Everyone likes a gamble every now and then. If you don’t take a risk, then you never win big. And over the years there have been a number of famous black women who decided to take on the odds and won.
Here we take a close look at these successful ladies and examine what it was about their willingness to take risks that really paid off.
Her incredible singing voice, stunning beauty and fierce intelligence have obviously enabled Beyoncé to become one of the world’s biggest stars and most powerful women. But it hasn’t come without taking a few risks.
Although the megastar has been quoted as saying she never takes a gamble on anything but herself, there are times when she puts her ability and reputation on the line. Her most recent album, Lemonade, was a visual concept album. And nothing puts off potential fans looking for a few killer tunes like a highbrow concept. But it was a huge commercial and critical success.
It could also be said that Beyoncé took a bit of risk by getting together with Jay-Z and ultimately getting married. A notorious ladies’ man, it was a big move to try and get him to commit but it seems to have worked.
Being a supermodel is one thing. Turning natural beauty and charm into a hugely successful and multi-faceted career is another. But Banks made the move from the runway to reality TV, hosting numerous series of the massively successful America’s Next Top Model.
But Tyra wasn’t finished. She made the move into acting too. She starred as Will Smith’s girlfriend in episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, the TV series no stranger itself to gambling, in one amazing episode Carlton gets hooked on slot games. Casinopedia’s guides and self-help pages are a useful resource for anyone interested or concerned about gambling. Later Tyra made her film debut in 1995’s Higher Learning Tyra has basically created her own empire and is estimated to be worth around $100 million. And she’s done it all by gambling on her ability to cross platforms and succeed.
So famous she only needs one name. Oprah is one of the most successful women in the world, creating her own TV empire basically from scratch. Of course, there was some luck involved, but her success is down to her natural intelligence, empathy and sheer hard work. However, she perhaps recognizes her ability to take a gamble in her video for the song ‘The Gambler’ in which she performs with country music legends Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. It’s a song about taking chances, and Oprah has certainly taken some of those. She has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Honour and is America’s first black multi-billionaire.
The younger sister of Michael and the Jackson 5, Janet has forged her own path and become a multi-million selling artist in her own right. She has had hits that include ‘Together Again’ and ‘All for You’.
Janet is currently touring and one of her biggest shows will be at the Mandalay Bay resort and casino in Las Vegas. It’s part of her State of the World tour and is set to be her biggest yet. And who knows, you might see Janet on the casino floor after the show.
These four women have made a huge impact in their respective fields and have done it all with a little luck, a whole heap of talent, and a few gambles. We could all learn a thing or two and take the occasional risk to help us achieve our goals
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Jamie Broadnax is the creator of the online publication and multimedia space for Black women called Black Girl Nerds. Jamie has appeared on MSNBC's The Melissa Harris-Perry Show and The Grio's Top 100. Her Twitter personality has been recognized by Shonda Rhimes as one of her favorites to follow. She is a member of the Critics Choice Association and executive producer of the Black Girl Nerds Podcast.