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Madonna, Beyonce & Taylor Swift make Time's 100 Women Who Defined The Last Century list


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Legends only!

Madonna, Beyonce and Taylor Swift are the only pop girls to land on Time's women of the past century list. 

They put together a list of 100 women who've influenced culture over the last 100 years. 

“Many of the women on this list exercised their influence at the margins, in defense of the marginalized,” says the magazine's former editor-in-chief. 

Madonna

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By 1989, Madonna, the scrappy performer born Madonna Louise Ciccone, was already a superstar: she’d whirled onto the landscape, in a torn-up T-shirt and two wrists’ worth of rubber bracelets, just as America was awakening to the AIDS crisis, and for young people became a symbol of determination and self-invention. She had defied our expectations so many times. How many surprises could she have left up her lace sleeves?

The bombshell answer came in the form of a hymn of joyous carnality, “Like a Prayer,” the lead single and title track of her fourth studio album. In the video, Madonna—sending a marvelously mixed message of purity and seduction in a 1950s-style slip, a discreet cross sparkling around her neck—spreads her gospel of joy and erotic ardor within the sacred confines of a country church. A statue of a saint, presumably Martin de Porres—he’s a black man locked in his own little cage, a not-so-metaphorical prison—comes to life and kisses her gently on the forehead. This could be the start of a mutual seduction, but he leaves her. She seizes a dagger and wraps her fingers around the blade, though the resulting cuts aren’t the normal kind: stigmata flower in the palms of her hands like two bloody pennies.

Pepsi had used “Like a Prayer”—accompanied by tamer imagery—in a commercial. But the video cast the song in a new light, and religious groups were enraged. Pepsi canceled her contract in response. Yet Madonna’s allegedly blasphemous act of creation carried her all the way to the bank: “Like a Prayer” spent three weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the album on which it appeared went on to sell more than 15 million copies. Even more significantly, this close-to-perfect song marked Madonna as an artist in it for the long haul, one whose marriage of provocation and pop would inspire future generations to shape their careers in her image. She couldn’t be underestimated or circumscribed, least of all by a multibillion-dollar corporation. She was a material girl, always, but only on her own terms. —Stephanie Zacharek

 

Beyonce:

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When Beyoncé Knowles-Carter debuted as a member of Destiny’s Child in the ’90s, no one could foresee that she would one day be the self-proclaimed “King Bey,” as big as Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson or Prince. By the time she released her first solo album in 2003, her star power was clear, but in the music industry, shooting stars often fizzle. Virgos, astrologers tell us, are perfectionists, and Knowles-Carter, born in September 1981, treated each album like an opportunity to build. Her work ethic is rivaled only by her supreme ability to keep us out of her business. When she dropped her eponymous fifth album near midnight in December 2013, with no indication it was coming, her legend status was clear. Beyoncé was a visual album with sick beats and her signature girl-power anthems. But with “Flawless,” she went a step further, sampling a Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie speech and explicitly claiming feminism for herself. Black feminists were beside themselves, with both excitement and disdain. Could a pop star really be down with smashing the patriarchy? Her performance in front of the word FEMINIST at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards was a helluva way to punctuate a point.

A few years later, her explosive “Formation” let us know she was back, pro-black and unapologetic. The Lemonade album’s overtures to Black Lives Matter insisted she may be pop, but she is also political. It was a hat tip to her haters and a nod to her serious critics. She’s a woman of few words, but she’s listening. It’s this call-and-response between Beyoncé, the Bey-hivers and the Bey-haters that makes her a singular performer. Haters may hate, but she just gets better. —Brittney Cooper

 

Taylor Swift:

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The hashtag #MeToo went viral in October 2017 after Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was accused of ****** misconduct by dozens of women. But the movement had been brewing all year. That February, Susan Fowler blew the whistle on a culture of harassment at Uber and inspired hundreds of women in Silicon Valley to share their own stories. In August, Taylor Swift testified in court about being groped by a Denver DJ. That same month, seven female employees sued the Plaza Hotel in New York City alleging ****** harassment by co-workers. In October, a woman using the pseudonym Isabel Pascual helped plan a rally for agricultural workers who were being harassed and threatened. A few weeks later, Adama Iwu organized an open letter signed by 150 women about harassment in the California state capitol, leading to an investigation. In a matter of months, the #MeToo movement felled hundreds of men accused of harassment or assault, from Matt Lauer to Kevin Spacey, and spurred the launch of organizations like Time’s Up that aim to create lasting change in workplaces.

