that has followed her. “All For You,” “Rhythm Nation,” “Escapade” and “Nasty” are just a few of the bops she has in her catalog.
After beginning her career as a spoken word artist, Jill Scott shifted her focus to music and penned lyrics for her debut album “Who Is Jill Scott?: Words and Sounds Vol. 1.” Her second studio album, “Beautifully Human: Words and Sounds Vol. 2” gifted us with “Golden,” the ultimate pump-up song.
Scott responded to her inclusion on Twitter, writing: "I’m in tears. Ya’ll know I’m in tears. You KNOW!!"
I’m in tears. Ya’ll know I’m in tears. You KNOW!! https://t.co/sC5jrqtVTh
— ⭐Jill Scott⭐ (@missjillscott) August 5, 2022
Along with childhood best friend Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland became famous in the late 1990s as a member of Destiny’s Child. Rowland has gone on to become an actor and television presenter while balancing her solo music career. “Dilemma,” “Motivation” and “Gone” are some of her best solo singles.
Lauryn Hill first showed off her rapping, singing and songwriting skills as a member of the Fugees. She then went on to release “The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill”-- her first and only studio album–with the hits “Doo Wop (That Thing” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.” The album earned her five Grammy wins, including album of the year.
The “About Damn Time” and “Truth Hurts” singer is currently celebrating the recent release of her album “Special.” After learning she was mentioned in Beyoncé’s song, Lizzo reacted on Twitter.
I ALWAYS BELIEVED IN ME NOW BEYONCÉ BELIEVE IN ME TOO🤘🏾😫 pic.twitter.com/58785OOHAT
— FOLLOW @YITTY (@lizzo) August 6, 2022
“I ALWAYS BELIEVED IN ME NOW BEYONCÉ BELIEVE IN ME TOO,” she tweeted along with a video of her listening to the track.
Michelle Williams joined Destiny’s Child in 2000 and added to the group’s sound with her gospel background. In 2002, she released her debut gospel album, “Heart to Yours.” On her last studio album, “Journey to Freedom,” bandmates Beyoncé and Rowland joined her for the song “Say Yes.”
Missy Elliot’s catalog speaks for itself. “Get Ur Freak On,” “Work It” and “Lose Control” are classics that played everywhere during the early 2000s. She also helped propel Ciara’s career by rapping on “1, 2 Step.”
Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj have teamed up together to release multiple hits, so it is no surprise she received a shoutout. The two collaborated for “Feeling Myself” on Minaj’s album “The Pinkprint” in 2914 before reuniting a few months later for a remix of “Flawless” on Beyoncé’s self-titled album.
Nina Simone was known for being a musician as well as a civil rights activist. In addition to powerful tracks like “Feeling Good” and “I Put a Spell On You,” Simone used her jazz and blues songs to also address racial injustices.
Rihanna and Beyoncé have been the faces of the music industry for over two decades. Maybe this shoutout means Rihanna’s highly-anticipated follow-up to 2016’s “Anti” will include a Beyoncé feature.
Roberta Flack partnered with Donny Hathaway and Peabo Bryson for duet albums, but she also has plenty of solo hits. Some of her biggest singles are “Killing Me softly with His Song” and “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.”
Sister Rosetta Tharpe used her unparalleled guitar skills to amplify her gospel and blues songs. She is one of the pioneers of rock and roll music.
Sade gets a shoutout in “Break My Soul (The Queens Remix)” when Beyoncé says her full name — Helen Folasade Adu. With her distinct tone and style, Sade’s songs, like “Smooth Operator” and “Cherish the Day,” are instantly recognizable. The singer, who takes long breaks in between music releases, contributed to the soundtrack for Ava DuVernay’s movie “A Wrinkle In Time” in 2018.
Santigold will release her first studio album in six years, “Spirituals,” on Sept. 9. The “Disparate Youth” singer thanked Beyoncé on Twitter for referencing her in the “Break My Soul” remix.
Thanks to @beyonce Queen Bey for shouting me out amongst these greats, and even more for takin’ it back! Letting the people KNOW about all these Black women, powerful powerful spirits, many of whom never received the acknowledgment they deserved! ✊🏾 pic.twitter.com/6wtKHNg3VZ
— Santigold (@Santigold) August 6, 2022
“Thanks to @beyonce Queen Bey for shouting me out amongst these greats, and even more for takin’ it back!” she wrote. “Letting the people KNOW about all these Black women, powerful powerful spirits, many of whom never received the acknowledgment they deserved!”
Beyoncé always takes time to celebrate her younger sister, Solange Knowles, who joined her on stage for a Coachella performance in 2018.
Solange earned her first Grammy in 2017 for the song “Cranes in the Sky” off her critically-acclaimed third studio album “A Seat at the Table.” Her fourth album, titled “When I Get Home” was released in 2019.
Rapper Tierra Whack dropped her debut album “Whack World” in 2018. The following year, she collaborated with Beyoncé for “The Lion King: The Gift” album.
Tierra Whack shared a clip from “Break My Soul (The Queens Remix)” on Instagram on Saturday.
“MY GOOD SIS @beyonce GON ALWAYS SHOW LOVE!” she said in the caption.
Toni Braxton, a seven-time Grammy winner, was immediately successful with her self-titled debut album, which featured the song “Breathe Again.” Her follow-up, “Secrets,” includes one of the most well-known R&B ballads ever–”Un-Break My Heart.”
It’s fitting that this list ends with Whitney Houston, whose vocal abilities cannot be replicated. The singer behind “Saving All My Love for You” “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” and “I Will Always Love You” broke records throughout her career. According to her website, she is the only artist to have seven consecutive singles reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.