Re-Inventing Queens


Lady Gaga

A legendary pop star whose influence has reached every corner of the world, Lady Gaga burst onto the music scene in 2008 with breakout hit Just Dance. Drawing inspiration from artists like MadonnaDavid Bowie, and Freddie Mercury (her stage name is derived from a Queen song), Gaga’s wildly theatrical stage presence and over-the-top glamour brought an updated version of campy performance art into mainstream circles. Her versatility as an artist is evident through the ease in which she approaches musical styles ranging from dance-pop and electronic rock to jazz and musical theatre.  

She had a starring role in the 2018 musical drama film remake of A Star is Born. Its lead single “Shallow” earned her an Oscar win for Best Original Song the following year. She made history in 2019 by becoming the first woman to win an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, a BAFTA Award, and a Golden Globe Award in the same year. She has won a total of 11 Grammy Awards, and received the first ever Contemporary Icon Award from The Songwriters Hall of Fame.  

An openly bisexual woman who has long been involved in advocating for LGBTQ+ rights, she credits the gay community as being a key source of her early success prior to her gaining radio airplay. Her activism extends to the Born This Way Foundation, a non-profit that she co-founded with her mother. The organization, which launched in 2012, focuses on amplifying mental health awareness for youth and eliminating the stigma surrounding it.

She has made an astonishing impact on the music scene and pop culture in general by creating a space where embracing outspoken individuality is not only accepted, but celebrated, too. While her lyrics containing messages of hope and perseverance served as an outlet for fans, Lady Gaga’s dedication to unapologetic artistry is what solidified her status as a genuine trailblazer.

TW: Domestic Violence

Born in Saint Michael, Barbados, musician, actress and businesswoman Rihanna kept showing us her versatility in a career that has spanned an entire decade.

Her first single “Pon Da Replay” was released in 2005 and marked the beginning of a successful career. She went on to release 7 studio albums with fans patiently waiting for the artist’s next release. Some notable favourites from RiRi include: "Work", "We Found Love" and "Umbrella".

Rihanna said that one of her biggest musical influences was Madonna, an artist that we have covered in this series. She praised Madonna for being able to “reinvent herself” with each record she produced. This is definitely an influence that we have seen throughout Rihanna’s career as she has been able to move between genre’s with ease. She shifted from pop to rock, to EDM to dancehall with ease and precision.

Rihanna has received 9 Grammys and 13 American Music Awards.

While Rihanna has had a very successful music career, she has venture off to create her own cosmetics and clothing-line under the name FENTY. She revolutionized the make-up industry by have a 40 foundation shades upon the brands release, which had been unheard of her. Her Savage X Fenty Lingerie brand brought fashion shows to new heights and included inclusive sizing.

Rihanna has been an outspoken advocate who has recently spoken about the Farmer’s Strikes taking place in India to raising funds for individuals and children suffering from domestic violence during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

There’s really nothing she can’t do.