Progress has been neither quick nor linear. The Plaza suit is ongoing. Survivors and activists expressed righteous indignation when Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed despite allegations of assault. Still, the ripples of #MeToo have not dissipated. Weinstein was found guilty of **** in February 2020 and ordered to await sentencing from jail, a signal to women that their stories can be believed and that even the most powerful men can face consequences. Using the name coined by TIME in its 2017 Person of the Year issue, a group of Weinstein accusers now call themselves the Silence Breakers. “What I wanted to do was cause a massive cultural reset,” Rose McGowan, one of the accusers, said on the day of the verdict. “We achieved that today.” —Eliana Dockterman

You can see the full list of women here.

Thoughts? Anyone missing from the list? 

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I agree with Madonna. Obviously, woman defined pop music, the power of controversy, eye-catching music videos etc.

Beyoncé tbh don't really follow, I know she has an amazing voice tho. Taylor.....I mean.....the century? Hhhmmm I dunno, just me tho. I'll check out the other women on the list to see who I agree/disagree with

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1 minute ago, KylieLanguage said:

I agree with Madonna. Obviously, woman defined pop music, the power of controversy, eye-catching music videos etc.

Beyoncé tbh don't really follow, I know she has an amazing voice tho. Taylor.....I mean.....the century? Hhhmmm I dunno, just me tho. I'll check out the other women on the list to see who I agree/disagree with

Time is looking at these women through the lens of influence. Is it safe to say we can all agree both Beyonce and Taylor have had immense influence in culture these last few years or..?

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Phew. What a read. Not gonna lie, they all deserve to be there. It's just sad being a Britney fan, thinking if only her career was consistent and she held the crown a little longer (like 2 more album cycles), she would've been on this list because that would've atleast doubled the impact of peak-Britney. She was just recovering from the underperformance (altho not really, but to her standards it was) of the Britney era via the success of the In The Zone era. The momentum was ruined because of her marriage and her break to focus on her married life. But if only all the... you know... didn't happen. She would've definitely been at Beyoncé's level. :yaknow:

Don't get me wrong, I'm not upset. And I don't regret anything that happened and I support Britney in all her decisions. This is just wishful thinking. ❤❤❤

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3 minutes ago, jordeezy said:

So 1920 - 2020?  Beyonce and Taylor?  No.  

This century starts in year 2000. Hehe.

 

Wait. No. I'm confused now. On the title. Which is it? Of the past 100 years or this century?

 

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8 minutes ago, JordanMiller said:

Time is looking at these women through the lens of influence. Is it safe to say we can all agree both Beyonce and Taylor have had immense influence in culture these last few years or..?

I understand that. I'm glad Sinead O'Connor, Aretha, and Ellen made the list. I do feel Janet Jackson should be on that list. She had so many #1 singles, with great messages. But sadly since the Super Bowl incident her legacy has been wiped clean

janet jackson GIF

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Just now, jordeezy said:

A century is 100 years

Yeah and before the year 2000 is the 20th century. After year 2000 is the 21st century.

That's why i'm also questioning, not you, but the title of the list.

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1 minute ago, Roxxy said:

Yeah and before the year 2000 is the 20th century. After year 2000 is the 21st century.

That's why i'm also questioning, not you, but the title of the list.

I took the title to mean the LAST CENTURY as in 1920 thru 2020 orrr maybe they are saying we are living in THE LAST CENTURY as we will all die before 2100 😂😂

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4 minutes ago, Roxxy said:

Yeah and before the year 2000 is the 20th century. After year 2000 is the 21st century.

