Since Fifth Harmony burst on to the scene in 2013 following their assembly by Simon Cowell on X Factor, Normani has been viewed as the “Beyoncé”.
She was earmarked to be the first to exit the group before Camila Cabello jumped ship and landed her No 1 single Havana and No 1 debut album Camila.
Following the group’s announcement that they would be taking a hiatus, Normani released her first hit single, Love Lies, with Khalid. She is said to be working on her debut album and released two singles with Calvin Harris last week.
However, following her first big solo set, the Tidal X Brooklyn concert, on October 23, the first thing many people jumped on to was how Normani was giving Beyoncé realness. One can clearly see by the way she performs live that she has studied at the school of Queen Bey.
Pop music fans need to stop with the comparisons or risk ending the budding singer and dancer’s solo career before it has a chance to get started. The Beyoncé curse has ended a lot of black female artists’ careers.
Some were self-inflicted, such as Keri Hilson, and others, like Tinashe, got slammed with it due to outside forces pitting her against Bey. In her case, it was Elle Magazine US that did this in an article headlined “Watch out Beyoncé here comes Tinashe”.
This seems to be the case only when it comes to black female singers and rappers.
While the rise of stan culture is part of the problem, the deranged fans make the person being pitted against their queen’s lives a living hell on social media.
But there’s a bigger sociality issue when it comes to the way we treat black woman compared to their white counterparts.
Normani’s former bandmates have been able to carve their own paths and not get bogged down by unnecessary comparisons. Camila Cabello, Lauren Jauregui and Dinah Jane have been pitted against the likes of Dua Lipa, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift and Lana del Ray. They can all co-exist, but God forbid more than two black female artists being allowed to flourish.
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Rihanna would’ve probably suffered a similar fate if she hadn't been discovered by Beyoncé's husband, Jay-Z. And things between the BeyHive and Navy have become heated but, for the most part, the fan bases overlap and have reached an amicable middle ground.
And while white female pop artists are compared to each other, for instance, Lady Gaga and Madonna, they are never prevented from securing their careers.
This is why we should not make the same mistake with Normani. She has all the building blocks to make her a force to be reckoned with - she’s a great dancer, singer and performer. Let’s not end her career before giving it a chance.
Let Normani’s ascension to greatness not end up like this never-ending feud between Cardi B and Nicki Minaj. There is more than enough space in the music industry for more black girl magic to shine.