Review: Madonna, Rihanna & Beyonce biographies

What do Beyonce, Rihanna and Madonna have in common? Other than qualifying as pop’s most prolific and globally successful divas, all three have been the subject of recent biographies. Read Russell Iliffe's round-up here.

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 18 Jun 2013
  • min read
Beyonce: Crazy In Love, The Beyonce Knowles Biography by Daryl Easlea takes a look at the Texan who jumped effortlessly from girl group sensation to world conquering solo superstardom.  It is a move that few female artists have managed to pull off emphatically, with Diana Ross perhaps being the one other name that springs to mind.

Easlea guides us through Knowles’ career which took off when her group Destiny’s Child arrived with international hit No, No, No back in 1997. Law suits and line-up changes followed until the final trio of Beyonce, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams stormed the charts with Independent Women Part I, Survivor and Bootylicious.

Breaking out with Crazy in Love in 2003, Beyonce now boasts solo career sales of over 118 million records worldwide. with hits including Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) and If I Were a Boy.

The book is certainly timely with the star currently wowing audiences on The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour.  However, unlike many of her contemporaries, her life and career have lacked major drama or turbulence with the star marching efficiently onwards on an ever climbing trajectory.  This is a good read for fans wanting to revisit or learn more about Beyonce’s rise to the top.

Drama however is always very much on the menu with Barbadian phenomenon Rihanna, currently ranked just behind Madonna as the second best-selling solo female singles artist in UK chart history.  Rihanna is as famous for her tumultuous love life, hardcore partying and risqué performances as she is for her musical achievements.

Rebel Flower by Chloe Govan documents the life of the controversial, complex and ambitious megastar who emerged from a troubled household to erupt on to the worldwide stage in 2005 with Pon de Replay.  The diva, whose real name is Robyn Fenty, has enjoyed an endless string of super-hits including Umbrella, Only Girl (in the World) and We Found Love with Calvin Harris. She is also an interesting and edgy character who has taken control of her own image and musical direction.

Another diva notorious for driving her own ship is Madonna, still viewed by many as the ultimate Queen of Pop. With a career spanning 30 years and global record sales of over 300 million, she continues to generate both headlines and controversy.  As one of the most written about women in the world, a new Madonna book needs a different angle in order to be a welcome addition to the throng of Madge literature.

Thankfully, Madonna: Blond Ambition by Daryl Easlea & Eddi Fiegel is a refreshingly career focused book spending more time on La Ciccone’s albums, videos, films and tours than raking through her personal life. Analysing and reviewing albums track by track and giving us the lowdown on the behind the scenes dramas, this is an entertainingly informative Madonna fest that fans will devour.