Since I couldn't bring myself to continuing of the hijacking of the off-court photo thread to respond there:
I think Beyonce's starpower over Kelly's is more about charisma and being a better singer (not that the latter seems to matter much in pop music theses days.) Something however can definitely be said that her lighter skin, dying her hair lighter probably helped. Even latin singers Shakira and Jennifer Lopez have benefited from this in America's predominately white culture.
This is not restricted to the USA. The same can be found in South America, where the fixation on the lighter complexion does benefit people like Shakira. Not that she would not be successful. But when you have a singer who is a light skinned latina, surrounded by all black/moreno/morena backup singers and dancers, then you clearly have an issue (though unspoken) that remains. The below still prevails in Hollywood and the music industry.
Brown paper bag test
The phrase “brown paper bag test” has traditionally been used by African Americans throughout the twentieth and twenty-first century with reference to a ritual once practiced by certain African-American sororities and fraternities who would not let anyone into the group whose skin tone was darker than a paper bag. Also known as a paper bag party, these lighter-skinned social circles reflected an idea of exclusion and exclusiveness. The notion of the “paper bag” has carried a complex and obscure meaning in black communities for many decades. The reason for the usage of the "paper bag" is because the color of the paper bag is considered to be the "center" marker of blackness that distinguishes “light skin” from “dark skin” on a continuum stretching infinitely from black to white. Also, the brown paper bag is believed to act as a benchmark for certain levels of acceptance and inclusion. Spike Lee's film School Daze satirized this practice at historically black colleges and universities. Along with the "paper bag test," guidelines for acceptance among the lighter ranks included the "comb test" and “pencil test,” which tested the coarseness of one's hair, and the "flashlight test," which tested a person's profile to make sure their features measured up or were close enough to those of the Caucasian race.