Dionne Warwick Says Mariah Carey And Toni Braxton Haven’t Reached ‘Icon’ Status

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Dionne Warwick, the “Mother of Music,” has never been one to hold back voicing her opinion. She reminds everyone of this by stating that fellow singers Mariah Carey and Toni Braxton are not icons in her eyes.

During an interview with True Exclusives, she was asked about the requirements it takes to be considered an “icon.” Warwick admits that she can’t detail exact qualifications but can tell when someone has indeed reached that status.

Dionne Warwick

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“I don’t know,” she responds. “I just know when that status is reached, [we know] who they are…I wish I had the answer. I know it takes more than a hit record. I know that. There are many who never had a hit record who we know that are icons. Lena Horne, for one.”


She does, however, believe that both Mary J. Blige and Brandy are well on their way to becoming iconic. Though she denies Carey and Braxton’s status as “icons,” she compliments their talents and success.

Warwick offered some similarly spicy commentary back in 2019 about Beyoncé, inspiring the ire of Mrs. Carter’s “Bey Hive” of devoted fans.

At the time, Warwick told Essence about Bey:

Watching her grow has been quite refreshing. It’s wonderful to see how she’s been able to create what and who she wanted to be and who she is…very proud of that, I really am.

Now, sustaining and becoming a big icon that a Gladys Knight, or a Patti LaBelle, or a Johnny Mathis, or a Frank Sinatra, or a Sammy Davis Jr. is? I doubt (it). I really do. And I love her to death and I can appreciate her talent but that iconic status that I mentioned [like] those names, (but) it’s a long road to hoe.

Warwick would later post the following tweet: “What I said is in quotes. What @Essence said is not. It takes a long time to reach and achieve iconic status. That’s not to say that Beyoncé isn’t well on her way. She is a gifted performer. That was a reach from Essence.” The music legend quickly deleted the tweet.

Warwick is one of the first Black artists to be a true “pop star.” She is known for songs like “Anyone Who Had a Heart,” “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?” and “I Say A Little Prayer.” See one of her classic songs below, “Walk on By.”

She is also the second most-charted female artist of all time — Aretha Franklin being number one — with 56 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 from 1962 to 1998, and 80 singles making all Billboard charts combined, facts that have likely helped to empower her to freely share her opinion on music.


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