#ThrowbackThursday: Lauryn Hill Wins Album of the Year Grammy Award, 1999

Lauryn Hill, Grammys 1999 (The Drop FM)

Lauryn Hill, Grammys 1999 (The Drop FM)

When Lauryn Hill’s album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” was released in 1998, it instantly became #1 on the Billboard 200 chart, and set a record for “first-week sales by a female artist.”

Hill won Album of the Year for “Miseducation” at the 1999 Grammy Awards. The album also won four other awards; it had been nominated for 10 Grammys. Hill set another record that night both with her number of wins and nominations.

Hill was the last black woman to win the Grammy for Album of the Year.

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Beyonce Is the Highest Paid Woman in Music for 2017

Beyonce performs at the Grammy Awards, 2017 (Billboard)

Beyonce performs at the Grammy Awards, 2017 (Billboard)

No surprise here: Superstar/icon/QUEEN Beyonce was ranked the highest-paid woman in music for 2017 by “Forbes” for their annual Highest Paid Women in Music list. Beyonce earned $105M (!!!) in pre-tax income.

Here’s how “Forbes” arrived at this number:

We looked at pretax income from June 1, 2016 through June 1, 2017, and did not take out fees charged by agents, managers and lawyers. We gathered data from Nielsen SoundScan, Pollstar, the RIAA and interviews with industry insiders.

Beyonce has had one hell of a streak. She released her popular and critically acclaimed album “Lemonade” in April 2016. “Lemonade” handily become her sixth #1 album. Beyonce’s Formation world tour (which occurred during the timeframe) netted her “a quarter of a billion dollars.”

In personal news, she also took some time off to give birth to her twins Rumi and Sir. It’s safe to say that she would’ve earned even more without the break.

Beyonce’s earnings put her far ahead of the pack: The second-highest-paid woman in music was Adele, who earned $69M during the measured timeframe.

 

Trends: Slaying While Pregnant

 

Beyonce's performance at the 2017 Grammy Awards (The Fader)

Beyonce’s performance at the 2017 Grammy Awards (The Fader)

It seems like almost every female celebrity is pregnant right now (and that almost all of them are pregnant with twins). But instead of lying low and taking it easy during their pregnancies, many of these women are stepping it up, and making pregnant and non-pregnant women alike look like slackers.

First case in point: Beyonce. Leave it to Queen Bey to put us all to shame. The superstar performed a set during this year’s Grammy Awards. One portion featured her leaning back in a chair perched at a very precarious angle. (I don’t know about you, but my heart was in my throat for that whole portion. And I audibly exhaled when she got off that chair.)

Beyonce had also been scheduled to perform at Coachella before withdrawing. But we can’t fault her for that, considering she’s done more while pregnant than many people do in their lives.

Serena Williams is widely acknowledged to be the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) tennis player in the world. Last month, she announced her pregnancy. When she announced the news, Williams was 20 weeks along. Someone very smart (and awesome) did the math and realized that Williams had recently played in a match while pregnant. And, as Laura Wagner at “Deadspin” put it, this wasn’t just any match:

Serena Williams won the 2017 Australian Open, her record-breaking 23rd major, without dropping a single set, while nine fucking weeks pregnant. She is the greatest of all time.

Elsewhere in entertainment, Gal Gadot has been preparing for her upcoming movie “Wonder Woman.” Last November, she shot reshoots for the movie…while also five months pregnant. And she was probably doing more than a few stunts. NBD.

It’s great that we’re seeing so many women dominate during a time in life when women traditionally have been relegated to the sidelines.

Beyonce and Solange’s #1 Albums: By The Numbers

Beyonce and Solange Knowles (ET Online)

Beyonce and Solange Knowles (ET Online)

Musicians/performers/all-around FLAWLESS women Beyonce and her sister Solange each have achieved something many artists dream of: cracking the Billboard 200 chart. And now each have achieved the distinction of having an album reach #1.

But they also sit in a rarefied strata: Beyonce and Solange are only the third pair of siblings to make the Billboard 200 chart. They’re also the only sisters to achieve this feat.

