Beyoncé was given unprecedented control over Vogue's September issue. She selected photographer Tyler Mitchell to shoot her spread, and with that pictorial, he became the first black photographer to shoot a Vogue cover. About that choice, Beyoncé said: "It’s important to me that I help open doors for younger artists. There are so many cultural and societal barriers to entry that I like to do what I can to level the playing field, to present a different point of view for people who may feel like their voices don’t matter. "Imagine if someone hadn’t given a chance to the brilliant women who came before me: Josephine Baker, Nina Simone, Eartha Kitt, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Whitney Houston, and the list goes on. They opened the doors for me, and I pray that I’m doing all I can to open doors for the next generation of talents."
Learn more about the careers of these "brilliant women" who came before Beyoncé.