We know, we know—Beyoncé hasn’t stopped spinning in your iTunes since Friday. Yet she’s not the only diva whose made a huge impact in 2013. We’re asking you to help us decide which queen reigned supreme this year. Allow us to refresh your memory, so you can make an informed vote.
Rihanna has taken her ratchetness global via her Diamonds tour—getting kicked out of an Abu Dhabi mosque and two men arrested in Thailand over a photo on her Instagram in the process. And whether you thought her “Pour It Up” visual was tacky or tantalizing, you were all eyes once it—the video—dropped. She subbed in on one of the biggest rap&B tracks of the year, in Wale’s “Bad,” her hit with Eminem, “The Monster,” swiftly soared to No. 1 and she turned heads in A$AP Rocky’s “Fashion Killa” video. Rihanna, who got waxed by Madame Tussauds in New York, was named the most influential artist in the United Kingdom by 4Music and was handed the first-ever “Icon” award at the AMAs. And every woman you know has RiRi Hearts MAC cosmetics collection (one of three released this year) on her Christmas list (wink, wink!).
So where do we start? There was her performance at President Obama’s inauguration, a literally lights-out halftime show at the Superbowl (where she reunited Destiny Child), a feature-length documentary on HBO, sit-down with an awed Oprah Winfrey, The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour that will end more than a year following it’s April start date, that unbelievable photo shoot for GQ, a true-to-it’s-title dedication by Drake, innovative H&M and Pepsi commercials and—oh yeah!—that surprise visual album that she liberated to iTunes that is equally brilliant in its execution and sound (Have you watched all of those videos yet? Feels like trying to binge watch a whole season of Orange Is The New Black—but way sexier). Beyoncé truly flipped the world on its lid this year—and had half of the ladies reaching for the scissors once she trimmed her tresses.
In 2013, Serena became the No. 1 woman single tennis player in the world for the sixth time in her career, making her the oldest to hold the distinction in the Women’s Tennis Association’s history. Her French Open and U.S. Open wins weren’t achievements that went unrecognized—Venus’ twin sister won Best Female Athlete and Best Female Tennis Player at the ESPYs. In other words, she’s a bawse!
Truly the year’s most shocking artist, Miley took twerking mainstream (for better or worse). Her transformation from Disney princess to badass rebel kept us watching what her every move—especially her risqué music videos for “We Can’t Stop” and “Wrecking Ball” and appalling award show performances at the VMAs and AMAs. Her Bangerz album left many crying cultural appropriation, yet she went laughing to the bank with 270,000 copies of the album moving in its first week.
Never mind anything else going on in the world—on Thursday nights you were locked in, on the couch, popcorn in hand, watching the latest episode of Scandal. And much of that was thanks to lead actress Kerry Washington, who nabbed nominations at the Primetime Emmy Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, NAACP Image Awards and Golden Globe Awards. She hosted Saturday Night Live and starred in Tyler Perry Presents Peeples. And she got love from the press, too. Kerry was named No. 2 on People‘s 100 Most Beautiful people list, along with posing on magazine covers for Ebony, Lucky, Elle(!), Vanity Fair(!!), Uptown, Essence, Glamour and Vogue(!!!).
So who will it be? Who was the Queen of Life in 2013? Let us know in the poll above! —John Kennedy