Dionne Warwick

Dionne Warwick Says Beyoncé is Not Yet an Icon, Twitter Users Debate

Dionne Warwick has released her 39th studio album “She’s Back,” and in a recent interview she offered her opinion on one of the most popular recording artists in the world —Beyoncé.

The 78-year-old music legend with early hits like “Walk On By” and, “I Say a Little Prayer,” was asked by Essence in a video interview, if there are any current classics, to which she replied, “Not yet.”

“I don’t know if 10 years from now, anybody can actually sing the songs of our babies, today,” Warwick began. “And that’s not, as you guys say, ‘throwing shade,’ that’s just looking at it with reality.”

Even Queen Bey still has some more work to do to be considered an icon, according to Warwick.

“I have admiration for Beyoncé Knowles [Carter],” she said. “Watching her grow has been quite refreshing. It’s wonderful to see how she’s been able to create what and who she wanted to be and who she is…very proud of that, I really am.”

But Warwick added:

“Now, sustaining and becoming the icon that a Gladys Knight or Patti LaBelle or Johnny Mathis or Frank Sinatra, or Sammy Davis Jr. is — I doubt. I really do.”

“And I love her to death and I can appreciate her talent but that iconic status that I mentioned [like] those names …  it’s a long road,” she said.

Many took to Twitter to respond to Warwick’s comments:


According to Vibe, in a tweet on Thursday, which has since been deleted, Warwick tried to clarify her comments:

“What I said is in quotes. What @Essence said is not. It takes a long time to reach and achieve iconic status. That’s not to say that Beyoncé isn’t well on her way. She is a gifted performer. That was a reach from Essence.”

— Dionne Warwick (@_DionneWarwick) May 23, 2019

She also discussed her comments in an interview with Entertainment Tonight on Thursday.

“Everyone who I consider icons in the industry they’ve worked very hard and they have garnered the support of people who have supported them over the years,” Warwick said. “There’s one or two, or 10 or 12, or 20 years — and we’re talking about 60, 70, 80 years people who really earned that status.”

Both Dionne Warwick and Beyoncé are history-making artists.

Warwick has won five Grammy Awards and received 14 nominations. She earned more than 60 charted hits and sold over 100 million records.

Related Story: Beyoncé’s ‘Homecoming’ is a Love Letter to HBCUs and Black Culture

Beyoncé, as a solo artist and member of Destiny’s Child, is the most nominated woman in Grammy Awards history — 66 nominations. She is also the second-most-awarded woman in Grammy history winning 23 awards.

On Billboard’s ranking of The Top 60 Female Artists of All-Time, Beyoncé ranked No. 13 and Dionne Warwick No. 20. The ranking is based on weekly performance on the Hot 100 from its Aug. 4, 1958, inception through July 21, 2018.

Reader Question: Do you agree with Dionne Warwick that it takes many years before an entertainer can be called an icon? 

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