That's why i'm also questioning, not you, but the title of the list.

that was my thought process too, but if you click on the website it goes from 1920 to 2020 :)

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7 minutes ago, KylieLanguage said:

I understand that. I'm glad Sinead O'Connor, Aretha, and Ellen made the list. I do feel Janet Jackson should be on that list. She had so many #1 singles, with great messages. But sadly since the Super Bowl incident her legacy has been wiped cleanjanet jackson GIF

Hmmm do we think it's cause of the SB incident? I do agree she should have made it though 

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1 minute ago, JordanMiller said:

Hmmm do we think it's cause of the SB incident? I do agree she should have made it though 

I mean....after the SB incident they pulled her from most radio play and blacklisted her from most TV appearances. When it wasn't even her fault

janet jackson eating GIF

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13 minutes ago, jordeezy said:

I took the title to mean the LAST CENTURY as in 1920 thru 2020 orrr maybe they are saying we are living in THE LAST CENTURY as we will all die before 2100 😂😂

I'm dead at this reply! Not when I haven't even met Zach Levi. :gloria:

10 minutes ago, iAlwaysSingLive said:

that was my thought process too, but if you click on the website it goes from 1920 to 2020 :)

Yeah I checked it too. I find it problematic. It's not correct to say "of the last/past century". It should've been "of the last/past 100 years". But our dear EIC used both of them and it's confusing - or i don't know, maybe to some people it isn't, but to me it is cause I'm a stickler for correctness. :letitburn:

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49 minutes ago, Roxxy said:

Phew. What a read. Not gonna lie, they all deserve to be there. It's just sad being a Britney fan, thinking if only her career was consistent and she held the crown a little longer (like 2 more album cycles), she would've been on this list because that would've atleast doubled the impact of peak-Britney. She was just recovering from the underperformance (altho not really, but to her standards it was) of the Britney era via the success of the In The Zone era. The momentum was ruined because of her marriage and her break to focus on her married life. But if only all the... you know... didn't happen. She would've definitely been at Beyoncé's level. :yaknow:

Don't get me wrong, I'm not upset. And I don't regret anything that happened and I support Britney in all her decisions. This is just wishful thinking. ❤❤❤

 

standing ovation GIF

 

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I mean, obviously Britney wasn't gonna make the list, we all knew it.

However, I do think she should've made the list. The thing is, with Britney's case is pretty easy to dismiss the influence she's had in culture, not just music, because her influence cannot be measured in tangible things. Like, if we go by sales, streams, #1's, etc, probably there are many other artists that "have done more" than Britney Spears, but if we were honest, we would have to recognize the implicit impact she had, even if it was just in the few years her peak lasted.

Would Taylor have worked with the producers and directors that helped (and were helped by) Britney, if Britney didn't exist?  Would there be even a space for young pop female acts in a world that was dominated by bands (at the beginning of the century)  if Britney didn't break the music scene against all odds? And that's separate from already established legends from the early 90's - 80's like Madonna, Janet, etc. Probably someone would've done that eventually, but for one reason or another, Britney was the first of her kind. Her style, her image, her videoclips, her performances, her fashion, even her whole relationship with the media, to pretend she didn't have an impact on culture, in the people doing music or any other thing in the entertainment business, in the people that consumes those forms of entertainment, I think it's almost insulting.

Even if we were to say that Britney embodies the way an artist SHOULD NOT manage their career, or how the media should not treat an artist, that in itself I think it's a pretty big deal. She was the first trial and error of the superstar formula of the new millennium, and if the subsequent artists said that they didn't take notes from Britney about what to do and what not to do with their careers, they'd be lying :lemmetellu:

Britney was a phenomenon that went beyond the music, it completely impacted normal people's lives, again, in the way they consume music, artists, famous people, she was right there in the beginning of the digital era, she was the most searched on the internet, she was once the most followed on Twitter or something, even if she's not that influential nowadays, she was at some point in these past 100 years.

But anyway, it's not like it surprises me not to see her on the list, but it's just sad that this will always be the case with this kind of lists. Even if they limited just to music or arts or entertainment, I bet she would hardly break the Top 40.

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 I am a performer. I am a Mom. I am funny. I am your friend! I am Britney Jean

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