This past spring Beyonce became the most awarded woman in the history of the Grammys, adding four more trophies to her collection which brought her to a grand total of 28. But she has quietly been amassing a pretty strong Emmy track record too. This year she could win multiple times for her Disney+ music film “Black is King.”
Beyonce voiced Nala in the photo-realistic 2019 remake of “The Lion King”; “Black is King” was inspired by that film and features songs from Beyonce’s “Lion King” companion album, “The Gift.” It was already nominated for Best Music Film at the Grammys earlier this year, and it was awarded by the Art Directors Guild. Judging from Beyonce’s track record, it has a good chance at Emmy nominations too.
To date she has racked up eight Emmy nominations across producing, writing, directing, and music categories, though she has yet to win in any race. For “Black is King” alone she could be nominated for Best Variety Special (Pre-Recorded), Best Variety Special Directing, Best Variety Special Writing, Best Music Direction, and Best Music and Lyrics (for the song “Black Parade,” which just won her a couple of Grammys).
And she could make history here too. At the Primetime Emmys only eight Black women have ever been nominated for directing: Debbie Allen (Best Variety Directing for “The Debbie Allen Special,” 1989), Millicent Shelton (Best Comedy Directing for “30 Rock,” 2009), Laurieann Gibson (Best Variety Special Directing for “Lady Gaga Presents the Monster Ball Tour,” 2011) Dee Rees (Best Movie/Limited Directing for “Bessie,” 2015), Ava DuVernay (Best Nonfiction Directing for “13th,” 2017; Best Movie/Limited Directing for “When They See Us,” 2019), Nadia Hallgren (Best Nonfiction Directing for “Becoming,” 2020), Dime Davis (Best Variety Series Directing for “A Black Lady Sketch Show,” 2020) and Beyonce (Best Variety Special Directing for “Lemonade” in 2016 and “Homecoming” in 2019).
Beyonce and DuVernay are the only Black women who have been nominated twice for directing, so if Beyonce is recognized again she’ll be the first to be nominated three times. And so far no Black women have won a directing award, so Beyonce could be the first to do that too. Perhaps the title of her special should really be “Black is Queen.”
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