By The Numbers: Women Who’ve Headlined Coachella

Beyonce headlines Coachella 2018 (Time)

INDIO, CA – APRIL 14: Beyonce Knowles performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018 in Indio, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella)

This post was originally published on January 19, 2017 and is being republished. It has been updated from the original.

The first weekend of Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (also known as…Coachella) happened last weekend, and this weekend is part two. As you’ve no doubt heard by now, Beyonce headlines this year’s festival. She put out an epic set last weekend (watch it if you haven’t!!!)

Why is this significant? Beyonce is the first Black woman to headline Coachella!!

Coachella festivals (#): 19

  • Founded in 1999

Total female headliners (#): 3

Bjork headlined in 2002 and 2007.

Unique female headliners (#): 2

  • Bjork and Beyonce

Total female headliners (%): 2.17%

Unique female headliners (%): 1.45%

Main stage acts (approximate #): 138

*Source: Coachella Festival line-ups page on Wikipedia

#ThrowbackThursday: “The Year of the Woman,” 1992

Democratic Women elected to the U.S. Senate in 1992 (Wikipedia)

Democratic Women elected to the U.S. Senate in 1992 (Wikipedia)

2018 is shaping up to be a great year for women in politics in terms of sheer visibility. Already, a record number of women have committed to running for public office in this year’s mid-term elections.

Another year in the not-too-distant past that proved significant for women’s gains in government was 1992. This year saw four women elected to the Senate: Patty Murray, Carol Moseley Braun, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. They joined Barbara Mikulski, who had been elected in 1986.

Four new women elected into the Senate set a record, and led to “Time” calling 1992 “The Years of the Woman.” But Senator Mikulski refuted this title:

“Calling 1992 the Year of the Woman makes it sound like the Year of the Caribou or the Year of the Asparagus. We’re not a fad, a fancy, or a year.”

Hopefully the 2018 mid=terms further prove this point.

Viola Davis Makes Record with Oscar Win

Viola Davis Oscar win, 2017 (TV Insider)

Viola Davis Oscar win, 2017 (TV Insider)

Viola Davis (a.k.a QUEEN VIOLA) won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in “Fences.” (She also gave an excellent acceptance speech.) This wasn’t remotely a surprise, as she was CLEANING UP during awards season. This win has now ushered Davis into an upper echelon of artists that many people don’t achieve.

When she was nominated for the award, Davis started making history right out of the gate.   She became the first Black actor or actress to receive three Oscar nominations. (Her two previous nominations were for “Doubt” in 2008, and “The Help” in 2011.) This year’s Best Supporting Actress nominations was the first time three Black women were nominated, and the second time three non-white women were nominated.

With her win, Davis has hit other records. She’s now the 23rd person to win what’s called the triple crown of acting: a Tony, an Emmy, and a “competitive” (a.k.a. non-honorary) Oscar. Davis is also the first Black actor to achieve this feat, winning Tony for “King Hedley II” in 2001, and “Fences” in 2010, and an Emmy for “How to Get Away with Murder” in 2015.

This club is a rare one indeed. Davis is the first actress of her generation to achieve this honor. She even beat perennial-nominee-for-everything Meryl Streep to the punch.

Davis also has three out of the four awards required for an EGOT “grand slam:” Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony (though one could argue that Davis herself brings the G). The Grammys don’t honor acting, so the EGOT is more about versatility in the entertainment industry.

Black Women Nominees for the Best Actress in a Television Series — Comedy or Musical Golden Globe: By The Numbers

Tracee Ellis Ross with her Golden Globe award, 2017 (Wbli)

Tracee Ellis Ross with her Golden Globe award, 2017 (Wbli)

At the 2017 Golden Globe Awards, actress Tracee Ellis Ross won the Best Actress Television Series Musical or Comedy (BATSMC) for her role of Bow Johnson on the ABC comedy “Blackish.” Ross is only the second Black woman to win in this particular category.

If that doesn’t impress you enough, here are some numbers that put Ross’s win in the larger context (with Best Actress Television Series Musical or Comedy noted as BATSMC):

Number of total Black nominees for BATSMC: 14

Number of unique* Black nominees for BATSMC: 7

*I’m defining unique as actresses who’ve been nominated at least once.

Total nominees for BATSMC, 1963-2017: 54

Percentage of total Black nominees to total overall nominees, 1963-2017: 25.96%

Percentage of total Black winners to total overall winners, 1963-2017: 3.70%

Number of Black actresses who’ve won BTMSC: 2

  • Debbie Allen for “Fame,” 1983
  • Tracee Ellis Ross for “Blackish,” 2017

Number of Years between the first Black winner and second Black winner: 34

Year of the first Black nominee: 1970

  • Diahann Carroll for “Julia”

Number of TV Shows with more than one Black actress nominations:

  • “The Jeffersons:” 5 nominations – 1977, 1978, 1983, 1984, 1985
  • “Fame:” 3 nominations – 1983, 1984, 1985
  • “Gimme a Break!:” 2 nominations – 1983, 1985

Highest number of Black nominees in a single year: 3

  • 1983: Isabel Sanford, “The Jeffersons;” Nell Carter, “Gimme a Break!;” Debbie Allen, “Fame”
  • 1985: Isabel Sanford, “The Jeffersons;” Nell Carter, “Gimme a Break!;” Debbie Allen, “Fame” (No, this isn’t a typo; the exact same three actresses were all nominated again two years later.)

 Number of Black nominees, 2017: 2

  • Tracee Ellis Ross, “Blackish”
  • Issa Rae, “Insecure”

*Sources: Wikipedia’s list of black Golden Globe Award winners and nominees and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress page.

Sex Worker Documentaries: By The Numbers

Belle Knox

Porn star Belle Knox

“The Cut” reported earlier this week that there’s a documentary in the works about the student/porn star from Duke University. For those just tuning in/forgot, Miriam Weeks (nom de porn Belle Knox) got outed as a performer earlier this year when a classmate recognized her from one of her videos.

Months later, Conde Nast has decided to capitalize on her story and turn it into a docuseries through its Conde Nast Entertainment branch. The series follows Knox as she works hard both in school and on set.

Belle Knox’s story is just the latest in a line of documentaries focused on sex workers.

But how many are sex-worker documentaries are there? I looked at two official sources: Wikipedia and IMDb.


Within the category “Documentary films about prostitution,” 38 pages are listed.

Of these 38 films:

Single-subject portraits (focusing on one notable person): 5

Multi-subject portraits (focusing on a few people): 13

General subject (focusing on an overall subject, e.g. trafficking): 20

Since Wikipedia is user-edited, it’s possible that some films got left off, and some didn’t completely fit the category.


The entertainment industry’s database has a helpful list: Highest Rated “Prostitution” Documentaries. The list numbers 434 films.

Of these 434 documentaries:

Single-subject portraits (focusing on one notable person): 17

Multi-subject portraits (focusing on a few people): 20

General subject (focusing on an overall subject, e.g. trafficking; included TV episodes): 331

Unrelated (only tangentially related, e.g. part of a stand-up act, etc.; included TV episodes): 66


Clearly, documentaries about sex workers are alive and well, and will continue to be good for business.