Since this is such an impressive distinction for the Knowles sisters, here are some numbers that put their joint accomplishment in perspective:

Number of Siblings Who’ve Also Scored #1 Albums: 2

  • Michael and Janet Jackson
  • Master P and Silkk the Shocker

Number of Siblings Who’ve Also Hit #1 in a Calendar Year: 1

  • Michael and Janet Jackson, 2001

Number of Times the Knowles Sisters’ Albums Have Hit #1: 

  • Beyonce: 6
  • Solange: 1

Number of Times Beyonce Hit #1 With Destiny’s Child Albums: 2

Number of Solo Albums Each Knowles Sister Has Released:

  • Beyonce: 6
  • Solange: 3

2016 Album that Hit #1 for Each Knowles Sister:

  • Beyonce: Lemonade
  • Solange: A Seat at the Table

Number of Units Consumed Within First Week of 2016’s Album Release (includes full albums, streaming- and track-equivalents):

Number of Sales Within First Week of 2016’s Album Release:

Best-Selling Album for Each Knowles Sister:

#ThrowbackThursday: Solange, ‘True,’ 2012

Solange, 'True' (The Jewel Wicker Show)

Solange, ‘True’ (The Jewel Wicker Show)

It’s no secret I’m a fan of Beyonce. I’ve seen her three times in concert (The Mrs. Carter Tour 2013, On the Run 2014, and Formation 2016) because I think she’s one of the performers we’ll tell our grandkids about.

I also really like Solange, Beyonce’s sister. And the release of her new album “A Seat at the Table has led me to revisit “True,” her 2012 EP. The above still is from her song of the same name, which Solange filmed in Cape Town, South Africa with members of Les Sape Society. The entire video is beautiful, so definitely watch it if you haven’t yet. The EP’s excellent, too.

#ThrowbackThursday: Violet Gordon-Woodhouse

Violet Gordon-Woodhouse (The Clarion Review)

Violet Gordon-Woodhouse (The Clarion Review)

Here’s someone you might not have learned about in history class: British musician Violet Gordon-Woodhouse was born on this day in 1872. She’s known for bringing the harpsichord back into popularity, and used it to make some records. Gordon-Woodhouse was the first person to make a harpsichord recording, and the first musician to broadcast a performance with the instrument.

But her story is also infused with sexuality. She married Gordon Woodhouse in 1895, taking both his names for her professional one, and finagled a marriage very beneficial to her needs: She insisted on time to pursue her career, and to open the marriage. At one point, Gordon-Woodhouse’s menagerie of men swelled to three others besides her main husband. (Sadly, I couldn’t find any photographic evidence of this ménage a cinq.)

I first read about Gordon-Woodhouse in Betsy Prioleau’s 2004 book, “Seductress: Women Who Ravished the World and Their Lost Art of Love.” (It’s a great book, if you’re interested in learning about women taking a no-holds-barred approach to their life and loves.) We should all aspire to lead our lives as open as Gordon-Woodhouse did.

Do Musicians Get Laid More?

ACDC's Malcolm Young, 1970s (ACDC)

ACDC’s Malcolm Young, 1970s (ACDC)

Happy Friday! We’ve all heard that musicians get laid more than the average dude with no guitar skills. (Well, not just guitar, substitute any instrument here that you prefer.) It’s thought of as a evolutionary differentiator to allow potential partners to pick them on the basis that they’d be a good mate for life, or for just one night.

But is this true?

It turns out that this might not be the case. A recent study, published in “Evolution and Human Behavior,” surveyed 10K+ Swedish twins ages 27-54, both women and men, to determine this dilemma. The study examined benchmarks such as the age each person first had sex, number of sex partners reported and the number of kids they had.

Here’s what the study ultimately found:

Contrary to predictions, the majority of phenotypic associations between musical ability and music achievement with mating success were nonsignificant or significant in the other direction, with those with greater musical ability scoring lower on the measures of mating success.

Looks like every musician you crushed on in high school had some other stuff going on that you found attractive. Because it wasn’t evidently just that guitar.

The results follow two earlier Swedish studies that found that music doesn’t hold enough weight as a desirable-mate signifier to definitively say that the trait/skill alone attracts mates.

So if you’re debating treating yourself to music lessons after that hard-earned promotion, and if you’re looking for partners (short- or long-term), you might want to skip the lessons and just use that promotion as a talking point.