Black Women’s Influence in Entertainment

By Joywyn Daniel
, Research Director
Research Director
February 28, 2023
— 3 min read
By Joywyn Daniel
, Research Director
Research Director
February 28, 2023
— 3 min read

In the past several weeks alone, Black women have made historic achievements across the music and entertainment landscape.

Beyoncé cements her dominance as the most decorated GRAMMY Award winning artist in American history with 32 awards won and 88 award nominations

  • Missy Elliott mints her legacy in 2023 as the first woman in Hip-Hop nominated to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
  • Viola Davis becomes the 3rd black woman to win an Emmy, GRAMMY, Oscar and Tony award (E.G.O.T)
  • Rihanna takes center stage as the 3rd Black woman to ever solo headline a Super Bowl half-time show, catalyzing a 158% increase in total U.S. on-demand audio streams
  • Lizzo becomes the first black woman to win Record Of The Year at the GRAMMYs since 1994 (Whitney Houston)
  • SZA is donned Billboard’s 2023 Woman of the Year while also crossing 10 billion global on-demand audio streams last week (week ending 2/24/23), a feat that only less than 75 other artists have accomplished to date

Milestones such as these cast a crucial spotlight on Black women’s unequivocal influence in entertainment. However, it’s not the industry accolades alone we must take heed of. To truly appreciate Black women’s contribution to the culture, we should also examine the unique behaviors of their fan bases. According to fanship measured in our U.S. Artist & Genre Tracker, those who listen to established Black women artists* spend +25% more of their listening time streaming music online and +29% more time watching music videos compared to the average U.S. listener.

Black women in music also drive stronger commerce throughout the industry, as their fans are +23% more likely than average to purchase products or services endorsed by artists they like. Rihanna’s billion dollar Savage X Fenty empire and Beyoncé’s Ivy Park athleisure line are perfect case studies for just how consequential the endorsements of black women can be in music: RiRi fans are +24% more likely than average to purchase artist accessories and NFTs, while the BeyHive (Beyoncé fans) are +20% more likely to try Beyoncé-endorsed products. Speaking of Queen Bey’s buying power, 52% of Beyoncé fans in the U.S. are likely to purchase tickets to her live concerts if happening nearby, which bodes well for the upcoming 2023 Renaissance World Tour available for purchase now!

When it comes to social issues, Black artists have long been the purveyors of change in America, utilizing their platforms as megaphones for the unheard. If we look at the broader cultural impact of these artists, Black women tend to stand out by evoking a greater sense of respect from their fan bases. Fans of Black women artists are +26% more likely than average listeners to believe artist opinions matter to them, while 73% like when an artist supports a social cause they personally care about. 

As we leave Black History Month and enter Women’s Month, it’s imperative we continue illuminating the consequential impact of entertainment’s most influential yet under-represented players. Stay tuned for more!


Luminate Music Connect (02/10/2023 – 02/16/2023)

Luminate Artist & Genre Tracker

*Artists considered within this analysis = Alicia Keys, Beyoncé, Brandy, Cardi B, Chloe, Chloe x Halle, Doja Cat, HER, Jazmin Sullivan, Jennifer Hudson, Jhene Aiko, Kehlani, Kelly Rowland, Keysha Cole, Lizzo, Mary J Blige, Megan Thee Stallion, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Summer Walker, SZA


Rock & Roll Hall of Fame


Rolling Stone



By Kelley Williams, Brett Banducci, Yoomi Hong
May 23, 2023
— 2 min read

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