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Beyoncé’s vocal range and dance ability are a rarity in pop music

Why Beyoncé’s vocal and dance ability make her such a star

Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Alex Abad-Santos is a senior correspondent who explains what society obsesses over, from Marvel and movies to fitness and skin care. He came to Vox in 2014. Prior to that, he worked at the Atlantic.

Pop stars are often judged on two things: how well they can sing and how well they can dance. Usually, they’re stronger at one aspect than the other. Sometimes, as with Katy Perry, they’re not particularly strong at either. But Beyoncé is a great singer and a great dancer, which makes her a rarity in today’s music world.

Beyoncé has a vocal range of around 3 to 3.5 octaves, which puts her slightly behind a vintage Mariah Carey but on par with singers like Tina Turner and Michael Jackson. This graph from comparing the vocal ranges of Rolling Stone’s 100 best singers made the rounds in the summer of 2014:

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